It’s a Nutty Job…

Posted on February 5th, 2014 - Written by: Jeff Wright

In 2011, I had the pleasure of recording voices for an animated film
entitled “The Nut Job”. Fast forward to January 2014, and “The Nut job” is
the #1 family movie at the North American box office, grossing over $20
million dollars on it’s opening weekend.
With today’s lighting fast computers, it’s amazing to think that it took so
much time to create an 86 minute computer animated film. Even more amazing
is the effort that goes into creating these complex productions. Much like
the plot of the film, the creative process and final execution of “the Nut
Job” mirrored an important constant; “teamwork”. Writer/director Peter
Lepeniotis based the film off his 2005 short entitled “Surly Squirrel”.
Peter expanded on his vision, and assembled teams of skilled specialists to
help his project come to fruition. I see this as such an inspiring
achievement, as no doubt there were hurdles and road blocks along the way,
(as there is with accomplishing most creative projects) however the
question isn’t if you will encounter them, it’s simply how you choose to
deal with them and how strongly you believe in your project to see it
through.

Movies require teams of animators, sound designers, computer engineers,
talent agencies, casting agents, recording engineers, and actors. Hundreds
of people working for hundreds of hours, all in sync to share in and realize
one person’s vision. I will never forget the feeling and the sense of pride
I had watching the first show I had ever recorded – Decode Entertainment’s
“Angela Anaconda”- air on national TV. Although it made me proud, (…and
nervous, as I was very critical of the clarity of every sound emanating from
the 3 inch TV speaker) it also made me want to get right back into the studio
to record more shows and work on different projects. I can only imagine how
great it must have felt for Peter to see his movie in 3D, larger than life
on the big screen, nearly a decade after creating the original concept.

Assembling the right team and trusting in their talent can sometimes be a
leap of faith, as you relinquish some of your control. However, if you
remain passionate and driven, I believe the rest will fall in line. The hope
is that in the end, the result has a positive impact and is potentially
something that will endure through the ages.

Jeff Wright

Jeff Wright runs the audio department at Trebas Institute Toronto Campus, and teaches sound and recording theory.

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