Greetings readers, @Indy_Filmmaker here! Fox’s ambitious animated film Spies In Disguise is upon us. The film is beautifully animated and should be fun for all the kiddies this Christmas. Most people underestimate the amount of work it takes to pump out one of these flicks, but not Masi Oka, who plays the film’s villain, Kimura.
LRM was invited to a series of round table interviews for Spies In Disguise in Pasadena, CA, and was able to catch up with Masi himself. You may not appreciate the fact that he, although famous for NBC’s hit show Heroes, was once a digital artist at ILM. When asked about what it was like for him as both a digital artist who is now acting in a film that requires said skill, he said:
“It’s so fascinating. First of all, I worked at ILM and worked on the Star Wars one, two and three. So you could find my name in the credits if we actually looked through.”
Continuing, he added:
“It is definitely different, but it’s also, I love it because they’re both very collaborative and it’s very creative. I love the idea of using computers to solve creative problems. I think that’s a fantastic thing. And for me, what allows me to do, it allows me to understand the process and have a lot of respect for the animators. I know what it takes to render that one scene. And if we all of a sudden, on a whim and said, I don’t want to match that. I want to say a different line and change this or I want to go over and I want to improvise 16 seconds and not 14 seconds. I know what those extra two seconds mean to animators. So what it allows me to do is be more technical in terms of my acting, whether it’s on live action or voice because of my understanding of what goes on behind the scenes.”
“And I also have a respect for the process. I could have a shorthand where they know it’s like, Masi don’t stand there because I know we’re having a green screen, we’re going to comp it later on. So if you move here, no problem, because I know if I do this, that’s another $50,000 worth of effects shot that they have to do. But some actors will not think about that. So it gives me the appreciation and the ability to communicate, understand the process so I can adjust, technically adjust my acting to make the process easier and better for the animators.”
How interesting given Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is opening the weekend before. And what a fantastic set of skills to have as both actor and digital artist. Masi truly is a talented individual, and his character, Kimura, is one of the film’s highlights.
I would like to see Masi tackle an animated film, in fact– when asked about just that, he replied:
“I would love that. I’m Japanese, I was immersed in Japanese culture. So manga and anime is my life. To be able to work on an anime film and probably more anime than CG because Pixar and Disney and Blue Sky pretty much. They have amazing air and I know how much work and time goes into that. But what I can bring in uniquely, it’s probably come the concept of the Hollywood storytelling mixed in with a Japanese background. So I love to work with Japanese anime and bring that to the U.S. side.”
Well, there you have it. Are you heading out for Spies In Disguise? Did you already know Masi worked on Star Wars? Sound off below!
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