Friday, February 15, 2013

The Croods at Berlinale pt. 1:
Sequel Talk & Voice-Over Techniques

Earlier today, The Croods premiered at the Berlinale International Film Festival. According to The Hollywood Reporter, its reception was "rapturous." Hollywood being Hollywood (even in Berlindale!), the post-premier interviews immediately veered to sequels.

Chris Sanders: The nature of this film was the road trip, of all the movies I've done this was the most heavily story boarded [...]. So if we did have to put together another film quickly, we'd have a lot of spare parts to work with.

Nicholas Cage: Yes, I would like to see another adventure with The Croods.

As the night wore on and the dollar signs in everyone's eyes began to fade, the talk returned to the FIRST Croods film. In particular, the voice-over process.

Nicholas Cage: 50 percent of a performance is voice and I consider all acting to be music on some level so this was an opportunity to stay in tune with my instrument. I just look at the lines as they were written that day and have at it. I'm be remembering images from my past, conjuring things up [...]. And they could cherry pick what worked and what didn't.

Emma Stone: I'd done a lot of ADR work on my movies like Easy A, with the narration, so I thought it was  going to be like that -- I'd just read my line. Then I realized there was so much physicality involved -- you are really playing an animated character. Which was great because I come from improv and sketch comedy -- I always want to go bigger and bigger -- and with  a character like Eep in The Croods, you can't go too big.

From what the Croods crew said at Comic-Con, this is exactly the approach Emma Stone took. According to James Baxter, "Emma is so animated when she performs her line readings in the booth." He went on to say that the animators quickly decided to use a lot of Stone's facial reactions, building them into the character of Eep.

As for Mr. Cage's recording process, allow me to pull a few quotes from a 2012 CraveOnline interview with Croods co-directors Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco.

CraveOnline: When I saw Grug making the scary faces, I could imagine Nicolas Cage in the recording studio doing it. 

Chris Sanders: Dude, you have no idea. 

CarveOnline: Well, tell me. Do you have some video on this and was there some amazing stuff that was just too extreme Nicolas Cage for the movie?

Chris Sanders: There’s nothing too extreme.

Kirk De Micco: Never too extreme.

Chris Sanders: The one that really stands out in my mind is we had a recording session in Las Vegas, and Nicolas was about to go out to dinner with his wife. He was dressed up with his black suit, shiny black shoes, he looked like he was going to the Oscars. His hair was all combed and he had these sunglasses with black rims and blue lenses. The funniest thing in the world was when he was doing his lines, like, "Brhklhouih! I’m caveman!" He’s doing all that dressed like he’s going to the Oscars. I actually at that point had to stop and just say, "I’m sorry, I’m just enjoying this so much." 

Kirk De Micco: It was like a one-man show that would be running forever.

"Running forever," eh? Hmn...maybe the cast and crew of The Croods are ready for more than just a SINGLE sequel?

All photos were clipped from To see the rest of JJ's premier pics, click here.


  1. I've never made a film myself, but I have to assume that reporters asking "So, what are your plans for a sequel?" is a much better sign than reporters asking "So, how do you plan to resurrect your career after this?"