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Director Brad Bird on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Brad Bird in which he discusses the release of The Incredibles, which is arriving on Blu-ray, as well as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, on which Bird makes his live action directorial debut.
What follows is the excerpt on M:I. Please follow the link to read Bird's comments about The Incredibles.

EW: Speaking of live-action films, you’re currently directing a little one [Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol]. In your acceptance speech at this year’s Annie Awards, you jokingly implied that the live-action film community had kidnapped you. When your Pixar colleagues learned that you would be leaving them to direct this, was there a kidding sense of betrayal?

BRAD BIRD: I wouldn’t say betrayal. I have a really good relationship with Pixar. I really respect that studio, and I respected it way before I got there. It’s the finest group of people you could ever want to work with. I hope to do other things with them, and I think they do with me. It’s just a matter of following where your interest lies. I’ve wanted to make a live-action film for a long time. I’ve tried to make live-action films almost as long as I’ve tried to make animated films. I had a period of time where half the projects I was trying to get off the ground were live-action. It was just that animation was the first one that went, and then once you do one, you kind of find yourself rolling into another one. So it was time for me to do [live-action]. I have many projects I want to do. Some of them are live-action, some of them are animation, and some of them are a blend. It’s just about what’s the best medium for a story.

EW: How’s Mission: Impossible gone so far?

BRAD BIRD: It was a very challenging shoot. It’s a big film and we had to move around a lot. We were doing a lot of physical effects live — we weren’t using special effects. And so it was physically a real challenge.

EW: Did you come across situations where you wish it was an animated film?

BRAD BIRD: Yes and no. The wonderful thing about animation is you have absolute control over every frame. The nightmare of animation is that you have absolute control over every frame. Literally, you have to decide upon everything, and you don’t get anything for free. You can’t go to a location and simply say, “This looks good,” and shoot there. You have to discuss what kind of trees, is it a railyard, how wide are the tracks, are the tracks new or old? The amount of planning you have to do is just jaw-dropping. So that part of it I’m not sorry to be away from [laughs]. But there are pleasures to be had in both mediums. With live-action, you’re trying to catch little moments of lightning in a bottle. In animation you’re trying to do that too, but you’re doing it one volt at a time.

EW: I’m looking forward to seeing Tom Cruise dangling from that Dubai skyscraper [the Burj Khalifa].

BRAD BIRD: [laughs] He did dangle! That’s not a special effect.

EW: And it wouldn’t be the same with animation…

BRAD BIRD: You could do it, but there wouldn’t be any life and limb being risked.
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