After waiting in line for a big part of the afternoon, I was let in to Hall H as they were playing a big scene from the upcoming animated film, 9.
The scene featured a battle with one of robotic monsters and it looked pretty exciting. Without giving too much away, one of the characters may or may not live through that sequence.
Once the footage finished and lights came back on, time was spent talking with the guests on panel who included Shane Acker, the creator behind it all, producer Timur Bekmambetov, producer Tim Burton, and stars Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly.
Before the questions began, the host made the point that it's "frightening, but it's also adorable" which is a good way to describe the characters in the movie.
When discussing the designs of the characters, Acker was asked about the difficulties of bringing these characters to life and making them resonate with the audience. Part of Acker's reply went as follows:
"Design limitations yield the best fruit because it forces you to be creative with expressions."
Before this feature film, and before the short film Acker made which led into this project, Acker was an animator for such films as Return of the king. They discussed how that helped him in the process of designing the creatures we will see in this movie.
Acker spoke incredibly well and was both entertaining and intelligent. I think he has a great future beyond this but what's concerning is a great point brought up by one of the audience members who asked if he was worried about the lack of box office success for animated films that are darker, more dramatic and adult-oriented.
In their responses, the director and Tim Burton seemed more hopeful of this project and this explains why so much talent has joined the project to support it.
At the end, we were treated again to the latest trailer which I think is great. I wasn't sold on this movie until I saw this trailer and I hope the movie maintains a lot of that excitement throughout the full length of the movie. The music and the way they introduced the nine sentient rag dolls was epic.
We were also treated to a little update from Timur Bekmambetov, the director of Wanted, about its sequel. He says its going to shoot in about 8 weeks and that James McAvoy will be returning.
9 opens 9-9-09 (September 9, 2009).