SAN DIEGO — How fans have allowed this for so long we don’t understand, but Steven Spielberg finally decided to make his first appearance at San Diego’s annual Comic Con. Spielberg joined fellow acclaimed director/producer Peter Jackson to discuss his upcoming new film, “The Adventures of Tintin,” a 3-D motion capture animated film that is being released at the end of 2011. “The Adventures of Tintin” is based on on the comic series created by Belgian artist Georges “Hergé” Remi. Jackson serves as the producer for this film.
After the audience was shown a short clip reel featuring the best scenes from most of Spielberg’s films, the house lights in the large ballroom were turned on, and Spielberg made his grand entrance with surprise guest Peter Jackson. The audience of 500+ people predictably went insane and responded with an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Spielberg then dove right into discussing his new project. Spielberg got the idea to make “The Adventures of Tintin,” a European comic book series, from a French film review that compared one of this older movies to the comic book series. Upon reading some of the series, Spielberg was impressed by Remi’s work. Spielberg and Jackson approached the creation of this motion capture film (recording movement of body and facial expressions, and translating that movement on to a digital model – think Avatar) with the idea of making it look as much like the original comic book series as possible.
The sneak preview of footage that was shown to the audience almost looked like real life people acting on the screen. It truly is amazing what technology has done for the film industry.
The audience was then allowed to ask questions of the panelists. A young boy bravely approached the microphone, and in front of hundreds of people, asked Spielberg, all of the movies he has made, which was his favorite to make. Spielberg responded that the movie that has a special place in his heart is E.T. Having so much fun working with the child actors, made him think for the first time that he really want to have children. 7 children later, he got his wish.
The last audience member lucky enough to get the chance to pick Spielberg’s brain was a man whose shirt read “If possible I would love to meet Steven Spielberg and shake his hand. Thank you very much.” Upon seeing the shirt, broadcasted on the 3 huge screens that allowed the 500+ person audience to see the panel, Spielberg chuckled and invited the man on stage. Not only did this guy get to meet and shake Spielberg’s hand, but he also got a personal photo shoot with Peter Jackson. How can I get one of those shirts?!
For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Spielberg and his almost unmatchable fame, what was remarkable was that he just seems like a nice, approachable kind of guy. He was very receptive to the audience’s questions, and his responses were very humble and seemingly down to earth. Definitely the kind of guy I wouldn’t mind sitting down and having a beer with. Good show Steve.