Thursday, 28 February 2013

Interview with Chris George

Chris George is an Adelaide-based musician, songwriter, animator and story-teller.

He is best known as the creator of the animated web series Fried Rice, but is also a busy musician.

His song Time Waster is available on iTunes.
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•   Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia.

•   What kind of a family did you grow up with?

I grew up with two older brothers. Both my parents were supportive of all my creative endeavours, even from an early age. From attempting to create my own comic books at age six, to making short stop-motion films. My mum always praised my work, as mothers do, even when my drawings were not much more than stick figures. As I progressed from comics to video, with the family video camera, my dad brought me my first video-editing machine. By today's standards it was very basic, but still allowed me to add music, fades, and wipes to my short films. So the family has always shown support with my projects.

•   Where did you go to school?

Underdale High School, then on to University of South Australia. I was deciding between enrolling in a filmmaking course, or something more practical. I decided on the practical side, as there was a high demand for work.
   I completed a Bachelor of Business with a major in Information Technology/Systems. Keeping my creative side alive, I chose Digital Arts as one of my electives. I also went on to do a short script-writing workshop with the South Australian Film Corporation, and some basic animation courses at a local adult college.

•   What was your first paying job?

Working in a seafood factory. At the end of the day the smell was hard to wash off. This was very good encouragement to study hard at university.

•   When did you first take an interest in films/stories?

As previously mentioned, from an early age. Inspired by films, such Star Wars. I was always keen to create something equally as engaging and exciting. I remember watching The Making of Star Wars on television, and being blown away by the model-building and special fx work that went into creating the film.

•   Who has had the most influence on you as a filmmaker?

That's a tough one. George Lucas would have had to been the first filmmaker that inspired me as both a writer and film maker. The guy is a genius. 
   As I got older, filmmakers such as Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith also had a big impact. The idea of creating a film, on a miniscule budget, was inspiring, and showed that anyone with determination or drive could accomplish great things.

•   What are three things you wish someone had told you about filmmaking when you were starting out?
  1. Set realistic goals.
  2. Just keep making movies.
  3. Every film/project teaches valuable lessons.

•   Where did the idea for Fried Rice come from? And what is the significance of that name?

Fried Rice is an idea that has floated around in one form or another for a long time. When I was about fifteen, my cousin and I made a few short films about these oddball characters.
   I remember after seeing the film Mortal Kombat, we attempted to create our own supernatural martial arts film. From there the idea continued to evolve into different stories. I kind-of forgot about it for a while, then decided to put together a cartoon series. I thought about those original ideas as a kind of inspiration—oddball characters, super-villains, martial artists, and so on—and Fried Rice, the web series, was born.
   The name came from an idea that was kind of lost on my first season. Each episode was to be about two homeless characters, who were trying to earn money to buy some fried rice. Each episode was to end with the two eating their takeaway and discussing life.
   I am currently working on Season Two, which is different from Season One in that it's an ongoing story. Cut together this would play as a 75 minute movie. It's way bigger than Season One, with lots of guest stars, such as aspiring voice actors and musicians from around the globe.
   Once Season Two is finished, I plan to relook at that original idea for Season Three and expand on that. There is plenty of room for change in my web series as the full name is actually Fried Rice TV, where as the TV part stands for TOTAL VISION. So, in essence, Fried Rice could be considered the alternate reality where these characters live.


•   You started out more as a musician, writing songs. Why did you move to animation?

Actually, from a young age, filmmaking was my passion. It wasn’t until I turned thirteen, that I took an interest in music production and song-writing, after being inspired by a cousin. She was a singer and I used to help her by creating beats and loops, then moved on to making my own music. About three years back, after a discussion with a co-worker/friend about one of my scripts, I was inspired to go out and make Fried Rice happen.

•   If you could recommend just one filmmaking advice book to a newcomer in Adelaide, what would that book be?

That's easy, I would recommend Rebel without a Crew, by Robert Rodriguez. The book tells the story of how Robert created his first feature and how a film maker should use what they have available to create something.

•   What are your ten favourite movies of all time?

Star Wars (1977)
Clerks. (1994)
El Mariachi (1992)
Mall Rats (1995)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Batman (1989)
A Man Who Was Superman (2008)
Terminator 2 (1991)
Friday (1995)
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Here is Chapter One of Fried Rice the Animated Movie.
This is the Legend of the Legendary Lost Legend! Join Fong and Chicago as they embark on mission to save the world from evil forces.


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1 comment:

Kathy Smart said...

It's good the way you ask people for their 10 favourite movies. There can be some very surprising answers.