The Creative Process of Storytelling

A CONVERSATION WITH CLAY KAYTIS AND FERGAL REILLY – DIRECTORS OF ‘THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE’

You’ve probably heard of Angry Birds — the popular phone app video game, or you’re one of the many who can’t stop playing it. Now, the interactive game that’s taken the world by storm is the subject of an upcoming animated feature by Sony Pictures, hitting theaters this summer, and directed by the very talented team of Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, who also served as writers and producers. Brain World recently had the opportunity to talk with Kaytis and Reilly on their experience directing a movie and all of the creative challenges that it entails — particularly when it comes to adapting a movie from a game that mostly consists of a bird and a slingshot.

Brain World: Tell us about your role in the production of “The Angry Birds Movie”?

Clay Kaytis: We are both directors of the movie, so we have been on since the beginning — when we had a screenplay, and we were hiring artists and staff to build the movie. Our role is to take the script and turn it into a movie to watch as a rough cut before it gets animated to see how it plays. We spent at least a year doing that. And then it never stops really. We always work on the film and keep improving it, and try to go beyond what was in the script. We come up with new lines and characters and jokes and ideas.

Fergal Reilly: Our job as directors was to create a movie out of the basic premise of the Angry Birds video game, which shows a group of angry birds trying to rescue their eggs from some pigs. It is a very thin premise, but our job as the storytellers was to create an entertaining, interesting, and funny movie out of that. We had a blast doing that over the past two-and-a-half years. When we both came aboard there was a basic screenplay, a first draft by Jon Vitti, that the producers had been working on. We took a look at that and we started to deconstruct it, and we rebuilt it into a very funny, animated movie for everybody.

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