Cory Edwards, the guy who made the moderately successful steaming pile of CGI known as Hoodwinked is still plying his wares around town and is currently tapped to write and direct Fraggle Rock: The Movie for the Jim Henson Company. He talks about his work in this interview on the Fulle Circle Productions blog.
Whatever one’s opinion of Hoodwinked, you’ve got to admit that Edwards was on the forefront of indie CG, a trend that is becoming more and more prevalent nowadays. In his own words:
“And I realize that there were other independently-funded projects being done at the same time, but yes, we were the first… the first kind of a new model and a new way of making an animated film. It was made with no studio money, overseas, then picked up by a major distributor. A few other animated films have followed this path, but not to the level of success that Hoodwinked was able to achieve. I know Veggie Tales had a movie come out earlier that year, but that was with a struck deal and brand recognition. Hoodwinked was this freak of nature that was made completely outside of the studio system and, thankfully, worked. I rarely toot my own horn, but these are facts that never get mentioned and I am really proud of what our little film did. Hoodwinked was made for under $8 Million, and has grossed over $150 Million worldwide. That easily makes it the most profitable animated film of its time.”
Beyond the business aspects of indie CG, the rest of the interview is packed with gems that both infuriate and tickle the funny bone. For example, Edwards reveals one of his reasons why he’s not directing Hoodwinked 2: “I wanted desperately to get into live action films, and was very concerned about being pigeon-holed as an animation director.” There’s also a wonderful bit about how he’s going to approach the feature-length Fraggle Rock: “I’m shooting high with this one, trying to say some big things about humanity in the way that WALL-E did, but at the same time, make a really cool adventure film.” Apparently the new formula for success in Hollywood is to just give it a little bit of that Wall-E humanity oomph.
Most amusing though is where Edwards sees himself in ten years:
“I sincerely hope that I will be able to carve out a niche in this business where I am a ‘brand name’ director. By that I mean, when an audience sees my name, they anticipate something good… and when a studio thinks of me, they are eager to make a “Cory Edwards film…I want to keep surprising people, but still keep my name synonymous with quality.”
Considering that every project his name has been attached to (Hoodwinked, Doogal) has been an artistic abomination, keeping his name synonymous with quality is a ship that sailed a long time ago. No worries though…nobody notices in Hollywood anyway. Keep up with Cory’s attempt to turn Fraggle Rock into the next WALL-E at CorysCuriosities.blogspot.com.