Steve Carell Explains 3D Animation

It’s always fascinating to see how the animation process is explained to the general public. Here’s the latest example: actor Steve Carell, who was last seen dressed as a cartoon character, talks about the making of Despicable Me 2.


  • geoff valent

    I know he’s just reading a script, but it is nice to see him explain the painstaking effort that goes into making these films by an army of artists and technicians.

  • Just me

    this is more boring than watching Walt Disney talking about animation in black and white

  • Jen Hurler

    And yet he’ll make several times more money than the artists combined.

    Still, I’m glad he went into a little more detail than you’d normally see with these kinds of laymen’s terms explanation of the process.

    • Beamish Kinowerks

      You clearly don’t understand how difficult it is to stand in a booth and regurgitate lines that have been fed to you. Sometimes, they even have to work for several consecutive hours!

      • Mike L

        Wow, bitter much. If it is so easy what’s stopping you from making a living as a VO artist? I find it funny how artists all turn on each other. Your assessment of VO artists is extremely reductive. What if someone said “how hard is animation, you get to sit around and draw all day”

        • Jen Hurler

          When you’re talking about a voice actor such as Mark Hamil, who has truly taken the profession up a notch, I completely agree. But when you have these big movies load their cast with A-Listers who do a mediocre job (Epic, anyone?) just for the sake of bragging rights, then there’s an issue there. A few years ago Chris Rock even called out the process while introducing the Animation category at the Oscars, stating that he gets millions for a few hours in a booth reading a piece of paper. Obviously, he was trying for laughs, but sadly his mockery seems quite accurate. It’s nice when live-action films decide to “take a risk” and bring out a new, no-name actor for a role, but I can’t recall when was the last time that happened in a big animated film.

          I also feel that, regarding the “artist turning on artist,” many of the celebrities are most likely aware of the issues the cg industry is having regarding employee treatment, unions, etc. So you’d like to think they’d take a paycut and encourage the money to be redirected towards the other artists.

    • Joseph Nebus

      I was curious and checked. A casual review of imdb.com’s “Full Cast and crew” list for Depicable Me 2 indicates there’s 17 animators, 38 visual effects people, 16 art department people, 24 people in the sound department and 12 in the music department with credits in the film; that comes to something around 110 people who could probably be grouped as the “artists” combined.

      I don’t see an obvious reference to Steve Carrell’s salary for this film, but the Carrell entry on therichest.org (which I admit I didn’t know existed before ten minutes ago) indicates he got $500,000 for his appearance in the first Despicable Me, so let me assume he’s not getting more than double that for the sequel.

      In that case, then, the average listed artist would have to be taking in less than $9,000 for all the work done on this picture. I know the artists who create the films are underpaid but this seems worse-underpaid than I might have guessed.

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    Behind the scenes clips have always been a favorite of mine. They give a nice little glimpse at the immense work put into filmmaking. Thanks for sharing.

  • Luiz Couri

    my whole family should see this, it would save me a lot of time

  • MaskedManAICN

    I’ll never understand people who feel artists should just be happy with what they get. If not, they should just stop being an artist.

  • Jen Hurler

    No one is looking for big bucks. Just actually deserved compensation for the actual work one does. Including work done over time and on weekends. You know, things that are completely expected in every other industry.

  • Jen Hurler

    I don’t understand why 1) there is hostility in this discussion and 2) it is wrong to believe that as an artist there is a salary one should expect to receive. It is not wrong that I believe that I deserve to be paid overtime and weekends, have some paid vacation time. Ideally, if someone’s work shows merit, they deserve a raise or a bonus or a promotion. No new concepts here. No one here is looking to “be the billionaire.” Please don’t assume things about people you don’t know, who only want to see they structure of this industry improve.

    • Ant G

      And who said artists don’t deserve to be payed on weekends? You’re the one who’s hostile over the amount of money Steve Carrell makes compared to artists, why don’t you argue that instead of pretending anyone said artists shouldn’t be payed?

      • Jen Hurler

        You asked me what “deserved compensation” is…and I responded saying that I believe artists should be paid overtime and weekends. No one said that they don’t deserve it–it’s just that you just asked what I meant by deserved, and that’s my given opinion, as I’m sure it is most people’s. (So I think that may have just been misunderstanding.)

        And I’m not hostile, actually. My initial comment was more me making a passive aside. I wasn’t challenging it, just stating it. And it happens to be upsetting to me. I’m not pretending anyone said anything. I understand why the production budget is split up as it is, I understand why he makes more than the artists, but I don’t necessarily have to agree with it is all. That’s all I’m going to say about this topic now; it gave me a lot to think about, regarding both the topic at hand and how to better frame my point of view. :)

  • Jen Hurler

    No one is jealous and bitter. And what’s with everyone telling me to become a heavyweight actor or an oil tycoon or that I’m in the “wrong profession?” Can we at least try to have a normal discussion without resorting to fallacies of logic?

    It’s true that Steve Carrell has certainly earned his keep, but many actors/singers who voice a character for a big budget film don’t do a good job. An actor like Steve Carrell or Robin Williams, who have experience personifying different characters through voices would obviously make a smooth transition into voice acting, but some don’t. Not every singer can also suddenly act (Beyonce in Austin Powers), nor do voice over well (Beyonce in Epic). These are obviously just my opinions. Similarly, there are many voice actors and even the artists of the film themselves who should also get paid for their years of experience but don’t necessarily. But Steve Carrell has an advantage because he went with a profession that, by its very nature puts him and his face in front of people, and the US is sadly obsessed with celebrities.

    I often wonder why well-known voice actors like Tara Strong don’t go for more live-action acting roles. That would certainly give her a nice salary boost.

    • jens

      I understand your point. Which companies are not paying weekend work? That’s pretty bad I’d not work for a place that does not.

      What I can recommend from my experience is going freelance. Choose with whom you work. And if someone does not treat you well don’t work with them again.

  • MarkusL

    Looks so great and fun! Pixar haven´t done that since The Incredibles.