James Farr is not a common name you’ll have heard of, yet he has released the fantastic animation Blink to the Future (mixing two science fiction elements together – Doctor Who and Back to the Future). He’s known for his artistic talents and has written and developed comics, television and features for the likes of Hasbro, Dreamworks, and New Line Cinema to name just a few. He loves the idea of rebooting/mixing ideas together and is Creative Development Director of Steelehouse Productions. We were lucky enough to speak to the man himself.
What inspires you to create an animation or live action or comic?
I get antsy if I’m not working. If I’m not creating something new. So in a way, its only a matter of deciding what to drop in the hopper. That said, I tend to be inspired by what I don’t see, as opposed to what I do see. If it occurs to me something might be cool, but that something doesn’t exist, I can’t stop working until it does.
Why do you think certain combinations work, for example Trains-formers (Trains and Transformers) and Blink to the Future (Doctor Who and Back To The Future)?
In my line of work, I wind up reading and writing a lot of scripts, and one of the things I tend to notice is how frequently plots or characters overlap. I think my brain’s been gradually tuned to think that way. Then you have things like Blink To The Future which, at this day and age, is just too obvious and fun not to exist.
Will we see more of Blink to the Future, or was it mainly a one-off thing?
Episode 1 is in production now, though we’ll have one or two more surprise mash-ups before the series kicks off.
How long did it take you to create an animation?
About a month’s worth of evenings and weekends.
How do you juggle home life and being creative?
By being creative at home. We’re all huge geeks here at the Farr house. And most times, focusing on a fun new project is a great way for us to come together. A family that can geek together is a wonder to behold.
Apart from animation, you’ve done a live action Pac-Man movie. Do you think it’ll ever work as a proper feature?
Absolutely. Which is one of my big priorities at Steelehouse right now. Moving the Pac-Man feature forward. The fans want it. And the studios are aware. It’s been a fun process showing just how easily (and awesomely) it stretches out to feature length. People have said it wouldn’t work for 100 minutes. But then again, those same people couldn’t have envisioned it working for 7. It’s a matter of getting them past that knee jerk reaction, and showing them what a freeway chase is like at 300 miles per hour.
Are you going to combine any other TV shows with movies?
Working on another as we speak. This time, a 1984 film meets a 1985 game. (Prohint: The game itself is mentioned in the film’s 1989 sequel) Be sure to subscribe to see it as soon as its wrapped. It’s going to be a crazy one.
You’ve met a lot of famous faces and celebrities, which one have you been awe struck at and whose left you more disappointed?
I think Guillermo del Toro and Doug Jones are two of the most wonderfully kind celebrities (slash human beings) on the face of the earth. As for the ones who aren’t … I try to never give them free press.
What was it like at Comic Con and will you be back for 2013?
I have been to Comic-Con every year since 2006, and despite the stresses involved in navigating a crowd of roughly 200,000 people, it is one of the most incredible (and memorable) geek experiences a person can have. And for those of us lucky enough to attend in a professional capacity, it’s easily the best work retreat of all time.
What’s your all-time favourite movie?
Gremlins / Serenity / The Invention of Lying. Three way tie for the gold.
To watch James Farr’s Blink to the Future, click here
More about animator and creator James Farr can be found at his official website http://www.jamesfarr.com/ or his official twitter @jamesrfarr or watch his videos at http://www.youtube.com/jamesrfarr