Hi, I’m Jeff Rowe
I’m the director of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.”
Woo hoo! “This is going to be the Turtles’ first time encountering humans and the first time that we get to see them fight or be crime fighters in the way that the Ninja Turtles traditionally are. And we really wanted to make them not good at it.” I’ve never actually been a fight before, and I don’t know if you noticed, but all I’ve got is a big stick. How did I end up with a big stick? Maybe we diffuse this sitch with laughter. You’re not funny enough for that, dude. Enough talk!
Studying Jackie Chan Movies
“We studied a lot of Jackie Chan movies, and something that’s really appealing is he always kind of starts at a disadvantage and then has to work his way up and fight through tons of people. And it was important to us to start the Turtles similarly and make it feel really grounded and real. So all of the action, all of the choreography here was designed to be tactile and real and not physics-defying and use objects that are just found within the scene and really see them struggle and get injured and take hits and fail, and then also see them be happy when they succeed.
Inspired by Alex Webb’s Street Photography
So the lighting and color in this scene and the very saturated colors and high contrast kind of was inspired by the street photography of Alex Webb. That Mikey back flip is maybe the most fantastical thing that happens in the fight. We wanted to define our own style, so we picked these like really bold colors, just like red light coming in through the windows. And then it left us with this problem where we’re like, How do we create visual progression throughout the sequence when the lighting stays that rigid? And then we’re like, okay, great, if something catches on fire, then we can fill the room with flame and then everything goes orange, and then they can put the flames out and it becomes a darker space and all of a sudden the car starts chasing them and we lean into the lighting of the headlights and our vendor partner Mikros found this really beautiful, gorgeous technique for rendering volumetric light where you see scribbles in it.
Unique Effects in Animation
All of the effects in here, all of the smoke is 2-D animation done on top of the 3-D. So it’s got that really scribbly, hand-drawn quality. We were looking at like Stan Brakhage films, like experimental animation, like scratching on the film negative to try and create something that was chaotic and not traditionally beautiful in the animated sense. And it’s just this tense, funny moment where the characters are trying to deal with a car that, if it hits them, will likely flatten them.”
Woo-hoo! Yeah! We did it!