As many of you know, I had the pleasure of working on the recent Space Jam movie that came out in late July. Whether you have seen it or not I am sure you are quite familiar with the characters in it as well as the original Space Jam movie from back in 1996. Many people have asked me about what it was like working on the film so I would like to share a little about my experience working on it and what were some of my favorite aspects of the production.
I was originally contacted back in early 2020 about working on the film and was immediately interested. By that time, I was very familiar with most of the Warner Brothers characters since I had worked on several of their franchises in the past. Most notably, Animaniacs and Looney Tunes. So, I already had a lot of experience with the designs of Bug Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, etc. However, Lola Bunny was a new character for me and she took a little getting used to. She is not like the other Looney Tunes characters, not zany and silly. She is more serious. I worked on many scenes with her including a scene between her and LeBron as they were having a serious conversation about Lola coming aboard the team. Unfortunately, that scene was cut in post production, which was disappointing because it was one of my favorites that I worked on.
I also spent a lot of time working on Wonder Woman in the scene where Bugs and LeBron go to recruit Lola for the team. Overall, I animated about 2 minutes worth of footage, about 190 feet of film. They were mostly single character shots. I did have a few assistants helping me with the in-betweens so it helped to streamline production. It ended up being about 6 months worth of full time work for me to do those scenes. It was quite an enjoyable experience.
One interesting aspect of my work on Bug Bunny was that I had to adjust to using a new model of the character than the one I was used to. In my days working on Looney Tunes, I was instructed to use the old Bob Clampet model of Bugs Bunny, which had much more rounded features. In Space Jam, the directors decided to use the newer Chuck Jones model of the character. It has much more distinct features and my director was actually very picky about being sure we nailed all the little nuances of the model.
If you have not yet seen Space Jam: A New Legacy, I highly recommend you check it out. It was very refreshing to see 2D animation return to the big screen in this film!