INTERVIEW: Director of Rise of the Guardians Peter Ramsey

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If you’re looking for an awesome film to bring your kids to this holiday season it’s got to be Rise of the Guardians. I’ve heard lots of parents see the trailer and think it wouldn’t be good for little ones to go to but I’ll let you know that out of all the children that were in the theater not one wasn’t in complete amazement by this film.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is an epic and magical adventure that tells the story of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost – legendary characters with previously unknown extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children everywhere.

Atlanta Moms on the Move had a chance to sit down with the director of Rise of the Guardians, Peter Ramsey. Seeing as this is his directorial debut I asked him about the transition and how he got to where he is now.

How was it stepping out from the art department and into the director’s seat? 

It was interesting because it was something I kind of, in a way rehearsed or practiced for long time because you know in my job as a storyboardist I’ve always worked really close with directors. Even before I got into animation I was doing storyboarding in live action so I worked right with a director. A Lot of times I was the first person on a movie other than the director and I’d go way into production so I was able to see what these big directors making these gigantic movies would work with all the departments and how they had to deal with the studio it was really like a film school. You get great preparation just doing that and seeing how all these decisions get made so by the time I finally got to do it I felt like I was pretty prepared.


Did you read The Guardians of Childhood to gain your inspiration?

I read tons of what Bill had written in his books and Bills books, there’s a whole series of them and he’s still writing them. They are backstories about all of the characters and there really deep and like “Whoa, I never would have imagined that about the Easter Bunny or Santa Clause” but we were developing our movie at the same time he was writing a lot of those so the movie is more about the first time they all come together rather than telling you where they all came from.


The Hollywood Reporter says “it is probably the film to beat at both the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.” How does hearing that make you feel?

I hope their right! It feels good, we’ve been working on it for three years and there are so many things that you can’t get into one of these and so many things that you feel “oh, I didn’t get that quite right” so I’m still in that space. I haven’t completely let go of it yet. It’s hard for me to see all that talk as real, I’m really gratified to hear it.


You talk about having self-taught training at Dreamworks did you have any art training or did you just doodle a lot as a kid?

I taught myself to draw. Drawing, Drawing Drawing…You know I had become a huge comic book fan, so that was another idea about doing comic books. I’ve been drawing since I was 3 years olds. I tell kids all the time the only difference between me and somebody that can’t draw is that I kept going and they stopped. Anybody can do it if they just stick to it.


What is your one word of encouragement for children that dream of working in the film industry? 

Don’t stop. Whatever it is that you really honestly love. If you’re going into it to be a star or famous you’re never going to be able to see that through. It needs to do something you genuinely love to do and would do for free. Whether its acting, photography, or drawing, whatever it is and just don’t stop.

The thing that happened to me the most was other creators see what I was trying to do and what I wanted to do and they would give me hand and open some kind of door or introduce me to somebody or they’d give me some knowledge or teach me something. So do what you’re doing and give it your all and doors will start to open up.

I’d like to thank Peter Ramsey for taking the time to site down and talk with us! Go see Rise of the Guardians in theaters November 21, 2012 (Nationwide) in, Real D 3D, and very select IMAX 3D and 2D.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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