Well, it helps if you’re Wes Anderson, I guess. The much admired helmer of great flicks like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Bottle Rocket, his new project is a stop-motion animated thing called Fantastic Mr. Fox. This project is being shot in London, but Mr. Anderson chose to reside in Paris and send e-mail directions to the crew for two years or so.
The move did little to endear Anderson to his subordinates. “It’s not in the least bit normal,” director of photography Tristan Oliver observed last spring. “I’ve never worked on a picture where the director has been anywhere other than the studio floor!”
“It’s not the most pleasant thing to force somebody to do it the way they don’t want to do it,” Anderson said. “In Tristan’s case, what I was telling him was, ‘You can’t use the techniques that you’ve learned to use. I’m going to make your life more difficult by demanding a certain approach.’
I honestly don’t think he’s playing the prima donna, or being obtusely unsocial. From what many close to the project are saying, it actually looks pretty good. Wes is just cool that way…you can’t read him like most directors.