Watch: Rob Zombie's Creepy Woolite Commercial
Rob Zombie wanted to secure his reputation as an uber evilmeister, so he hooked up with the laundry detergent company known for protecting your dainties – Woolite – to create a commercial. The Halloween (2007) director describes his foray into the world of washing machines as not very scary and says the ad is more akin to a Tim Burton movie. Ad execs still peed their pants a little when they saw what Zombie calls an "Uncle Fester" type character lumbering around, torturing argyle à la Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hostel. "When we saw the first storyboard we almost flipped from our chairs,” said one marketing manager. “Eventually, with testing, we got more and more comfortable with it." Kudos to Woolite for taking a chance and having a sense of humor. If Zombie's upcoming Lords of Salem doesn't turn out to be the "bleakest of all [his] films," perhaps he has a new occupation alongside Snuggle the Fabric Softener Bear – who is a fierce competitor in the "more terrifying" department.
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Learn: John Lasseter Celebrates Pixar's 25th Anniversary by Talking the Studio's Early Days and Tim Burton
Animator, director, and Chief Creative Officer for Pixar, John Lasseter, recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about Pixar's newborn years and the company's history of marrying groundbreaking technology with unique animation. " … When I came in during that era, all of the computer animation out in the world was being created by the people who wrote the software. It’s like imagining a world where the chemists who mix up the paint were also making all the paintings. I was really the first Disney-trained animator to come in and actually animate with the computer in the world," Lasseter reflected.
Pixar united the young animator with computer scientists to hone their newfound collaboration – "That really became the foundation of Pixar and how the studio works: The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art." – through a series of short demo-type animations, like Luxo Jr., which he premiered at the SIGGRAPH conference for several years.
How did Lasseter convince CAPS collaborators, Disney, to make a Pixar feature-length film for the studio?
"What changed their mind was Tim Burton. Tim and I went to college together [at the California Institute of Arts], and he had developed a feature idea [while working as an animator at Disney] called The Nightmare Before Christmas. He went on to become a successful live-action director and was trying to buy Nightmare back from Disney. And they said, “Why don’t you just make it for us?” That opened the door for Disney to think of these “niche” animated films that could be done. They said, “Okay, we’re willing to talk with you. We’ve got puppet animation going [with Tim Burton] and now we’ll be willing to develop the computer animation.” They said to come back when we had an idea. So we started thinking… "
Toy Story was born and the rest, as they say, is history.
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