This past Monday, I was privileged to be one of several press members who attended the Brave Press Conference at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood. My fellow journalists and I were given the full VIP treatment, complete with parting gift bags, some snacks, and several beverages to choose from. But most importantly, Disney™ provided us with the opportunity to speak to the wonderful cast and crew of Disney•Pixar’s new Brave. Each Brave contributor gave us deeper insight into the film’s complex narrative, some behind-the-scenes factoids, and plenty of laughs as well. It was an excellent day, and all who came brought such wonderful bouts of energy and enthusiasm that it was just a joy to take part in this event. Below, you will find two audio files from the press conference, as well as a video I was able to record of Director Mark Andrews and Producer Katherine Sarafian’s Q&A with the press. The readers who’ve already seen Brave will hopefully get more insight with these sets of interviews, but if you don’t mind a spoiler or two and haven’t watched Brave, by all means dig in…
First to grace our presence were the stars of Brave — Kelly MacDonald (Merida), Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin), and Craig Ferguson (King Fergus). Kelly MacDonald is incredibly sweet and unassuming, and she was still in awe of being a part of a project as big as Brave. Ferguson was hilarious as usual, but I appreciated how focused he was with his answers and how he always brought each of his responses back to the film he was promoting. Kevin McKidd, who I’ve been a fan of since his Rome days, was incredibly well-mannered, showed great enthusiasm, and brought as many laughs from our press audience as Ferguson. The three actors had a great chemistry amongst themselves, and it was obvious to all how much respect they had for not just Brave, but for the entire animation medium. Listen to the audio of their press Q&A below:
Press Conference with ‘Brave’ Cast:
The second set of press conference Q&A sessions were with director Mark Andrews and producer Katherine Sarafian. Andrews in particular exuded such heart and passion for his pet project, that even those who weren’t completely taken by Brave couldn’t help but be moved by Andrews’ unyielding adoration of Disney•Pixar’s latest. I didn’t realize until after I placed my phone on the panel desk (for audio-recording purposes) that some of my fellow journalists were video-recording the conferences. Therefore, for this second Q&A round I decided to video-record on my iPhone. Sorry for the poor quality, but I do hope you enjoy the visual experience!
Mark Andrews and Katherine Sarafian Part 1:
Mark Andrews and Katherine Sarafian Part 2:
To wrap things up, I was able to join in on a smaller but equally interesting press conference with La Luna short director Enrico Casanova. Casanova’s story of getting La Luna off the ground is a fascinating one. It turns out that John Lassater wasn’t on board with the project at first, but then once the storyboard art was presented and the authentic Italian musical score was showcased, Lasseter fell deeply in love and drove the project forward in full force. With a wide-eyed youngster at the center of its narrative who’s filled with awe and a great sense of adventure, La Luna serves as the perfect precursor piece to the similarly youth-toned Brave. Enjoy the Q&A audio (no video on this one):
Press Conference with ‘La Luna’ Director:
That’s the end of my press conference coverage of Disney•Pixar’s Brave! I look forward to many more junkets to cover on behalf of The Awards Circuit, and I hope you guys enjoyed what I had to share (although the real thanks has to go to each interviewee who provided such illuminating answers to our questions). If you haven’t already seen Brave, please go ahead and do so as soon as you’re able to — it’s currently at a theater near you!
Thoughts or Comments? Post below!