Interview: Pete Oswald, Production Designer of the “Angry Birds” Movie

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Copyright Sony Pictures 2016
Copyright Sony Pictures 2016

Pete Oswald, production designer of the Angry Birds movie, talked to me at Comic-Con about adapting the iconic game for the big screen. Angry Birds is out on DVD/Blu-ray this week.

He said his task was to “rebrand characters everyone already knows, creating a movie that is fresh but still recognizable.” In the game, the characters are stylized bouncing balls. In a movie, they have to show emotion, and they have to be appealing and likeable enough to hold the audience’s attention for 90 minutes. He wanted them to be “fluffy and huggable, but still look like birds with feathers.” The setting needed more detail and personality, too. He wanted to bring “very vibrant color, naturalistic but bold” to “the world of Bird Island.” “We started out impressionistic, with pops of colors,” he told me. But if you look carefully, the bird designs are repeated throughout, with even the leaves on the trees shaped like bird feathers. And even the chaos and action scenes had to be fun, not scary. “How do buildings collapse in a comedic way?”

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