Director Garth Jennings, is back with Sing 2, a sequel to the first film Sing. We Spoke to him about his experience and filming Sing 2, check it out below!
Q. Yeah, hello, I am Ayush Jain from The Movie Culture. And how are you doing today?
Garth Jennings: Very well. It’s nice to meet you. How are you?
Q. Yeah, I’m good. I’m doing good. So first of all, tell us and our readers a little bit about your film.
Garth Jennings: Well, the first film, if you’ve seen sing, yeah, the characters were sort of on this journey to just try to make their dreams come true. Try to sing and try to realize the things that were being hidden. And in this film, in the sequel, they are now a gang, they are now a family almost. And they’re trying to take it as far as they can to put on the biggest possible show, they could do that thing they’ve dreamt of their whole lives. And so in trying to put on this great big spectacular show, they’re also going to have a much more dramatic, emotional, spectacular story. So the whole movie is sort of following their journey as they try to put on the biggest thing of their lives.
Q. Right. Okay. So this is a sequel to the first film, it is being released five years after Sing was released in 2016. So now five years later how was the process? Like? Was it as smooth as five years ago? Like, for you? And for the cast and crew? How easy was it for them to get into the characters?
Garth Jennings: There were some things that were easier. Like we already knew the cast, I’d already worked with him. So we were already meeting as friends and colleagues. But the differences were mainly technical because the ambitions of the characters in the film are so big. That means that our movie also has to be bigger. So it’s way more complex. And I mean, it looks spectacular because of it. But it was a lot more work. And so there’s been a lot of grand challenges, but they were always to serve the story of these characters. And now I’ve loved it. I’ve loved doing this. It’s been, it’s been an amazing journey. It’s taken four years, just over four years and nearly 500 people.
Q. Yeah, so many new characters like Suki, Porsche, Clay were introduced in this film. So what was the idea behind inculcating them into among the already beloved characters?
Garth Jennings: Yeah, I suppose that they couldn’t go on this journey without meeting new characters. And obviously, you’re going to go to the big leagues, where the stakes are much higher, egos are much bigger. The threat and the peril is much greater. Those new characters had to come in to serve that kind of story. Then there’s a very mean wolf called Mr Crystal who runs the theatre that Buster is going to stages showing that it’s also really helpful new characters like Nooshy who is there as a sort of positive spirit when Johnny has been broken by a very, very, very sort of cruel choreographer. The kind of caricatures of the kind of experiences and the kind of people you meet when you go on a journey like this. They’re not literal, obviously, because they’re, you know, they’re animals. But it’s not like, chasing your dreams is all very well, but you better be ready for a bumpy ride at times.
Q. So you also voiced the character of Miss Crawley, How did you being a cast member help your process throughout the making of the film, along with being a director?
Garth Jennings: Oh, well, I think what for me is great is when I’m writing the script. So you know what, it’s really nice because I write and direct the film. What’s nice about the process is I get to test drive the dialogue before I get the actors to do it. So what we do is a kind of process called Scratch where you record a rough version of the scene with the people in your office or your friends, just hear if it’s sounding good. And I would often do the voice of Miss Crawley and others because you know because that’s one of the things I can do and then other people in the office would help. And what that allows me to do as a writer is improve the scene I’m doing before I give it to the actors. And so you know, and so Miss Crawley is the only character where I am actually in the film too. I do a rough voice but also in the film. And I just love her as well, because she’s one of those characters that you could just almost do anything with. You couldn’t get her to drive a Ferrari, a sports car, you know, miles an hour, or you can have her in an action scene or you can have her in a sweet and tender moment. She’s just one of those characters I can do all kinds of things with and I love that.
Q. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. So obviously, A part of the film was made during the COVID era. How was the process? And how was your experience in the Sing 1 and Sing 2, Like what were the major differences?
Garth Jennings: Major differences. Well, of course, you’re right, that the major difference was not just the scale of our production, but the fact that we got hit by the restrictions of COVID, which made hundreds of my team all had to work from home. What was amazing was how quickly and how brilliantly the IT team at Illumination Mac Guff had just completely, radically changed the way we made the movies within weeks. And we wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here now if it wasn’t for their technical intelligence
Garth Jennings: Thats incredible. But that was the biggest, the biggest change. Yeah, the biggest change was trying to do a film where everyone’s working from their kitchens and their bedrooms and their, you know, their apartments, and they’ve got their cat crawling over their computer. And it’s a miracle that we’re here at this stage. You know, the film is very big and very ambitious and it’s been done and made in tiny rooms.
Q. Yeah. So like, obviously, everyone worked from their home and all. Were the recording sessions already been done?
Garth Jennings: Yeah, most of them had been done. You’re right, most of the recording sessions had been done before the restrictions came on board. But it was still a few, still, a few couples of songs left is still a few pickups of lines. So those were done with the actors, either at home or in a special studio that was you know, safe, medically safe. But it was funny because we’d have to record people in their bedrooms and in their cupboards, you know, for good acoustics you don’t want to be in open, you need to be in a wardrobe with lots of soft things around you. So it sounds good. So I got to see a lot of actors, bedrooms and closets, and some very nice closets. Yeah. Yeah.
Q. So like, in such situations where you have to, where the actors have to do the voice recording from their bedrooms and all? How, how does the directing work?
Garth Jennings: That was a process then is like this. Luckily, you know, I’ve already forged a relationship with all of the actors in person. So when it came to catching these lines later, during the pandemic, it was just like this, like you and I talking, you know, the internet and, and it worked, because we already were, we already knew what the character was and what he was doing. And, and that relationship was clear. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t impossible, it would have been much harder to start a film that way for me. Yeah, it was nice that we already had a relationship to start with.
Q. Yeah, and the cast had a better understanding of their characters too. Yeah, so you, I believe you already had a vision for the film, the way you were gonna directed? What was the main idea that you wanted the audience to take from your movie?
Garth Jennings: Oh, what do you make a film like this. With so many characters and songs. There’s not just, there’s not just like themes and things that you want to resonate. But really, I suppose the thing I really hope more than anything, is that having gone on this journey with the characters, that you take that joy and that triumph that they experience, you take that home with you. I’ve always loved that in films where you feel the film still is still buzzing inside you as you leave the cinema. It’s definitely a film that is a very affectionate film and a very joyful film. And hopefully, that is what you’re left with when you leave this movie. Is that sense of joy and having been through this satisfaction, yeah, the satisfaction of being on this journey with these characters.
Yeah, so, that’s it. So thank you Garth for talking with me
Garth Jennings: It’s been a pleasure.
And it’s been great, I hope you have a great day. It was a great conversation. Yeah. And stay safe.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
Sing 2 premiered on Wednesday 22nd in the cinemas.