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BEE MOVIE

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Another bit of classic wisdom — though more for war than for moviemaking —is that a successful campaign is headed by one general. The same could be said for an undertaking as complex as an animated film. As Simon Smith sees it, "I don't think there's ever been a major talent like Jerry Seinfeld who has been as involved with an animated movie as he has been. Every little detail of this movie has been influenced by Jerry and his sensibilities. And that creates that Seinfeld stamp, which I think is on the movie in every single frame.”

Adds Steinberg: "I think it's very interesting, because he is an incredibly collaborative person. And, at the same time, he is so exact in what he's looking for and what he wants. I think because Jerry sort of grew up on ‘Seinfeld' as a writer working with his team, he is very comfortable with that process. And so, he began the ‘Bee Movie' writing process with his group of writers, some of whom were on the show with him. And he would sort of give them the parameters of what he was looking for, and then they would come up with the jokes and the different story ideas.”

One of the ways DreamWorks Animation guaranteed a tight-knit collaborative process was to bring Seinfeld (the proud New Yorker) to the DreamWorks Glendale, California campus every day through the magic of Hewlett-Packard. The production crew and technology teams who worked on "Bee Movie” were spread out across the two DreamWorks Animation campuses. Separated by over 350 miles, HP's cutting edge telepresence solution, the Halo Collaboration Studio, brought the Glendale and Redwood City, California teams virtually into the same meeting room. Additionally, (the creator needs to be around to make his own film, right?) HP Halo enabled Seinfeld to provide daily creative direction to the Redwood City crew with the same fidelity and communication effectiveness as the Glendale crew sitting right next to him. When a Halo was installed in Seinfeld's offices in mid-town Manhattan, the fledgling animation filmmaker was able to spend eight or nine hours a day with the DreamWorks team, solidifying his involvement every step of the way.

Producer Steinberg says, "We have grown to love Halo. And we use it literally eight or nine hours every day. We're with Jerry and the Halo system if he's not out here. We write on it. We watch the movie together and do editorial notes. We have development meetings. We have layout meetings. This movie would never have been made without that system.”

Smith explains, "What's been amazing is the videoconferencing between us and Jerry in New York inside editorial. We have a big screen where he has a camera on top looking at us and we can look at him. And he can see the footage for editing and editorial, and we just all work together. It is a seamless process.

It never felt like he was in New York or wherever he was. He always felt present inside the movie. So, he's literally been with us every day for the last four years. And if that videoconferencing wasn't there, that would have meant a six-hour plane ride and a two-hour transfer time to get to talk to him and show him our work in the way we need to do. Without the HP umbilical, we'd never have been able to make the movie as we did. It would have taken three times as long and we'd all be dead.”

Seinfeld has his own unique take on the process: "Jeffrey decided that he wanted to spare no expense to facilitate my working with the crew in L.A. And so, he brought everyone those disposable cameras, by the cash register at the drugstore, and everyone would take pictures of things. And then they would develop them and they would mail them to me. Every three weeks, I would open the envelope and I would look through the snapshots of what they were doing. And then I would take pictures and send them back and, well, that didn't w

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