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BEE MOVIE

Making The Cut/Make It Sing
Another key filmmaker who joined the production team of Seinfeld, Smith, Hickner and Steinberg at the beginning, and remained throughout the entire production process, was editor Nick Fletcher, who, during his tenure at DreamWorks and before, had worked on some of the most imaginative animated motion pictures produced. Christina Steinberg explains, "Nick has been a real asset on this movie. And he is a pro. He really gets Jerry's humor. He has been an integral part of our creative process because our Halo system is in his office and we invade it every day. So, I think we more or less forced him to become a very close part of our team. He got involved with the story notes and writing and he really came to know this movie inside and out.”

When he first read the script, Fletcher was struck by its freshness, due in part to what he felt was Seinfeld's status as a newcomer to animation filmmaking. "What I really liked was that Jerry provided one vision but he was also intensely collaborative,” says Fletcher. "He's been the inspiration behind the film from day one.”

The editor's duties on the film begin at the very beginning, and he remains on the project through completion. They start with nothing, and sometimes begin by recording scratch dialogue from the script and executing story board sketches — to obtain a rough idea of the story. These are refined until a template for production is created — this acts as a safeguard against animators creating images that won't be used, which would be a waste of time and manpower. In a marked difference from live-action production, the editor is involved in a pre-edit, to help determine the exact length of the shots, which saves time during production.

Once scratch tracks are laid, they are combined with the storyboard panels and the scenes begin to take shape. When everyone is happy with the storyboarded sequence, it moves into production, with the first stop being layout. Approved layout shots then move on to animation — by that point, the shots are much closer to being "movie ready.”

Even after these shots have moved into the pipeline of production, the story can still be re-molded — re-written, fixed, gags added, gags removed and new discoveries made. So there's a constant revision process, which keeps Fletcher and his team busy for the entire length of production.

Others present at one of the last stops on the pipeline of production are the movie's composer, Rupert Gregson-Williams, and executive producer of music, Hans Zimmer. Gregson-Williams' melodies have been heard in projects as diverse as "Over the Hedge” and "Hotel Rwanda.” As with much of the look of the film, along with the sound design, Gregson-Williams' music had to mirror the simplicity of the story and honor its wry and distinctive sense of humor.

In what can only be described as a perfect union between musical and filmic content, a cover of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun” accompanies Barry and the "pollen jocks” as they zoom over Central Park and re-pollinate the flowers for the film's finale.

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