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Benjamin Renner — Director, “Migration”


As Illumination Studios' duck tale Migration prepares to take flight on the big screen, Chris had a conversation with its director, Benjamin Renner, at the VIEW Conference in Italy. Benjamin turned his passion for drawing into a career in animation via Macromedia Director and rose to prominence as co-director of the Academy Award-nominated animated movie Ernest & Celestine.

In this podcast, Benjamin offers a candid and insightful look into the process of crafting a 3D animated film in Hollywood, contrasting it with his experiences in 2D animation in France. He opens up about times when he’s felt nervous, and he reveals some surprising misconceptions about Hollywood movies. Benjamin is warm and honest, and his experiences will ring true with any creative spirit.


Migration official site >

Migration official trailer >

Benjamin Renner on IMDb >

Benjamin Renner on Wikipedia >


0:03:25 Drawing games: Benjamin's background

0:06:23 The movies that inspired his career

0:09:31 Writing by drawing and going straight to storyboard

0:15:56 How he taught himself animation

0:18:11 Making his directorial debut with "Ernest & Celestine"

0:22:45 The success of the movie and its Academy Award nomination

0:26:05 Paving the way to "Migration"

0:28:49 Going to LA and the story of "Migration"

0:32:01 Adjusting "Migration" to the artists working on it

0:34:27 An interesting perspective on the differences between 2D and 3D animation

0:39:25 Seeing characters on the turntable

0:42:24 Why it's good to feel anxious

0:46:46 Directing voice actors

0:48:55 His favorite part of the movie making process

0:52:30 Overcoming language barriers

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: November 13, 2023.
© Škoda Design

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