Contains SPOILERS for ‘Spider-Man: Crossing the Multiverse’
That Spider-Man: Crossing the Multiverse be a feast of animation styles and techniques is not really a novelty. Thus planning the film, the producers and screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller have maintained one of the traits that made Spider-Man: A New Universe in the most acclaimed animated film of 2018.
But even so, there are moments in this new film that attract attention, and one of them is the one in which we discover a variant of ‘Spidey’ that inhabits a dimension made out of Lego bricks. A fond memory of Lord and Miller’s work in The Lego movie? Well, in part yes, but also something else. Because the realization of this scene was carried out by a 14 year old teenager who earned the position thanks to his shorts on YouTube.
The talented young man is called Preston Mutanga, was born in Minnesota to a Cameroonian immigrant couple and now lives in Toronto. A fan of comics and construction games, Mutanga began his career as an amateur animator thanks to his father: “He taught me this 3D graphics program called Blender and I was instantly hooked,” he recalls in the New York Times.
After illustrating himself with tutorials on YouTube, Preston Mutanga undertook his most ambitious project: a remake of the ‘Crossing the Multiverse’ trailer made from Lego. That was the video that caught the attention of Lord, Miller and the production company. Christina Steinberg, who contacted him to ask him to work on the tape. And, in doing so, she got a huge surprise.
“We found out it was done by a 14-year-old boy and we were like, ‘This is incredibly sophisticated for someone who isn’t an adult or a professional to have done it,'” recalls Chris Miller. “He blew us all away, including some of the best animators in the world.”
Theodore and Giselle, Preston Mutanga’s parents were suspicious at first, because their son’s YouTube account had been hacked and they feared a scam. But, after rigorous checks, they gave their approval. In this way, his son became the sole animator of crossing the multiverse who worked during school holidays and, on weekdays, after doing homework at the institute.
Every fortnight, Preston was talking to Chris Miller to supervise his work. “Something new that I have learned is the importance of feedback, and the number of things that end up changing from the beginning to the final product”, explains the animator.
“The Lego Movie is inspired by people who make home movies with Lego pieces”, explains Phil Lord in turn. “And the idea of [las películas animadas de Spider-Man] the thing is a hero can come from anywhere. And here we have a young hero who was inspired by the film that had been inspired by people like him.” Preston Mutanga, for his part, is clear: “Working with the people who have made this masterpiece has been like a dream “.
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