Hitting theaters today is The LEGO Movie, an animated adventure featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, and a handful of other A-list names. Full Sail 2001 Computer Animation grad Rob Zeigler is credited as an Assistant Editor on the project, a job that took him across the world for a year to work out of digital visual effects studio Animal Logic’s Sydney, Australia office.
Rob was on campus Monday night to talk about his work on The LEGO Movie and in the industry, a career that has also included stints as an Associate VFX Editor at Digital Domain Media Group and here in Full Sail’s own Career Development and Curriculum Development departments. His duties as an Assistant Editor on The LEGO Movie included assembling storyboards and sequences, voice breakdowns, hitting directors’ notes, and making sure the film’s Editor (David Burrows) had everything he needed.
“We’d get giant files from Los Angeles where the actors had recorded their lines and we would have to break them down into manageable bits and find the best takes,” says Rob, who worked on the film from November 2012 to November 2013. “We usually found a lot of the best stuff from when the actors were ad-libbing. You can just tell they were really into it, just from hearing them in their sessions.”
During his presentation, Rob also discussed some of the challenges of working on the film, which included a rapidly-evolving storyline that was constantly changing up until the end of production. After the film was screened to focus groups in America, dozens of changes would come back to the editing team the next day, all of which, according to Rob, made the finished project even better. One of Rob’s favorite parts of production involves a third-act twist that the editorial team consistently revised until it was just right. He wouldn’t give us any spoilers though, so you’ll have to go check out The LEGO Movie soon to see what he’s talking about.
“Our entire editorial team had ideas that were used at some point in the film,” says Rob. “It’s nice to be able to sit back and hear dialogue or watch sequences that you know you had a hand in. We’re really proud of the final cut.”