I started to do stop-motion when I was a kid. You take a Super 8 and make some models, and move, click, move, click. All that. I love all forms of animation, but there is something unique and special to stop-motion: it's more real and the set is lit like a set. But I think it's also a kind of lonely and dark thing to want to do.
I've often been accused of, 'Oh the movies looked good but there's no story,' but I disagree with that in theory, and '9' is a perfect example for me because the feel, the texture, and the look of that world, and those characters, is the story. That's a major component of why you feel the way you do when you're watching it.
When people are deprived of a sense, their other senses get heightened. If you're culturally devoid of something - of weather, of artistry, of interesting architecture, all the way down the line to culture itself - you're either forced to give in and get that car dealership, or you manufacture those things for yourself.
I've always been more comfortable making my decisions from the subconscious level, or more emotionally, because I find it is more truthful to me; Intellectually, I don't think like that because I get uncomfortable.
I have a problem when people say something's real or not real, or normal or abnormal. The meaning of those words for me is very personal and subjective. I've always been confused and never had a clearcut understanding of the meaning of those kinds of words.
Certain things leave you in your life and certain things stay with you. And that's why we're all interested in movies- those ones that make you feel, you still think about. Because it gave you such an emotional response, it's actually part of your emotional make-up, in a way.
When you don’t have many friends and you don’t have a social life you’re kind of left looking at things, not doing things. There’s a weird freedom in not having people treat you like you’re part of society or where you have to fulfill social relationships.
I think of Ray Harryhausen's work - I knew his name before I knew any actor or director's names. His films had an impact on me very early on, probably even more than Disney. I think that's what made me interested in animation: His work.
I find that the most special thing to me is if you've connected to people in some way: If someone comes up to you on the street and says something to you, and you know it's meant something to them, and it's connected to some project. That, I find, is amazing.
It's people who you've seen that have given you a lot. In some ways, I felt they helped me psychologically because you see these people up on the screen going through torment and being on the outside, and somehow you relate to them, and it helps you get through life. It's a real honour and pleasure to then meet these people.
I had seen other stop-motion animated features, and they were either not engaging or they're just too bizarre. There was one I liked when I was a kid called Mad Monster Party. People thought Nightmare was the first stop-motion animated monster musical, but that was.