Oddball (G) is a family film that has a great heart with live action animals at the centre of the comic drama. The opportunity to cut a mischief dog, curious penguins, a nasty fox and wise chickens interacting with other animals or humans while expressing some form of human emotion and maintain cuteness (not hard) was work but incredible fun. Add a child protagonist, green screen galore, humour with a large dollop of slapstick, and the amazing coastal landscape of Warrnambool I was psyched.
The great stuff to cut was a toss up between the physicality of the comic set pieces and working through the location or studio material of Kia aka Oddball doing the required action and then working through the green screen material of the penguins to match.
The scene that got the most work was Oddball’s attempt at rescuing the penguin egg precariously sitting on a cliff ledge the sea churning ominously below. I revisited that scene quite a few times squeezing every angle, egg roll, grit crumble, dog stumble, slip, slide, leap; and anxious looks or gasps of the family to draw the tension out.
Really this film is a triumph because of a lot of people’s hard work in front and behind the camera. Coverage was the key and the two crews – main for the drama and 2nd unit filming the green screen animals, worked their darnedest to grab the 100+ scenes with multiple angles and moves in 7 weeks.
It paid off with Oddball being one of Australia’s highest grossing films in 2015.