For the first time in our six-year history, The Contenders Presented By Deadline featured an award-winning book illustrator who told a packed audience of Oscar and key Guild voters at the DGA Theater at our annual awards season event November 5th just how he got those remarkable images transferred to the screen version.
As part of the Focus Features presentation, A Monster Calls illustrator Jim Kay (who has also worked on the Harry Potter books and films) flew directly from London to explain and demonstrate his crucial contributions and collaboration with the film’s brilliant director J.A. Bayona. The film which is about a young boy named Conor (Lewis MacDougall), who draws as well, and his dealings with a giant tree/monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) who helps him with a troubled personal life, in which his mother (Felicity Jones) is dying from cancer. The drawings, both in the award-winning book and screenplay, are crucial and Kay tells how as an illustrator he has always really been a frustrated filmmaker. He also tells a hilarious story about the frigid winter temperatures that made him so cold he couldn’t draw the normal way with his hands, and actually had to employ a long straw to spit ink onto the canvas. Ah, what we do for our art. To watch our conversation click on the link above.