In a nutshell, you can’t. I would have preferred to start off doing animation, but it’s not my style. I’ve always lived on the edge, and the only time I’ve ever felt a lot of pressure to conform was when I was working on the “Hulk” movie and people started pressuring me about my appearance, which I hadn’t realized was such a big deal.
AVC: Did you always have a strong sense of style? Have you always been trying to do something different?
JH: I did, but I didn’t think of it as style, but as a kind of attitude. If I think about it clearly, it does have a style; I did a sketchbook with an American comic book cover on it. I put that on the screen and it was a total hit. I always have a certain approach to the process, but I feel lucky to have been born into it. People are like, “Oh, but you always did that.” It wasn’t a deliberate choice. It was a result of my experiences growing up — the fact that I wanted to be creative when I was 6 and the fact that I wanted to be artistic when I was 8, and I didn’t want to be a copycat. As I got older, I went out and saw other artists and heard other techniques and it just kind of felt like a natural thing to do, so I kind of just let it happen.
AVC: And at the same time, you had to be able to have jobs.
JH: Yeah, so it was about a year of trying to figure it out, and I realized that for me, the only way I could have a job was to be a writer for an animation studio. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but it just happened one day, so I went for it and it paid off.
AVC: What was it like when that experience happened?
JH: I’d come to work every day with this sense of panic. You know, at my age in animation, what’s the difference if we get the job done? I don’t know that I’ll ever get an assignment that will pay me very well, but when you’re a young artist, what’s the point of trying? But it gave me the confidence that I could do great stuff. I realized that it wasn’t just that people told me I wasn’t good. I was saying, ”
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