It was such a honor and pleasure to speak with and interview Director, Peter Ramsey today. A man who has been deemed the "Obama of Animation." Accord


It was such a honor and pleasure to speak with and interview Director, Peter Ramsey today. A man who has been deemed the "Obama of Animation."

According to NBC News, in many eyes, Peter Ramsey, director of the DreamWorks film "Rise of the Guardians," is a pioneer: the first African-American filmmaker to direct a major, big budget CG-animated motion picture. Yet for Ramsey, himself, the milestone feels more like a necessary progression of sorts than an executed plan.

The Director, who was honored by the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and the City of Los Angeles at a special screening of the movie this past Saturday in L.A., believes the crowning achievement is due to his dedication and focus, sticking out the grind of Hollywood in order to let time open up a world of grander playing fields.


STAR: "Rise of the Guardians" is a great message! It’s definitely a must-see family-friendly film. Reiterating to adults the importance of allowing children to live out their innocence, all at the same time, teaching children to not fear and have faith. Through faith, all things are possible. Such an inspiring message!

RAMSEY: Thank you!

STAR: What was your inspiration behind directing “Rise of the Guardians?” At the end, what were you hoping families would walk away with?

RAMSEY: Jennifer, you said it earlier; it's the message. Introducing children to the power of their imagination. Letting them know that hopes and dreams are real. What you "dream," can come true!

STAR: I hear that you are the first African-American Director to helm a big budget animated film, congratulations! Do you feel more pressure for this film to be a success in the eyes of “media” and “Hollywood” because of this?

RAMSEY: A little more. There was a big write-up about it. For me, I don't care if you're black, white, purple, blue … I'm just doing my job! All Creatives want their creations to be successful. I didn't realize the effect until I saw my father tearing up (with happiness) from reading the articles.

STAR: If you don’t mind, I would love to know a little more about the man, Peter Ramsey, and share it with my audience …

Over the years, you’ve worked on huge films (to name a few) such as Shrek the Third, Shark Tales, Panic Room, Minority Report and the list goes on. Your list of work comprises of such diversity. And, not to “date” you (lol), but it goes back to 1989, correct?

RAMSEY: Yes, correct.

STAR: Going back to 1989, how did you get your “break,” so to speak, as the Storyboard Artist on “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child?”

RAMSEY: Before that, I had signed on to an agency that represented storyboard artist. I had no connection to the business; no clue! I grew up in LA (South Central). This was just something I was really interested in. I learned storyboarding, which is drawing a series of pictures that helps a Director draw out a storyline to a movie.

STAR: For my youth, who will read this article, and are interested in becoming an Artist or Director (as you are both), what advice would you give to them?

RAMSEY: Go to art school. If school is not an option, read books. I read every book I could get my hands on regarding film and the business of film. Nowadays, there's the internet. Man technology nowadays ... You can make a movie on your iphone and cut in on your computer. Just do it! Learn about writing. Read books, novels, plays, screen plays … storyboard skills is one of the most important skills to know.

STAR: Last question, now reflecting back on “Rise of the Guardians,” there was a point in the film where “Pitch (the boogie man)” stated “there will always be a boogie man,” and one of the children responded “yes, but I am no longer afraid of you.” In other words, the child was saying, my fears will no longer get the best of me. To me, this film had a heavy emphasis on conquering fear. Why was that such a focal point?

RAMSEY: Jennifer, it's a battle between hope, wonder, memory ... versus fear. It's about overwhelming your mind with other good things; make that dominate your life. Fear is real, but you have back-up, you have "guardians." Learn from your experiences, grow, and move on. Dream big! And, carry that dream through to fruition; it's possible!

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