The Inventor, a spellbinding fusion of cutting-edge technology and intelligent narrative, invites audiences into an introspective yet easily accessible exploration of the life of the iconic Leonardo da Vinci. Capobianco, the celebrated Academy Award-nominated writer of Ratatouille, shared how the film’s thematic core led him to opt for stop-motion animation, a medium he deemed ideal for capturing the essence of da Vinci’s legacy.
Embarking on an insightful conversation with writer/director Jim Capobianco and producer Robert Rippberger, the visionary duo steering the ship of The Inventor, we delved into the intricacies of their unique storytelling approach and the meticulous process behind crafting a stop-motion animation masterpiece.
In drawing parallels between the handcrafted art form and da Vinci’s influence, Capobianco underscored the physicality involved in sculpting puppets and constructing armatures, suggesting, “It felt da Vincian to me.”
Rippberger chimed in to add his perspective, likening the creative process to “little da Vincis working,” referring to all the artists who came together to create the film, and revealing the audacious endeavor of recreating the Sistine Chapel at 1/5th scale. Beyond merely depicting da Vinci’s life, the film aspired to encapsulate his enduring legacy and provoke profound reflections on art and life through collaborative artistry. Where was that story when were kids?
The filmmakers recount their collaborative journey, with Capobianco stressing the significance of narrating an independent story outside the constraints of the studio system. Rippberger’s role emerged as crucial in shielding the creative process from the complexities of the business side, ensuring the film retained its status as a “truly independent” venture. From their initial Kickstarter fundraising challenges to the triumphs, the duo shared the realities of creating an independent stop-motion animation film.
For aspiring filmmakers intrigued by the genre, Capobianco and Rippberger generously offered insights and advice garnered from their enriching experience. The interview presents a peek into the meticulous craftsmanship and creative autonomy that shaped the extraordinary journey of The Inventor, which is eligible for a nomination for the Animated Feature Film Oscar.