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  • Writer's pictureDavid Gidali

Episode 8: Wes Ball, director of the MAZE RUNNER trilogy.

Wes Ball made headlines when his post-apocalyptic short film RUIN captured Hollywood's imagination and landed him the opportunity to direct the MAZE RUNNER film franchise.

Following the first film's success, he was asked to come back and direct the second and third episodes in this epic trilogy. He is currently working on his next film, THE MOUSE GUARD.

“...I wanna stress that there was no agenda that I need to be a director and this is how I can get people to notice me, to give me a director job. It wasn’t that at all, it was very much just that I had a yearning inside to make something, and show it to people [...] to see if they like it.”

Wes and I talked about his thesis film, WORK IN PROGRESS, which combines live-action and computer animation and won a student academy award. And why, despite getting Wes some attention ten years earlier, he didn’t manage to leverage it the same way that he did with Ruin.

We talked about what Wes learned during the long gap between the two shorts and what made him decide to make another independent short film ten years later.

We also talked about what it was like to suddenly transition from being a work-from-home CG artist to directing a multi-million dollar feature film, and what technologies Wes believes new filmmakers and VFX artists should be focusing on nowadays to prepare for an inevitable industry insurgence.

Relevant links:

Ruin short:

Maze Runner trailer:

Maze Runner Death Cure trailer:

Work In Progress:

In search of humans teaser:

Show notes:

Bad Robot - J.J. Abrams’ company

Adam (short film by Neil Blumkamp, rendered in realtime on Unity3D):

Opening and closing song: "14 Days" by Akın Sevgör.

Stay tuned for episode 9, when I’ll be hosting animation director and story artist Doron Meir, to talk about his own passion project, his new book titled WORKFLOW.

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