El Segundo High School

Ted 2: High School insider’s view with producer Jason Clark on Seth Macfarlane, Mark Walberg, Amanda Seyfried and Morgan Freeman

This week Ted 2, the long-awaited sequel to Ted, comes out on June 26. In anticipation, I got an “Insider’s View” on the making of Ted 2 from producer Jason Clark. Mr. Clark was a producer on Ted and Ted 2, as well as notable films such as Stuart Little; for those of you interested in a path to being a blockbuster producer, Clark tells me he “started working in the business as PA (personal assistant), and worked his way up to producer” over the course of 20 years.

Clark tells me that he was drawn as a producer to the first Ted movie, and now Ted 2 because of the mixed texture films — Computer Generated Images (CGI) of characters in a live action world! As well, Clark loved the script for Ted and now the sequel by Seth Macfarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.  However, the most compelling part of producing Ted 2 “getting a chance to work with Seth MacFarlane!” Clark shared with me his thoughts on MacFarlane “Seth is an amazing artist. He is the creator of Ted, and one of a kind. I am thrilled to get the chance to collaborate again with him in letting Ted and John go create havoc…”

Clark tells me that we teens should “come prepared to laugh. The movie is very funny and it is great to see John and Ted back together again. The humor is outrageous in parts, super funny, and the story has tons of heart. The story is very fresh and different that the last Ted.” Also, we learn in Ted 2 that the central message is to “accept those who are different from us.”

I really enjoyed getting Clark’s personal insider’s view of the star actors in the movie, including Mark Wahlberg, who Clark tells me “is a great actor, a movie star who can do it all, act (comedy, drama, action, etc.), producer of TV and movies, and a real gentleman. He is incredibly talented and disciplined. I would like to work with him on everything I do.”

Clark also shared his thoughts on working with Morgan Freeman, who he describes as “one of the greatest actors ever. He also has an amazing presence. I mean, here is a guy who has played both God and the President. When he showed up on set, it was like a presidential visit, everyone was kind of wowed.  When on the first take of the first scene he spoke and that voice started, wow…that was incredible. He has to have one of the greatest voices ever, everyone on the set had goosebumps.”

Also, I was lucky enough to get the insider scoop on Amanda Seyfried. Clark describes her as “a great talent, an actress who can sing, and play comedy. Everything she does has an extemporaneous captured moment because she is so real. I love to watch her work. She is also very chill, just a wonderful person.”

And not to leave out the ditty on New England Patriot’s QB Tom Brady, who Clark promises from “a very memorable scene with Tom, Ted and John.”

Finally, I asked about the real star, Ted, played by MacFarlane. In creating Ted, MacFarlane’s voice and physical performance are used to drive the animation of Ted.

“Most of his performance is captured live on the set while we film the scene with other actors. Seth stands off camera, directing, and then when we shoot, he puts on the Moven Suit (a moven suit is a motion capture suit that places remote sensors on key joints and parts of an individual you are capturing. It creates a map in three dimensions of the motions the individual is making. It is then applied to a CGI character) and we mic him. Then we capture his physical and voice performance. In the editing room, he edits the selected takes together and we turn those over to the VFX artists who apply them to the Ted character.” Viola, and the lovable, but naughty teddy bear comes alive for the audience.

Finally, I asked Mr. Clark what words of advice he would offer to our High School Insider teen readers who aspire to produce Hollywood films, and he shares this critical advice “get involved in student films, start trying to get work in film or TV production, and learn to tell stories by filming them.”

So, for all of the aspiring film-makers reading this, I hope Ted 2 will ignite in you the impetus to create your own version of talking teddy bears that grab the hearts and laughs of an audience.