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A 14-year-old was hired as an animator for 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jun 09, 2023 3:50 pm

It's never to early to start on your dream job. This 14-year-old boy became the envy of animators when he was hired to work on a scene from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse at a young age.

In a report by The New York Times, Preston Mutanga from Toronto, Canada had the one-of-a-kind opportunity to be a part of the 2023 superhero film when he was given a job as an animator by the filmmakers.

This was after producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were impressed by his work when he had recreated the film’s trailer shot-for-shot using the LEGO style. Mutanga posted the video on his Twitter account back in January, and it has since received nearly 20,000 likes.

As Lord and Miller previously helmed The Lego Movie, another animated flick, the two wanted the 14-year-old prodigy to be a part of their team and subsequently reached out to him.

"We found out that it was a 14-year-old kid who made it and we were like, 'This looks incredibly sophisticated for a nonadult, nonprofessional to have made.' It blew us all away, including some of the best animators in the world," Miller told the news outlet.

Lord added, "The LEGO Movie is inspired by people making films with Lego bricks at home. That's what made us want to make the movie. Then the idea in Spider Verse is that a hero can come from anywhere. And here comes this heroic young person who’s inspired by the movie that was inspired by people like him."

Mutanga, who is currently in high school, shared that his passion for creating animated sequences started when his father introduced him to Blender, a free computer graphics software toolset that is used for creating animated films, visual effects, and motion graphics, among others.

"I watched a lot of YouTube videos to teach myself certain stuff," he recounted.

For Across the Spider-Verse, Mutanga spent several weeks animating the LEGO-style sequence right from his home in Toronto. Miller would check his progress every other week through a video call and provide some detailed input on how he could further improve the scene.

"One new thing I learned was definitely the feedback aspect of it, like how much stuff actually gets changed from the beginning to the final product," Mutanga said.

Now that he has taken his first big step toward his goal of becoming a full-time animator, he can never be more grateful to the people who gave him the opportunity. "I adored the first movie and was so hyped for the second one, so getting to work with the people who actually made this masterpiece was honestly like a dream."

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is currently playing in cinemas in the Philippines. It serves as the sequel to 2018's Into the Spider-Verse and follows Miles Morales, a teenage graffiti artist who became the web-slinging hero of his universe after the death of his reality's Peter Parker.