Some answers to some of our popular questions
steet : How did you get the prestigious directing place of the films?
PW : I was just finishing up directing on the Hercules TV series and interviewed for the job.
I don't know who else interviewed for the position but it is usually a question of being a good fit for the show and also being available when they were ready to start. I was very lucky.
steet : What was concretly your job in the production of the Balto sequels?
PW : The script was written before I was hired, so my job was to hire and direct the artists in creating the show.
steet : Were there any deleted scenes? Any interesting changes between the original scripts and the final cuts?
PW : The original Balto 2 script was a little bit longer, so we trimmed some scenes for time, but otherwise it changed very little.
For Balto 3 Kodi do not help rescue his dad in the orginal script. I pitched the idea of Steele being the one who volunteers to go help Balto on the rescue since in the original draft Kodi wouldn't go. I thought it would be interesting for Balto and Steele to be out alone together, you would always be wondering if Steele would betray Balto!
The dog alert was added and the flashbacks to Kodi as a puppy were added in Jenna's song.
The opening song visuals originally told more of the story of Kodi, getting promoted from the dog in the back to the front, and also the opening began with a postman addressing a letter, we follow the letter as it gets sorted, then bagged in a sack, then placed on a sled to get delivered. There are some elements of this in the final. The close up of the letter stamped airmail at the end of the movie was really just a pay off for what was set up in the beginning.
The ice bridge sequence was added too.
steet : What was the real reason for the voice actors change? Low budget?
PW : Budget and availability of certain actors.
steet : Was Aniu meant to be the White Wolf from the original Balto? Was it a new character, or was she already planned by the team working on the original Balto?
PW : Yes, she was the White wolf from the first movie.
steet : Why did Balto eyes turned white in Balto 2?
PW : That was a mistake on the character model. There are so many things to keep track of on a movie production that sometimes the most obvious things get overlooked.
We fixed that in Balto 3!
steet : Does Dusty have a crush on Kodi or Ralph in Balto 3? Many fans say that Dusty looks a lot like Aleu, was it intended?
PW : Well, there was an implied relationship between Dusty and Ralph in one scene.
I'd always hoped we could work on more of that in the story, but there wasn't time.
Yeah, I guess Dusty does look a little bit like Aleu, but it was not intentional.
steet : Do you have any idea about what pushed Universal to make sequels?
PW : No, I'm sorry I don't.
steet : What were the budgets of the sequels? If you're not allowed to tell, was the budget for Balto 3 higher than for Balto 2?
PW : I'm sorry, but I cannot share with you this information.
steet : Maybe you know already, but Universal isn't planning to make another sequel; in answer to our petition, they said that 'not enough people bought the last one to make it attractive to produce another'. What is your feeling about this?
PW : I don't know what the sales figures were exactly. I have some idea, but I don't know what Universal considers enough of a success to warrant a sequel.
I really love the Balto movies, I wish they would make more!
steet : Partly due to that answer, some of us are trying to make a Balto 4...Of course not a whole film, only a trailer of a few minutes, and without any budget. No budget...isn't that what you're trying to do with your current project? So, how does things go? Is it really possible nowadays to make a film with nearly no budget?
PW : Yes, much easier to make a film with no budget nowadays. Cameras are much cheaper, and you can do most of the production work on a home computer.
By the way, we have changed servers, you might have noticed that projectnolight.com is down. If you go to www.projectnolight.org you will be redirected to my company web site, I'm currently reposting the old podcasts.
steet : Thank you very much for answering.