George Trumbull Miller is a Scottish-born Australian film and television director and producer.
In April 2007, George was recognised for his "creative influence and contributions of innovation and excellence to the Australian film industry" and was awarded a Master of Arts for film and television from the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
Before George's animated film, Happy Feet, had been released throughout the world - there were already an astonishing 18,000 prints of the movie and it had been dubbed into 28 languages.
In less than two weeks, George's tale of an adorable penguin's adventures, Happy Feet, broke the $US100 million ($127 million) box-office barrier.
George: (on his plans to make "Mad Max 4") I have a few projects in the pipeline including an animation ... but I do want to make another Mad Max movie and get stuck back into that. It (the lead) won't be Mel [Gibson]. He was 21 when he made the first one, now he's a lot older and his passion is for film making and directing. I don't think he is into acting and I don't think he would be interested in being involved at all.
George: When I was at medical school, I used to paint and draw a lot, and then I got the opportunity to work with film, where you add the dimension of time. So it was purely formal film-making and suddenly after Mad Max, I thought, 'There's something afoot here', which is narrative. I've spent the last 20 years trying to figure out how to tell a good story. It's still a mystery, but each time you learn a little bit more.
George: (on the environmental message of Happy Feet): It really was the penguins which led us to all of this. You cannot tell the story of the penguins or Antarctica without there being an environmental message, but it didn't start off like that. It started off as a story about how they live together and what happens if someone came along who was different. And then I started to know more and more about Antarctica - we sent two expeditions there - and it's like the canary in the coalmine. It's a very, very delicate ecology.
George: (proud of the fact Happy Feet was made in Australia) It was entirely done in Australia. All done in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, at Fox Studios. I could take the kids to school every day. Except in the last year. The last time I worked that hard was when I was a resident, working 100-hour weeks.
George: One of the things I found about being a doctor was that it was about problem-solving and being analytical, which I really enjoy. I think that's why I'm drawn to eccentric projects. Halfway through every movie I always think: 'I'm crazy to be doing this, why am I trying to make penguins dance?' No one else is trying to do it. But it's always been the case that I'm drawn to analysing the problem, finding out what makes something work or not work and I think I got that from the medical discipline.
George: (on Prince changing the lyrics of "Kiss" for Happy Feet): Just as it was coming to the end, he [Prince] picked up his guitar and started searching for chords and he says, 'In two weeks, I'm going to write you a song for the movie and I don't want any money for it.' And he let us change the lyrics. I asked him why he did it and he said in this very deep voice: 'Mr Miller, I like the story. I thought it was wonderful.'
George: Making films is something I never intended to do. As John Lennon said, life is what happens to you when you're making other plans. I had one set of plans and life took me in another direction.
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