MARQUETTE - The No. 1 film in the country has a local connection: Its editor is a Marquette native.
Raking in $42.5 million in its first week, "Hotel Transylvania" - an animated film featuring the vocal talents of Adam Sandler, Cee Lo Green and Selena Gomez and many others - was edited by Catherine Apple, a 1981 graduate of Marquette Senior High School.
"Working on this movie was a really rewarding experience," Apple said in an email interview. "The film is funny in a way that'll make kids laugh, yet clever enough for adults to enjoy."
Marquette native Catherine Apple poses in front of an image from the animated film “Hotel Transylvania,” for which she served as editor. Images below are scenes from the film, which was No. 1 at the U.S. box office this past week. (Sony Pictures photos)
The daughter of Mary and Bob Apple of Marquette, Catherine Apple initially felt a spark of interest in entertainment work when she took a radio and TV class with MSHS teacher Shirley Smith.
And although she initially took classes at Northern Michigan University to become a welder, Apple later went to the Minneapolis School of Art and Design. It was there she took a film class that she enjoyed so much, she got into photography and film.
From there, she moved to Los Angeles, earning an internship at Hyperion Studios which led to a job with the animated television show "Life With Louie." That launched her career, with the first feature film she worked on being "Cats Don't Dance" in 1997.
Hit animated films she has worked on include "The Road to El Dorado," "Chicken Little" and "Gnomeo and Juliet."
The new film from Sony Pictures Animation was helmed by Russian-American director Genndy Tartakovsky, beloved for his work on the Cartoon Network's shows like "Dexter's Laboratory," "Samurai Jack" and "Star Wars: Clone Wars."
"Genndy is terrific to work with," Apple said. "He has a great sense of humor that translates well into wonderful visual comedy. He really loves and understands animation. That makes working with him that much more enjoyable and interesting."
As she explained in a February 2011 Mining Journal story about her work on "Gnomeo and Juliet," the animation process has many steps from start to finished film, with the editor part of all phases of work.
"It's quite complicated, what I do," said Apple in a February 2011 telephone interview. "The dialogue comes first in animation and we spend three or four years or more on a film. The editorial department works the whole time, not everyone else does. We work with the idea, the art work, the character design... all aspects."
While she sees a film over and over in the process of working on it, Apple said she enjoys the repeated viewing. One bit in particular in this film made her laugh every time.
"There is recurring moment where Dracula breaks into this very quick big scary roar that gets me every time," Apple said.
With so many talented, funny people part of the film, is there one that stood out for Apple?
"You are right, there are a lot of funny voices in the movie, and it is hard to pick one, but if I have to, the one that stands out to me is Adam Sandler. He brings to his Dracula a full range of emotions, from being funny, to scary, then to tender when he is with his daughter Mavis.
"Jon Lovitz was also particularly funny during the recording sessions and added a lot to his character Quasimodo."
A lifelong fan of the "monster movie" genre, Apple enjoyed working on this particular film.
"I've always loved monster movies, 'Dracula,' 'The Mummy' and of course, 'Young Frankenstein.' It's thrilling to have the opportunity to work on a comedy that played with those characters and their stereotypes."
Apple and her husband, Richard Isanove - an award-winning comic book artist - divide time between Los Angeles and France with their two children, Sophie, 12, and Matthieu, 9. Apple also has an adult son, Kevin, who's 29.
Her next project has been set.
"I am working at Sony in development on one of their new animation projects, 'Kazorn and the Unicorn.'"
And she's thrilled with "Hotel Transylvania's" success.
"It feels great," she said when asked what it's like to be part of the No. 1 film in the country.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.