Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are slowly taking over Hollywood by proving that there is no medium that they can’t excel in. In the past decade they have worked in both television and film and in both animation and live-action for both, helping create hits like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, How I Met Your Mother, and 21 Jump Street. This weekend will see them enter yet another new arena with the release of the stop-motion animation/CGI hybrid The LEGO Movie, and the film may be their best yet.

Last weekend, I took a drive down to LEGOLand in Carlsbad, CA where Warner Bros. was holding a press event for the new movie and where I had the great opportunity to sit down with the two directors one-on-one to talk about both their new movie and both where they’ve come from and where they’ve been. What did I learn in our conversation? Read on to find out!

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Their Careers Started By Failing To Get Work On The Rugrats Movie
Lord and Miller have had quite the strange introduction to the film and television industry. They got their first big break creating the animated MTV series Clone High, worked as co-executive producers and writers on How I Met Your Mother, got their directorial debut making the hit Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and then moved over to R-rated live action to make 21 Jump Street. They’ve forged a unique path that will never be duplicated – and weirdly it all got started when they failed a drawing test while trying to get work together on The Rugrats Movie back in 1998.

Finding no luck in the feature world, they eventually turned to television and began pitching ideas for Saturday morning cartoon shows to Barry Blumberg and the people at Walt Disney Television Animation. And as Lord puts it jokingly, "We’ve just been failing upward ever since."

"We went to Dartmouth," Lord continued. "All our friends became stockbrokers and stuff. I figured, ‘I guess I’ll go to law school or something,’ and here we are. It’s still an option I guess, if this doesn’t do well."

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