Neil Gaiman is an artistic genius. Now, that’s a lofty term to throw around, and we don’t use it lightly. Gaiman is a writer, graphic novelist a filmmaker, a collaborator… and above all, a storyteller. From the Sandman comics to Coraline to American Gods, Neverwhere, and his work on Doctor Who, Gaiman has created some of this generation’s best works. Often beautiful and dark, always inventive, his stories are a cut above the rest. And now withNeil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously, a new documentary from Patrick Meaney and Jordan Rennert of Respect Films, we get to dive into the man’s life, relationships, and career like we never have before.
The documentary tells Neil’s story in his own words, but also speaks to some of his very talented friends and collaborators, including Bill Hader, Michael Sheen, Lenny Henry, Wil Wheaton, Stoya, JH Williams III, Lev Grossman, Karen Berger, Jill Thompson, Grant Morrison, George R.R. Martin, the late Terry Pratchett, and many more. And in this exclusive clip from the documentary, Gaiman shares the inspiration behind the children’s book that inspired a delightfully macabre stop-motion LAIKA film, Coraline.
Set to beautiful stop-motion animation by Felicia Jade Rein, Gaiman shares that the story came from his daughter, Holly, when she was just four years old. She’d dictate wonderfully weird stories, including one about a little girl (also named Holly) whose mother was not really her mother, and little ghost girls that helped her escape the evil witch. Sound familiar?
Check out the full story in the clip above, and let us know in the comments below what your favorite Neil Gaiman work is!
Neil Gaiman: Dream Dangerously is available for pre-order on Vimeo and will be released on July 8, 2016.
Rachel Heine is the Editor-in-Chief of Nerdist and she absolutely CANNOT decide which Neil Gaiman story is her favorite. Chat with her about Coraline, American Gods, and Neverwhere on Twitter @RachelHeine.