Ken Kwapis (b. 1957) is a director and television producer working in the industry since the early 1980s. He has directed an episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (with Blake Lively), and He's Just Not That Into You (with Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Connelly), as well as several episodes of The Office.
In 1985, he directed the first Sesame Street film Follow That Bird. He had just graduated from USC majoring in filmmaking, and had directed some after school specials that caught the attention of some Warner Bros. executives who contacted him about directing the movie. Kwapis cites several films as inspiration for working on Follow That Bird including, Wim Wenders' Kings of the Road, Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest.
Speaking with Babble.com in 2009, Kwapis speaks to the idea of the film being pro-city:
When asked about production and budget, and working on a children's film with the likes of Clint Eastwood's composer (Lennie Niehaus), Peter Greenaway’s photographer (Cinematographer Curtis Clark), and David Cronenberg’s production designer (Art Director Carol Spier):
On directing the Muppets:
- Babble.com March 2009
- "Ken Kwapis Interview. The director of Follow That Bird on how to direct muppets. Babble.com's Five Minute Time Out." by Ada Calhoun, Babble.com, March 27, 2009
- 'Follow That Bird' Turns 30: Director on Jim Henson's Feedback, Difficulty Shooting Muppets by Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, August 4, 2015