Talking Shorts with the Oscar Nominees

I recently chatted with the Oscar nominees for Feral (Daniel Sousa), the Annie-winning Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan), Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz), Possessions (Shuhei Morita), and Room on the Broom (Max Lang). We discussed personal connections and challenges. Interestingly, all five of the films explore the theme of adjusting to change in our lives.

Talk about what Feral means to you personally about human nature.

Feral is a film that took a very long time to make, since I mostly worked on it in my spare time over the course of five years. It was also a very difficult film to make and challenged me in many ways, both technically and personally. There were a lot of late nights, a lot of dead ends, and a lot of times when I thought that none of it was worth-while. Because of that, it encapsulated a whole chapter of my life that I can now look back on with clarity and feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. It’s very rewarding that it’s been recognized as much as it has been, not just by the Oscar nomination, but also through its festival life leading up to the nomination.

What’s been the great takeaway for you with Get a Horse!?

It seems like in a way I’ve come full circle. I loved this kind of animation and left it for prime time TV for many years and then got involved in features. This goes right to the heart of what I love about animation to begin with. And to utilize so many aspects of Disney’s ability is pretty great. I don’t think they could’ve made this short five years ago. It’s a real interesting time in animation where live-action and animation are merging and we’ve actually merged two types of animation and use 3-D. It’s exciting that there are all these stories you couldn’t tell before.

Talk about Mr. Hublot, who lives alone in his apartment and is afraid of change.

This is a slice of life for Mr. Hublot. Nothing important happens in his life until the dog [Robo Pet] comes. There is no enormous message but he has to make a choice when the dog grows too big: So he has to change something: Is it the dog or is it the house? It is the silent movie and it is difficult for animators to put emotion when there is no dialog, so I decided to put the internal voice in the storyboards. We recorded my voice and Mr. Hublot is speaking what he’s thinking. For example, when Mr. Hublot was near the window with the dog and has OCD, I said, “A dog…what, what what is a dog?” And this helped with the timing.

Read the rest at Animation Scoop/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, Oscar, previs, Shorts, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production

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