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89th Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: Short Film (Animated)

CATEGORY: Short Film (Animated)
SPEECH BY: Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer



Q. Could you tell us, how has your experience been so far, especially since some of your fellow nominees in your category are people you know very well and have worked with before?
A. (Alan Barillaro) It's quite an honor and for those nominees we're so proud to be a part of the --have your name next to those colleagues means everything. It's nice to celebrate short films, and it was nice to celebrate with them this week and definitely share that with them.
A. (Marc Sondheimer) Alan said it well. We have great respect for them and great respect for their work, and it's kind of not about one film winning. It really just is all about like all of us as colleagues and artists and celebrating each other's work. And it's been really fun and a blast to get to know them as well.

Q. Congratulations with the award. Greetings from Bulgaria. Congratulations. What did you think of the THE BLIND VAYSHA?
A. (Marc Sondheimer) THE BLIND VAYSHA was a great film, a very creative film, very original film, and Theodore is an amazing guy and super-talented person, and we've been blessed to actually get to know him. So that's all I can say about that. He's -- actually, at Pixar, we have another Bulgarian artist, Tony Christov, and it's nice to see that Bulgaria gets recognized for all of their great work.
A. (Alan Barillaro) He's the tallest animator I've ever met. And also being Canadian and seeing a film with the National Film Board, that's why I got into animation. So it's a big deal.

Q . Congratulations. Talk about the marriage of the technology you were using in the rendering which made this short film possible.
A. (Alan Barillaro) Sure. I think when you talk technology, you've got to think of this as just the art form. It's just a pencil. So the approach was definitely -- there's a painterly quality that we wanted for this piece, but it was all about the choices. We kind of ignored the word "realism" and just went for the artistic choices. So a lot of the work was looking at classical paintings. That kind of drove me as an artist to push this medium as far as we possibly could in our own little way.

Q. Congratulations on your win. I wanted you to speak a little bit about capturing an accurate anatomy especially with birds of all different -- you know, small baby birds and large birds, they're challenging animals. So I just wondered if you can speak on that.
A. (Alan Barillaro) Sure. I think the challenge as an animator, you first need to understand something before you can animate it. But as a storyteller what I was looking for is for audiences to believe in that character and forget that they're watching animation for a moment. And also as an actor, being an animator, you want to put yourself in that box where you're not sure how to act your way out of. So it's fun to use feathers instead of hands instead of anthropomorphizing things. So it was all of those kind of classical studies of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Honestly, a lot I learned under Andrew Stanton on WALL-E. That gave me the courage to kind of tackle something like this.
A. (Marc Sondheimer) I was just going to add that there's a long tradition from, Disney and John Lasseter is all about research and research, research, research your work. And so that's one of the things that we did. We studied those birds and it really helps.
A. (Alan Barillaro) For three years.
A. (Marc Sondheimer) Three long years.




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