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Academy Shorts! Screening Celebrates Nominees for Oscar Week

Film lovers celebrated day 1 of "Oscar Week" at the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences by viewing 10 nominated shorts (animated and live action films), this past Tuesday. Academy Governor Jon Bloom, kicked off the event and expressed that it was his 11th year presenting the event. Then Brad Bird, Academy Award winner for The Incredibles and Ratatouille, moderated the panels after the screenings. Directors and producers shared their inspirations, goals and and gave us their behind the scenes perspective.

If you missed it, check out the nominees below:
2011 Animated Shorts - Oscar Nominees
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore 
William Joyce (director) and Brandon Oldenburg(director) 
A man devoted to books discovers books that return the favor. 

   

 Watch the Moonbot Studios' reaction of their Oscar nomination: 



During the panel, Joyce and Oldenburg told the audience that the film was inspired by Hurricane Katrina and that they wanted to experiment with a variety of animation formats. Joyce even joked about how he got involved in the project and how Oldenburg called him out of the blue sounding like a "kid" who could barely give him directions to their offices in Texas.

Dimanche/Sunday
Patrick Doyon (director)
On an ordinary Sunday, a young boy encounters the extraordinary.



During the panel, Doyan said he was inspired to create the film to help illustrate how children keep themselves entertained around adults.

La Luna
Enrico Casarosa (director) 
A boy accompanies his father and grandfather to work, unaware of their unusual occupation.

 

Enrico Casarosa
Casarosa explained to the audience that he wanted to execute the film as a fable and experimented with various textures.

A Morning Stroll
Grant Orchard (director) and Sue Goffe (producer)
A New Yorker and a chicken cross paths on a morning stroll. What we didn't expect to see in this film were zombies.

 

Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
When asked how the story came about, Orchard responded by saying they took a simple story (chicken walking down the street in New York), and imagined a probable set of future events surrounding the plot. Orchard said he asked himself, "Where is that chicken going and why is it walking down the street? Who trained it to open doors?" The audience laughed in response to Orchard's creative process.

We were surprised by the ending and guarantee it's something you would've never expected.

Wild Life 
Amanda Forbis (director) and Wendy Tilby (director)
An English gentlemen tries his hand at ranching in the vast prairies of the Canadian West.



Brad Bird teased Forbis and Tilby asking if they came up with the story idea based on the fact that there's nothing to do in Canada. The audience laughed in response and the team began describing what it's like working with the National Film Board of Canada. The NFB sets such a high standard in film making that they felt the need to work harder, said Forbis and Tilby.

The second half of the event featured Live Action Short films, which took us on an emotional journey ranging from laughter to worry and stress.


The Shore
Terry George (director-producer) and Oorlagh George (producer)
Two boyhood friends from Northern Ireland reunite after 25 years. Trailer:

 


Oorlagh George, daughter of Terry (Hotel Rwanda, In the Name of the Father), told the audience that the film was like a real life home video since her aunt was in charge of the wardrobe and the on-screen ensemble consisted of uncles and aunts. The home featured in the film is currently owned by her relatives.

Tuba Atlantic
Hallvar Witzo (director)
With only six days to live, 70 year-old Oskar wants to reconcile with his brother across the Atlantic. Reaction:

 


Witzo,the charismatic director, described why he made the film and joked that in Norway, "When the king says make a film, you make a film." Tuba Atlantic is based on the story of brotherly love, long distance and acceptance.

Time Freak
Andrew Bowler (director) and Gigi Causey (producer)
A neurotic inventor builds a time machine, then gets lost trying to correct his past mistakes. Trailer:

 


Without a doubt, this short film had the entire theater laughing. Bowler and Causey described how they had a choice to buy an apartment in NYC, but decided to take their funds and create the short film instead. We learned what it was like for Bowler to create the character and how he had to think like a neurotic man. He also described the dinner he had with his cast before filming and how they would not stop asking time travel questions, so many that he Bowler jokingly told them they were no longer allowed to question him about quantum physics.

Pentecost
Peter McDonald (director) and Eimear O'Kane (producer)
An altar boy weighs his performance at Mass against his love of football. Trailer:

 


O'Kane was on hand to talk about how Pentecost was created when Director Peter Mcdonald compared his alter boy experience to that of a major performance, like a high stakes championship sports game or concert.

Raju
Max Zahle (director) and Stefan Gieren (producer) 
A German couple adopts an Indian orphan in Calcutta.




Zahle and Gieren discussed their choice of using film instead of digital media cards to help give their documentary style a gritty feel. For their thesis, they researched adoption and missing children in order to bring the film to life and film Raju

Don't miss out on Oscar week! We'll deliver recaps of all Academy screenings.


For more information, visit:
http://www.oscars.org/events-exhibitions/events/index.html



About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
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