While we can’t wait for the release of Monsters University in theaters this summer, we’re also incredibly excited for the Pixar Short that will air before it, The Blue Umbrella. This week, a new interview with filmmaker Saschka Unseld and IndieWire.com brought us some new information about the innovative short, as well as some new pieces of concept art.
The Blue Umbrella tells the story of two umbrellas — one red, one blue — who fall in love on a rainy night. The short is incredibly innovative in that it uses a photorealistic style that is new to animation, making the CGI animation look as if the film were live-action. About the decision to animate the story over shooting it live, Unseld commented to Indie Wire’s Animation Scoop blog:
“We initially thought about shooting live action, but if you start to go down that road in your head, shutting down a downtown city block with dozens of cars and extras and people with umbrellas and making it rain, and then trying to control that, you don’t want to do that. We built all the shots in the computer and then in editorial we re-recorded shots with a separate camera capture unit for a hand-held look.”
In addition to the two lead umbrellas, The Blue Umbrella will also bring the city itself to life, and this animation was a challenging part of the short’s production. Unseld explains:
“Finding faces above height was important to get the vantage point of the umbrellas and not having them all be buildings and windows. That was too easy. Which characters fit with the right moment and where do they need to be physically so that it’s believable when they help the blue umbrella after it crashes?”
There’s clearly a lot to look forward to in this innovative yet simple short. When asked about his favorite moments in the film, Unseld replied:
“I love the first drops hitting the ground, so quiet and calm. And the two of them meeting, when they look at each other and we cut back and forth and settle on a wide shot, is ridiculously long, at least 15 seconds. It might be one of the longest shots ever animated here.”
Check out some of the beautiful concept art for this highly-anticipated short below. The Blue Umbrella will debut in theaters with Monsters University on June 21, 2013.