Director Saschka Unseld and Producer Marc Greenberg Talk THE BLUE UMBRELLA, Using Handheld Camera Movements in Animation, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 55 days ago


Though Pixar has certainly earned a reputation for raising the bar in animation with regards to its feature film efforts, the studio also has a knack for producing excellent short films.  With each new feature film release comes a new Pixar short, and this summer’s Monsters University was accompanied in theaters by director Saschka Unseld’s unique and photo-realistic short The Blue Umbrella—certainly one of the more artistically ambitious shorts to come out of Pixar in the studio’s history.  Monsters University will be available on Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, October 29th, and the disc comes loaded with bonus features relating not only to MU but also The Blue Umbrella.  While attending the press day for the Monsters University Blu-ray at Pixar Studios in San Francisco, I had the chance to sit down with Unseld and producer Marc Greenberg, who also serves as Pixar’s Vice President of Finance & Strategy.

During our conversation, Unseld and Greenberg discussed the process of getting their short attached to Monsters University, the thought process behind using handheld camera movements in the animation, the technological experimentation phase of the production, and more.  Watch the video interview after the jump.

New Posters and Clip from Pixar Short THE BLUE UMBRELLA, Part of the MONSTERS UNIVERSITY’s Blu-ray Bonus Features

by     Posted 1 year, 65 days ago


In anticipation of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University being released on Blu-ray October 29th, we have three new posters and a clip from the animated short, The Blue Umbrella, to share with you today.  Seen in the bonus features of the Monsters University Blu-ray, The Blue Umbrella centers on a budding relationship between the title character and another unique umbrella.  The photo-realistic short was directed by Saschka Unseld.  You can read up on our review of the short here, plus check out a couple of interviews with Unseld.

Hit the jump to check out the previously unreleased posters and to watch the clip from The Blue Umbrella.

Director Saschka Unseld Talks Pixar Short THE BLUE UMBRELLA, the Challenge of Creating Photo-Real Animation, the Development Process, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 183 days ago


The Pixar Animation Studios photo-real short The Blue Umbrella, playing with Monsters University, is a beautiful story of two umbrellas, one blue and one red, who fall in love.  During just another evening commute, the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive, to the sound of dripping rain pipes and whistling awnings, while a weather-beaten and wind-blown umbrella tries to reconnect with a passing umbrella that caught its eye.

At the Monsters University press day at Pixar in Emeryville, Calif., The Blue Umbrella director Saschka Unseld talked about where the idea for the short came from, seeing faces in inanimate objects everywhere, how much the story changed throughout the process, how challenging it was to animate the short, how the photo-real technology compares to traditional animation, the process for the music, and who and what his influences are.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Director Saschka Unseld Talks THE BLUE UMBRELLA, His Experience Making the Pixar Short, Bringing Inanimate Objects to Life and Giving Them Personality

by     Posted 1 year, 230 days ago


During our recent set visit to Pixar Animation Studios, we were treated to a special screening of The Blue Umbrella, the short film that will be playing in front of Monsters University when it opens on June 21st.  I was able to sit down with the film’s director Saschka Unseld for a one-on-one interview.  We talked about his learning experience in making the short film, bringing inanimate faces in the cityscape to life, giving each character personality, the use of colors in the film and his favorite creation.  Hit the jump for the full interview.

Our Review of the New Pixar Short THE BLUE UMBRELLA

by     Posted 1 year, 232 days ago


While on our recent set visit to Pixar Animation Studios, we were treated to a special screening of director Saschka Unseld’s animated short film, The Blue Umbrella.  This short will run in front of Pixar’s Monsters University on June 21st.  Like previous Pixar shorts, The Blue Umbrella is absent of dialogue and long on the use of visual and musical cues to elicit an emotional response.  This particular meet cute centers on two boldy-colored umbrellas in the middle of a rainstorm in the city.  If you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes work on The Blue Umbrella, be sure to read up on our interviews with Unseld. Hit the jump for my review and to find out why The Blue Umbrella is unlike any Pixar short you’ve seen before.

Director Saschka Unseld Talks THE BLUE UMBRELLA, Photo-Realistic Animation, Writing a Happy Ending, the Importance of Music in the Piece and Influential Films

by     Posted 1 year, 236 days ago


During our recent set visit to Pixar Animation Studios, we were treated to a special screening of The Blue Umbrella, the short film that will be playing in front of Monsters University when it opens on June 21st.  The film’s director Saschka Unseld took a few moments to joins us for a roundtable interview.  There, he talked about the short film’s photo-realistic animation, his experience working on previous animated films, writing a happy ending versus having an “arthouse film” ending, his cinematic influences, the importance of music in the piece and more.  Hit the jump for the full interview.

35 Things to Know about MONSTERS UNIVERSITY and THE BLUE UMBRELLA from Our Set Visit to Pixar

by     Posted 1 year, 242 days ago


As we stepped onto the campus of Monsters University, we were greeted by the school’s cheerleading squad who were accompanied by the drum section of their marching band.  Music and cheers filled the air as we walked to the center of campus where a huge tailgating party had been set up for the annual homecoming game against Fear Tech.  In the quad, all manner of student organizations were out in force trying to sign us up for the Yearbook Club, the Greek Council and the Art Club (or maybe it was just a guy named Art…).  As soon as we set foot inside the doors to the main hall, we knew we had arrived … at Pixar Animation Studios.

In what was too short a time at Pixar, our group was whisked on a whirlwind behind-the-scenes journey of their latest animated feature (and The Blue Umbrella, the short that will be preceding it in theaters).  Monsters University, the studio’s first prequel, will re-introduce fans of Monsters, Inc. to the college versions of Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman).  Hit the jump for 35 things you need to know about it!


by     Posted 1 year, 311 days ago


We’ve got a number of new posters to share this evening.  Briefly:

  • Fast & Furious 6 – A new character poster for the action sequel focuses on franchise-staple Paul Walker and, of course, a car.  The film opens on May 24th.
  • Epic – A couple of character posters for the upcoming animated film from Blue Sky Studios.  The pic features the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, and Josh Hutcherson.  The film opens in 3D on May 24th.
  • The Blue Umbrella – The debut poster for the gorgeous-looking upcoming Pixar short film.  The pic will be attached to Monsters University on June 21st.
  • Drew: The Man Behind the Poster – The first one-sheet for the documentary chronicling the life and work of renowned poster artist Drew Struzan.
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist – The new one-sheet for Mira Nair’s adaptation of the acclaimed novel.  The film stars Riz Ahmed, Liev Schreiber, and Kiefer Sutherland.

Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses.

Brief Clip from Pixar’s Upcoming Photorealistic Short THE BLUE UMBRELLA

by     Posted 1 year, 350 days ago


Pixar has always been pushing the edge when it comes to photorealism in their movies, but it’s always in the little things you may not notice such as water or a character’s hair.  However, the stunning animation will be difficult to ignore in their upcoming short film, The Blue Umbrella.  A brief clip has been released online, and it’s tough to believe that Pixar didn’t shoot live-action footage and then place animated faces on top of it.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.  The Blue Umbrella will play in front of Monsters University, which opens June 21st.

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