Director James Ford Murphy Talks LAVA, How to Make a Short Film at Pixar, Being Paired with INSIDE OUT, His Contributions to CARS, THE INCREDIBLES and More

     October 15, 2014


Inside Out is Pixar’s next highly anticipated release, but it’s also paired with a brand new Pixar short film that’s a must see, James Ford Murphy’s directorial debut, Lava.  The piece focuses on a lonely volcano out in the middle of the sea who’s just looking for someone to love, or rather, lava.  And it’s no wonder John Lasseter went with the idea when Murphy pitched him three options; for a mere seven-minute piece, Lava is extremely moving and the song is quite catchy, too.

While talking to Murphy about Lava, he broke down the process of how to pitch ideas at Pixar, what it’s like bringing an immobile volcano to life, his thoughts on screening before Inside Out and loads more.  Catch it all in the video interview after the jump.  Lava will hit theaters with Insider Out on June 19, 2015. 

lava-movie-poster-pixar-disneyJames Ford Murphy: 

  • 00:00 – On being a self taught animator and how he scored a job at Pixar.
  • 02:40 – His favorite personal contributions to beloved Pixar films including Cars and The Incredibles.
  • 03:53 – How to turn a volcano into a living, breathing, singing character.
  • 05:52 – Balancing the cartoon-like quality of the animation with the more realistic looking components.
  • 07:12 – The volcano names.
  • 07:25 – Playing the ukulele himself for the film’s soundtrack.
  • 07:37 – How you get the opportunity to make a Pixar short film.
  • 09:11 – Are decisions based on how well the short will suit the feature film it’s paired with?
  • 09:48 – Murphy’s thoughts on screening with Inside Out.
  • 10:35 – His thoughts on making a feature.
  • 12:16 – Collaborating with all the artists working on the short film with him.
  • 14:18 – The story components he had to cut out of the film.




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