Backstage at the 2012 Oscars
"What we are trying to do with the 3-D of the movie itself is to basically extend the art form of cinema by using the depth that you get and every shot was designed to take advantage of the depth that we would enhance the model of the story," Legato explained. "So, every shot was literally made to be in 3-D and designed to give you some depth or emotional response from it."
"And there's a lot of science behind it, but we try to take the science and distill it down to something that is so simple that it doesn't interfere with your instinctive creativity, so you can hear Marty [Scorsese] or Dante [Ferretti] or Bob[Richardson], and say what they feel the shot should emote," added Grossmann.
As far as prevailing over the more VFX intensive and hardware-driven Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Legato replied, "Here's a perfect blend and ours does not stick out but assists that and becomes part of the art form that the Academy sort of growing up with the visual effects world, and saying, we are now going to also appreciate the art of what you tried to achieve, what's literally on screen."
But the most fun I had backstage was asking the lone question of William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg about what their Oscar means for continuing to make shorts and apps at their Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana. "I think an atomic joy bomb has just exploded in the northern part of Louisiana and the radioactivity will be of a very instructive and constructive type," Joyce rejoiced.
"And on top of that, our short was to serve two purposes," Oldenburg added. "One: to tell a great story; two: to serve as a calling card for our company, Moonbot Studios. And the whole point was to just try to get the world to recognize what we're capable of in Shreveport, Louisiana, and that there's a level of quality that they can come to expect based on what this short exudes."
"I mean, we have 35 young employees and we're basically surrounded by bayous, and they're incredibly gifted and so from the swampy lands of Louisiana, we have crawled forth with this, and it's lovely to be recognized," Joyce continued. "And we're, I don't know, what? We're going to not sleep for a year or something?"
No way: They've already released their next app, The Numberlys, a reworking of Metropolis for kids, which will then segue into another short and book. "German Expressionism and children I think go really well together," Joyce concluded.
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and editor of VFXWorld. His blog is Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com), he's a regular contributor to Thompson on Hollywood at Indiewire and he's the author of the upcoming James Bond Unmasked (Spies), which chronicles the 50-year evolution of the iconic superspy from Connery to Craig.