Oscar 2012: Pixar’s Enrico Casarosa and Kevin Reher Talk La Luna
EC: The temp track, we call it Frankenstein stuff, because it’s all pieces of lot of things. But you listen to it so much that it gets stuck in your brain and it’s emotionally doing exactly what you expect. So, it’s an interesting process to then work with a composer that will throw some curve balls into that because he might have a different take on the moment. Michael did so amazingly, he really is a storyteller, he thinks about it, very, very much from the story point. He appreciates the specific emotional descriptions of what a moment should do, and he really captures something that feels like something out of a Fellini movie, which is great.
DS: You made the comment that the heart of Pixar is short film. How does that legacy play a role in how you’re making creative decisions? Do you ever second guess yourself, wondering if this film will belong on the shelf alongside other Oscar nominated and winning films?
EC: I knew I wanted to tell something with a different feel. I was looking at the pressure of the past in a positive way, in a way that I’m going to stand right there, I’m going to be different from that. So, I felt in many ways, [that legacy is] the perfect sandbox to play around in because you have a little bit of pressure, but it’s nothing compared to a feature where I’ve been working for years.
Art and commerce, the meeting of the two, are always competing in production. With these shorts I think that we have this wonderful opportunity to lean on the art side. These shorts don't have to go out there and make millions, you know. So, I really took that as an opportunity to do something different because it’s a smaller sandbox. To me it felt very liberating and I was able to not second guess myself because of that.
In the middle of all that, I felt very thankful of the opportunity of going through that huge learning process. That’s the secondary thing, thinking, wow, I’m learning so much every day. I always say this but, as much as I’ve had great jobs through my career, there has not been such joy as in the last year of production on this short.
It would be Sunday night, I’d be, “Yes! Tomorrow is Monday morning.” That doesn’t happen very often, even at Pixar. But that year, it was so amazing to go back the next day and see another little piece that’s working coming into place. Or if it’s not working, figuring out how to fix it. It was really a joy and I’m very thankful for that opportunity.
KR: I’m glad for the gig. But also, the other thing about these [short film] teams, it may be animators that have never been animating on anything at Pixar, or somebody like a Dan McCoy as the supervising tech, who’s been a Pixar veteran and hasn’t been a supervising tech before, or A.J. Riebli, who was the production manager who got to be a production manager for the first time. We get to try out a lot of different people, stretch them. So, it’s also the team is fun.
EC: And really everybody gets to stretch their legs a little more and have more responsibility, which is what makes the small team so much fun. You know, we were very lucky to kind of…
KR: To get the team.
EC: Yeah. We always talk a lot about dips in production and we did find the best kind of setting, and, thanks to Kevin’s hard work, a lot of those pieces came together at the right time. They don't always. We really got a great team, we were quite lucky.
Dan Sarto is Publisher of Animation World Network.