Shane Acker at Skywalker Ranch. © AWN Inc.
For young animators, no story from last year’s Oscars was more inspiring than Shane Acker’s tale. His student film, 9, not only earned him an Academy Award nomination, but a feature production deal at Focus Features with Tim Burton and Night Watch director Timur Bekmambetov producing. The feature is now in production at Luxembourg-based Attitude Studios and the voice cast includes Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau. I really enjoyed 9 and I look forward to seeing the feature, which looks to be something potential unique in the world of 3D animation. As for his Oscar experience, this is what the talented young animator had to say:
I had a great time this time last year. It was great meeting and traveling with the other nominees. We all had such unique films and approaches to animation; it was great to learn from each other’s experiences and to cross-pollinate ideas. Most memorable for me was our trip to San Francisco. I stayed in the Frank Lloyd Wright room at Skywalker Ranch, which was a blast for me because of my background in architecture. In the morning, by coincidence, we all had breakfast with Chris Wedge who was there working on Ice Age 2. How cool is that? Later that day we screened at Pixar and had lunch with most of their directors, which was a rare and unforgettable experience. By the time the week was over we had all become friends, which really took the edge off Oscar Night. I could just relax with my fellow nominees and enjoy the show.