Additional Concept Art and Interview with The Blue Umbrella Director, Saschka Unseld

The Blue Umbrella Concept Art
Image © Pixar Animation Studios – courtesy of Indiewire

With all the Monsters University news these days, you may accidentally forget about the wonderfully crafted short film, The Blue Umbrella, which will show prior to the MU release on June 21, 2013 (North American release). Well, today brings us a reinvigorated look at the short with some additional details and new concept art

Director, Saschka Unseld recently talked with Bill Desowitz at Indiewire about the short’s photorealistic look as well as the shallow depth of field and dark colors that give the film its signature look. A few of the discussion areas were discussed in our interview with Unseld in early March (read the transcript of our interview here or listen to the full audio interview on episode 007 of our podcast), but there were other insights that Unseld discussed with Indiewire that are really enlightening to the process – oh, and don’t forget the beautiful concept art as well!

The Blue Umbrella Concept Art
Image © Pixar Animation Studios – courtesy of Indiewire

I think the line in the interview that struck me most was when Desowitz says, “The city has a lived-in quality that’s out of the past yet still timeless“. This really hit me because after viewing the short, this is what I felt as well, but wasn’t quite able to put it into words properly.

I also really enjoyed the discussion about the potential of shooting the introduction of the short as live-action rather using computer graphics. “We initially thought about shooting live action,” he explains, “but if you start to go down that road in your head, shutting down a downtown city block with dozens of cars and extras and people with umbrellas and making it rain, and then trying to control that, you don’t want to do that. We built all the shots in the computer and then in editorial we re-recorded shots with a separate camera capture unit for a hand-held look.” This gave the impression of moving through physical space and a sense of weight.

The Blue Umbrella Concept Art
Image © Pixar Animation Studios – courtesy of Indiewire
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