Behind every Pixar feature film, short and special there is a cast of writers, directors, and visionaries pitching their ideas to the “brain trust” within the studio walls. While the pitch process is discussed during press junkets, we rarely get the opportunity to view or hear what the original pitched idea was.
Opening a window into Saschka Unseld’s (The Blue Umbrella director) mind, he recently shared with readers of the Rainy City Tales 332 website (UPDATED: Link removed as the website is no longer active) his original pitch to John Lasseter for the short film – word for word. Below is just a snippet from that pitch:
And by catching a gust of wind…he pulls himself free of his owner.
He flies off into the air towards her.
He glides in the wind across the street…slowly getting closer and closer to her.
The city holds it’s breath and the song stops. It gets quiet.
They all watch him, hoping he will make it across the street.
But then the wind changes direction…He tries to fly further by himself.
Be sure to read the full pitch on Rainy City Tales 332, or download it now directly from Walt Disney Studios as a PDF (UPDATED: link removed as it is no longer active). Unseld has also recently shared some exclusive artwork from The Blue Umbrella with the website Indie Wire.
The first photo shows a beautiful cluster of umbrellas to help show a bustling city street during a rainstorm – I wouldn’t want to be walking there!
Another image shows more concept artwork for the many umbrellas that populate the streets as well as the stars of the film, Blue and Red. From the shape to the smile and to the eyes on their face, this unique artwork is what we love about every ‘Art of’ book by Pixar. We’re just hoping that there will be a second The Art of Pixar Short Films book coming out in the future so we can see more of these behind-the-scenes sketches.
One of the other great moments from the Indie Wire article is a behind-the-scenes test video that showcases a ton of original video shot by the crew. You can see Saschka and others walking around the studio hidden underneath a series of umbrellas. We personally loved the moment where they drop umbrellas from upstairs in the studio to the lower floor to test how a falling umbrella moves, sways, and dips as it’s dropped – fascinating stuff! Be sure to watch the video on Indie Wire.