Lava: A Behind-the-Scenes Short Film Documentary

Pixar Lava behind the scenes

Alongside the June 19, 2015 release of Pixar’s next feature film, Inside Out, theatergoers will also see the release of Lava, the volcanic short film wrapped around a love story. Director James Ford Murphy, joined by producer Andrea Warren and singer/narrator Kuana Torres Kahele sat down to discuss the journey of Lava – from the pitching process with John Lasseter, to the studio premiere luau.

UPDATED: The video has since been removed, but a quote is listed below.

Murphy isn’t one to shy away from his love for Hawaii, the setting of the short, and the inspiration of the music that plays throughout the film. In fact, it seems that Lava has been decades in the making as his fondness for the island state stems back from when he was a child listening to Elvis Presley (who likewise shared a passion for the state). Speaking of music, during the video Murphy describes when he heard the rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole and how his emotions from hearing the song helped guide him in the direction towards Lava as he began thinking of short film ideas.

Lava Napkin Drawing

“What if I could write a song that made me feel the way that song did (Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel ‘IZ’ Kamakawiwo’ole) and all these things kinda stemmed together and just turned into this wonderful journey to finding this film. I remember sitting down at my kitchen table just starting to think about this idea and I drew it on a napkin – a volcano with a face on it and I just wrote the line ‘I Lava U’…and that was the moment where I thought there’s a story there. I have that napkin drawing that really became the seed of the idea and the seed of the inspiration of learning the ukulele.” — James Ford Murphy

In addition, the 7-minute video highlights beautiful new footage including a first look at Lele, the female volcano, and a wonderful slow-pan of several storyboards from the film. Be sure to also notice the gorgeous ultra-realistic-looking landscapes at the beginning of the video. Share your thoughts regarding Lava with other Pixar fans in the Pixar Post Forum.

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