With countless awards and dominance of the box office, it might be fair to say that Pixar could rest on its laurels and churn out hit after hit. But instead, a company with a history of innovation is looking for the next generation of filmmakers…from within its own staff.
The studio has announced the creation of “Pixar SparkShorts,” a series of low-budget animated short films created by studio staff, regardless of what department they work in. They have six months to create a short that tells a personal and unique story. The idea is to share stories from diverse perspectives, from different cultures and ethnicities, and find new talent as the studio moves forward.
SparkShorts’ Production Lead, David Lally, said “We’re giving filmmakers a little bit of time and just a little bit of money, and they can make whatever kind of film they want… We’re actually looking for directors from all over the studio; it doesn’t matter if… you’re in the story department or an animator or a technical person.”
But don’t expect to see Lightning McQueen or Mike Wazowski show up here. In the announcement video, it’s clear that these films will look and feel different from the Pixar films and shorts audiences are familiar with. Lindsey Collins, Pixar’s VP of Development and New Media, said “…That’s why we call them SparkShorts and not just Pixar. We want to discover that new creative spark and it allows us to start thinking about the future storytellers, the future directors, the future producers… Who are they and how do we get a sense of who they are right now?”
The first three shorts in the series will premiere exclusively at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The shorts will follow select screenings of the Disney classic The Little Mermaid from January 18th-24th, before arriving on YouTube in the following weeks.
With stories from fresh perspectives, fans will see Pixar in a brand new way with SparkShorts.