Pixar's Sharon Calahan on Animation, Live Action Convergence

Sharon Calahan - P 2014
Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios’ Sharon Calahan is set to attend Saturday's American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards as one of the Society's newest members. It’s believed that she is the first member to be elected based solely on work in animation.

"It’s an incredible honor to be part of such an amazing organization,” said Calahan, who joined Pixar in 1994 as lighting supervisor on Toy Story.  She went on to serve as director of photography on A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Cars 2, and Ratatouille. Earlier, she was a lighting director at Pacific Data Images (now PDI/DreamWorks), completing commercials, television programs, and graphics packages.

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Speaking of the blurring of the lines between animation and live action photography, she told The Hollywood Reporter, "We have always tried to approach (animated) filmmaking by learning from those who have gone before us in animation, and also heavily from the live action world. In a 3D environment we can move a camera like we can move it in the real world, and position light in physical space more like we can in the real world."

“Especially in the last few years, technology is less of a hindrance and allows us to focus more of filmmaking,” she added. “It’s still in its infancy.”

E-mail: Carolyn.Giardina@THR.com
Twitter: @CGinLA