2:58pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
'Ratatouille's' Jan Pinkava to Helm Google Spotlight Stories Virtual Reality Project
Google Spotlight Stories creative director Jan Pinkava — a Pixar alum who won an Oscar for animated short Geri's Game and came up with the concept for and co-directed Ratatouille — is teaming with Pixar alum Mark Oftedal on an experimental virtual reality and 360-degree video project.
It's one of two new Google Spotlight Stories projects that are in the early stages of production. Pinkava and Oftedal's Piggy (working title) is an animated look at a pig who wants to grab a piece of cake. (For Google Spotlight Stories, Pinkava previously helmed Windy Day and Oftedal directed Buggy Night.)
Also now in production is Sonaria (working title), described by Pinkava as a “journey of light and sound,” directed by Scot Stafford and Chromosphere’s Kevin Dart.
The next VR project planned for release by Google Spotlight Stories is the previously announced Son of Jaquar, a Day of the Dead-themed short from The Book of Life helmer Jorge Gutierrez.
The Google Spotlight Stories program involves filmmakers in storytelling with VR and 360-degree video technologies. In January, Google Spotlight Stories' Pearl, directed by Patrick Osborne (Academy Award winner for Disney animated short Feast), became the first short created for VR to be nominated for a best animated short Oscar.