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Pixar Animation Studio’s Piper claimed the Oscar for animated short on Sunday, marking the first Academy Award for director Alan Barillaro and producer Marc Sondheimer.
On stage, the pair thanked the Pixar team, including John Lasseter and Ed Catmull.
Initially conceived as a story with which to test developing software, Piper tells the tale of a hungry sandpiper hatchling who ventures from her nest for the first time to dig for food by the shoreline. The only problem is, she’s fearful of the waves.
“When you talk about technology you have to think this is just the art form, this is just the pencil,” said Barillaro backstage. “We ignored the world realism and just went for the artistic choices. A lot of the work was looking at classical paintings.”
Added Sondheimer of the category: “It’s not about one film winning. It’s about about us as colleagues and artists, and celebrating each other’s work.”
Piper topped a field that included Borrowed Time, whose directors Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj are two Pixar animators who made the short as a side project during nights and weekends; Pearl, which was initially conceived for 360-degree video and virtual reality; Blind Vaysha; and Pear Cider and Cigarettes.
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