Interview with Patrick Osborne, Director of “Pearl” (Oscar Nominee 2017)
SFC – Can you tell us about the background of ‘Pearl’, how did you come up with this idea?
PO – PEARL is the story of things that are passed on from generation to generation, both physical and ephemeral. My dad gave me my first car as well as many other tangible gifts throughout my childhood, but in hindsight, the value of those gifts pale in comparison to the love of drawing that he passed to me. That love of drawing has made my career as an animator possible and given me so much joy I felt compelled to make something to honor the gifts our parents give to us… That and the fact that I could use the opportunity to make a sort of road trip folk musical… I kind of always wanted to make one of those.
SFC – Through this beautiful father and daughter story, you seem to be revisiting the road movie but inside a car?
PO – I’m a huge fan of road trip movies and thought this story was perfect for making my version of one. As early as the first conversation I had about this story I spoke of it as a road trip folk musical. I’m happy that idea made it all the way through to the finished film
SFC – ‘Pearl’ is also a tribute to parents in general?
PO – At the center of the story is an appreciation of everything that our parents give to us, the tangible, cars… guitars… and the intangible, passions, hobbies, talent, taste. It’s a thank you to my dad for spending time drawing with me as a kid, and building a love of drawing in me. That love has led to an amazing career that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
SFC – ‘Pearl’ is viewable on YouTube/360 Google? Can you tell us a little more about it? And what is your online strategy?
PO – From an artists perspective I find it really cool to be able to tell the same story in several formats simultaneously. We alternated working on one version for a few weeks and then switching over to the other for a few weeks. This led to an interesting cross pollination of ideas. VR would inspire an idea in the film version and visa versa. It is rare that you get to see the same story as VR and as a film and there is so much to learn by watching both.
SFC – Could you say anything about today’s animation film industry? How do you see virtual reality evolving in the film industry?
PO – VR is different than film and I don’t see it completely replacing the cinema experience. Sitting somewhere between a game and a movie it is simply an exciting way to experience a story and will surely bring rich immersive stories into all of our lives.
Watch Pearl Now!