Last weekend Patrick Osborne finally got the recognition he deserved for the years of hard-work and dedication he put in to become one of the best animators in the business.
His short film, Feast, a six-minute short film chronicling a man’s love life through the endless appetite of his pup, Winston, won an Oscar for 'Best Animated Short'.
Watch Osborne's short film, Feast, below!
Now, in a truly outstanding interview with MTV.com, the award winning director gave aspiring animators some fantastic (and practical) advice!
Take a look below.
1. Build a strong support system
“I always liked to draw... My dad was a toy designer for Kenner — like ‘Star Wars’ toys and Care Bears and ‘Strawberry Shortcake,’ stuff like that — in the ’80s, and I used to draw with him. My parents encouraged it, which is the first step, just having support from people who don’t think it’s weird and crazy that you like to draw.”
2. Stop time-wasting, start drawing!
“The biggest thing in the way is someone’s willingness to just start,”
“With any creative project, once you start writing something down, there’s something to tell people and read back to people and try to get help. It becomes real. Just starting is the hardest part. That’s even hard advice to take, yourself. Because it’s easier to sit and do nothing than to actually put an idea down on paper. But once you have something — something that inspires you — you can expand on it.”
3. Know your idea inside and out
“For ‘Feast,’ the heart of it was I thought it would be cool to tell a story through dinners. I had this idea that a meal a single guy eats looks a bit different than when he’s on a first date and trying really hard. Then, when you’re comfortable in a relationship your meals kind of change, and when you get dumped, they look different. And there was no dog in it at that time. I didn’t even think it would be animated. I thought maybe it was a live-action indie film I could make one day.”
“[But] When I started drawing pictures of those meals, I noticed there was always this space around the table. I thought it would be cute to put a dog under the table, and maybe it would fit into what Disney might do. So I thought about it, and every once in a while, I’d revisit this idea. I was already working on ‘Big Hero 6′ as one of the heads of animation at the time, so even though I was busy with that, it’s good to have things in the background bubbling that might turn into something later if you find some sort of human connection for them.”
4. Never give up!
“You have to remember, and I heard Ira Glass say this, that your taste is going to be better than your ability for awhile. Don’t give up because you’re not living up to what you think is good yet. As you practice — drawing takes a lot of practice — you will get better at doing it. So don’t let the distance between what you think is good and your ability stop you at first. If you have a passion for something, I think most people can put their minds to it and get there.”
5. It’s all about the pitch!
“You don’t want to put all of your ideas into one basket... “Because we’re in an environment where someone like John Lasseter doesn’t know you personally, it’s good to pitch to him a broad representation of yourself or to whoever it is you are asking for the time to making something from,”
“You want to make sure there’s a personal connection to the story.”
6. Surround yourself with the most talented people you can find!
“Animation is still very collaborative, you can’t really do it by yourself because it takes so much time.”
“The limit is always going to be how many people can you get to help out with whatever this project is — and whether that’s by creating a Kickstarter, raising money and paying them or actually being so good at your pitch that people do not want to do anything but help you,”
“It’s one of those two angles for people getting into animation. The reason a studio works so well is because you can pool a bunch of talent together to collaborate on one thing and reward everybody for it.”
7. But don't get too attached to them
When Osborne left his role on “Big Hero 6″ to work on “Feast”, he was faced with the prospect of building a brand new team, with nobody who he had worked with previously.
“It was a little bit of a weird thing because I had just brought on a lot of the people I admired and liked to work with for ‘Big Hero,’ and then ‘Feast’ was greenlit, so I had to leave ‘Big Hero,’”
“Those were all of the people I liked to work with! But Disney is full of talent, so it wasn’t had to assemble a new team, people who were really excited by this idea. And those are the kind of people you want on your team.”
8. Work on your style!
“It’s not a requirement, but there is a pressure you feel that [the film] has to be unique in some way, visually,”
“With ‘Feast,’ I wanted to push this idea of 3D animation looking graphic and designed and simple in shape, instead of realistic. I think it should feel like a real world, and pull you in, but it doesn’t have to look real.”
9. Above all, have fun!
If it's no fun to make, it'll be no fun to watch.
“We had Feast Fridays every week,”
“We’d eat one of the foods and play with it, throw it on the floor and stuff. And we’d throw a little party and show everyone’s work from the week. We ate everything in the film, too. The carrots and celery days were less popular than the waffle days. I don’t know why!”