Animation Guild

Winter 2018

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DWA'S NEW SHORT FILM INITIATIVE GAVE ANIMATOR WILLIAM SALAZAR AN UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITY—COMPLETING A 2D PROJECT INSPIRED BY TRIBAL MUSIC HE HEARD 23 YEARS AGO. For the last 15 years, DreamWorks Animation has been known for its cutting-edge CG animated films, so it may seem unexpected that its first employee-directed short is done entirely in 2D animation. Certainly, the director (supervising animator William Salazar) didn't anticipate his concept would be chosen during a short film pitch session held by the company last June. "I was very surprised because it's a 2D movie in a very high-tech CG studio," says Salazar, whose short titled, Bird Karma, debuts this month at the New York International Children's Film Festival. The story follows a bird that is completely content in its life eating gray fish. Then one day a glorious red fish appears and from that day forward, the bird is obsessed with catching the elusive creature. "The theme behind the story is to be happy with what you have or be careful for what you wish for," says Salazar. "What you wish sometimes is not good for you [and] your actions have consequences." The animator started his journey with this particular story 23 years ago, inspired by a piece of Indian tribal music. He animated about a minute and a half of the story then shelved the project when he started working professionally. For the last two decades, he's worked at DreamWorks on both 2D (The Prince of Egypt, Sinbad) and CG (Shark Tale, Kung Fu Panda) projects but he never forgot his short film idea. MUSIC IN MOTION above & opposite page: Stills from Bird Karma, which debuts on Feb. 24th at NYICFF. F I R S T L O O K All stills courtesy of Dreamworks Animation.

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