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n n n n Animation S 34 ome short films build around a story arc—a beginning, middle, and end. For others, an interesting character, or perhaps a conflict, drives the concept. Teddy Newton’s stunningly original short “Day&Night,” on the other hand, began as a doodle and grew into a metaphor. “I was drawing a keyhole,” Newton says. “I added a couple eye- balls, and it kind of looked like a guy. I wasn’t creating an animated film. It was just a gag.” A gag until Pixar producer Kevin Reher (“Partly Cloudy,” A Bug’s Life) suggested that Newton pitch a short film. Newton had been a character designer for Pixar’s Oscar-nominated short film “Presto,” Ratatouille, and Te Incredibles, a development artist for Up, and had help write the short “Jack-Jack Attack.” Before joining Pixar, he was a development artist for Osmosis Jones and Te Iron Giant, and co- wrote and co-produced the mock-1950s public education film Te Trouble with Lou. But, he hadn’t yet directed a film. With that oppor- tunity now staring him in the face, Newton remembered the keyhole drawings and thought he might be able to do something with them. “I didn’t have a story,” Newton says. “But, I knew we were in- terested in [stereo] 3D movies. And the idea of looking through a keyhole seemed like a practical idea to pitch in 3D because you’d be looking into a world.” So, the keyhole doodle became a theme. Ten, Newton imagined having two keyholes. “Like looking through binoculars,” he says, “but, with one eye nighttime and the other eye daytime.” When Newton imagined putting two “keyhole” characters side by side, and using them to reveal the different times of day, the theme began to grow into a story. He wasn’t convinced, however, that the characters could do more than provide a window into 3D worlds. “If I set them in motion, there would be so many things to look at, I’d have to be careful where the [audiences’] eyes go,” he says. So, Newton created walk cycles for the hand-drawn characters, put photographs inside the “keyholes,” that is, the inside of the characters’ line drawings, and looked at the result through stereo 3D glasses. “It convinced me,” he says. “I thought the characters August/September 2010 could walk along and reveal what they were walking against. I had an idea that they would meet, and I wanted them to change in a sunset moment in the end.” He turned a few of his ideas into a presentation—Day waking up, Day and Night fighting, and the characters going into the sunset at the end—and pitched his idea. “I showed it to John [Lasseter], and it was the fastest green light to a film at Pixar,” Newton says. “I didn’t even make it through the whole presentation. John said, ‘Well, I guess this is the one we’re going to put on top of Toy Story.’ ” Newton then began coming up with scenes he could use within Day and Night. “Fireworks, a girl on the beach, what- ever,” he says. “We wanted them to be qualities of the character’s inner world. Once I had a couple dozen, I filtered out the best ones, the ones I would showcase and that would catch the other character’s attention.” Normally a short has two sets, not many more. Newton ended up with 18 different CG sets, that is, 18 little CG movies stitched together into backgrounds. “Tat was unprecedented for a Pixar short,” he says. Waking Up Te film begins with Day, waking up. He is a 2D line drawing on a black background. Inside, he has a strip of green on the bottom and blue above—grass and sky. Birds chirp. He stretches, and animated clouds move into the blue sky. He scratch- es, and we hear a cow moo; he bends over, and we hear thunder. He ambles sleepily toward the right, then more hurriedly. And then quickly sits. We hear running water and see water spilling from a water-

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