UPSIDE – A Lost Pups Production

UPSIDE – A Lost Pups Production

Amanda Jayapurna, Grad’18, currently attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, was recently involved in the production of an animated short film mentored by members of the famed animation studio Pixar.

Upside is a 3D animated short film about silver linings and finding light in unexpected places. It focuses on environment vignettes of a secluded midwestern town, accompanied with visuals driven by a collaboratively written poem. Each new setting is intended to portray a situation that is scary or beaten down but is then transformed into something beautiful and almost magical after the light source is revealed. Created within a 12 week timeframe from initial concept to finalized stages by a team of nine people, we wanted to pour in as much personality and subtle details as possible!”

“Last summer I was overjoyed at the news that I’d be interning at Pixar Animation Studios—it’s been a dream of mine since childhood! When we got the unfortunate news that the programme was cancelled in order to safely navigate the global pandemic, we didn’t want to lose out on such an incredible opportunity to work together and learn from each other. That’s how we decided to make the best of the situation and continue to collaborate with the help of Pixar mentors who helped guide us through the process during their free time. The project was a reminder to both ourselves and anyone watching to stay positive even in the most difficult situations!”

Staying on a self-made schedule was definitely our biggest challenge working online. Not having the resources of a studio also caused extra delays in production and frustrating technical failures. After a few weeks in however, we were able to get the hang of coming up with makeshift solutions for these various issues, and one of our team members even coded a desktop application that would act as a visual UI “storage server” to transfer files! Even though we couldn’t be together in person, our group ended up meeting on zoom calls more often for fun than for work discussions and it really felt like I was experiencing the real thing.”

“Probably the biggest takeaway from this experience was learning the importance of taking a break (a real one). There is a lot of internal pressure to be super productive that comes with having extra time during this pandemic, and sometimes just squeezing in small breaks here and there still wasn’t sustainable. Our mentors encouraged us to periodically take full days off to just relax, go on a hike or literally do nothing for a bit and those structured breaks really helped us come back with more energy and a clear headspace to continue on!”

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