Episode #2 of our “Spotlight on…” series gets up close and personal with Jon Klassen, production designer of both Windy Day and Buggy Night. Watch now to dig into the challenges of going from writing and illustrating Caledcott-winning books to designing for a new mobile experience.

Want to get to know the makers of Buggy Night? On March 11, they’ll be hosting a Google Hangout, where they talking about making Buggy Night and answer your questions about Spotlight Stories. Join us!

Little Screens on the Big Stage

Sundance Film Festival is a celebration of independent filmmakers and their big screen premieres. But this year, we also brought a premiere — for the small screen. Along with our legendary animators, Jan Pinkava and Glen Keane, Regina gave a sneak peek of the second Spotlight Story at the Moto X Lounge. In interactive panel sessions, the three spoke about the joys, challenges and future of Spotlight Stories and mobile storytelling. Because at the end of the day, Spotlight Stories isn’t so different from Sundance; it’s a film festival. Just in your pocket.

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Producer Karen Dufilho-Rosen Recaps Windy Day

When we started the project that became Windy Day, we didn’t know we’d be making a moonshot-augmented-cartoon-virtual-interactive-storydriven-immersive-hybrid-narrative piece of entertainment. We were under the spell of Regina Dugan and elated by Jan Pinkava’s invitation. Anything was possible. But we had to build it.

Baback Elmieh’s team had already developed some serious tech as a foundation, and Jan quickly saw the potential of a new canvas for storytelling. It was an exciting intersection. Einstein says if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. We were about to test that out.

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We reached out to Doug Sweetland, another former Pixar collegue, then Mark Oftedal, Jon Klassen and Tadahiro Uesugi. Their credit list is mighty. But production miracles do happen, and they all said yes. But the building was only just beginning. We needed modelers, riggers, animators, painters. We wanted the best, and we needed them now. And by the way, we’d also need: office space, chairs, desks, machines, software, 3 visas, a Japanese translator, 12 pallets of foamcore, and enough DayQuil and Airborne once the flu broke out amongst us.

I started referring to it as my Animation Pop Up. We gathered this stellar line up within a couple of weeks. They would contribute throughout the production from Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, Valencia, Copenhagen, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Marin and points in between. We moved between Portland and Sunnyvale for 3 months, oftentimes schlepping beautiful artwork and epic sized excel documents in our carry-ons. We tested the boundaries of Google drive and maxed out our Go To Meeting trial memberships. Ultimately, we got that rare opportunity…. to do what we’d never done, though not solely for the screen but as a team, even if a bit pixelated.

- Karen