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Oscar Watch: Director Patrick Doyon Talks Animated Short “Sunday”

Oscar Watch: Director Patrick Doyon Talks Animated Short "Sunday"

Title of film: “Sunday/Dimanche”

Country of origin: Canada

Director: Patrick Doyon

What it feels like to be going to the Oscars: “It’s surreal.  I didn’t expect it to happen when I was making the film—I just wanted it to be the best it could be.  The Oscar nomination is like the cherry on the sundae.”

Animation process: “I draw everything on paper, and then every drawing is scanned and colored by computer.  I do all the drawing, but I receive help on the coloring. There are no special effects at all, even the snow at the end of the movie.”

On being a one-man team: “I really like to work alone.  I’m a very independent-minded guy.  So I had a storyboard at the beginning of the process and it was evolving, but I didn’t have to ask anyone’s questions about it.  So I just animated.”

Funding: Doyon participated in the National Film Board of Canada’s Hothouse program, a 12-week paid animation apprenticeship for burgeoning Canadian filmmakers.  The NFB gave him a grant to produce “Sunday,” his first professional film.

The most challenging aspect of making the film: “Finding the design for the universe and a good design for the boy.  I didn’t like the way I’d done the boy at the beginning of production, so I did some research and revised it, and then adapted everything around him.” 

On the look and feel of the film: “I didn’t want to make a realistic universe or a biographical film.  It’s based on the memory of my childhood, but it’s very exaggerated.”

Inspiration: “I lived in a small village where there was a train track running through the middle.  I used to put coins on the tracks and see what would happen.”

What the future holds: “Right now I’m doing illustration for a children’s book, because I like to alternate between illustration and animation projects.  I’m also working on a new script for an animated short.  Right now, I don’t want to work on the same thing—it’s easier for me to go back and forth.  For my next animation project, I want to look at the boy from Sunday with his father and grandfather, but not necessarily with the same characters as this one.  But I want to explore the link between generations.”

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