April 24, 2006

TOUCHSTONES

A long time ago now, my friends Matt, Dani and James and I became aware of a credit on Michael Giacchino's online resume--something for PIXAR called ONE MAN BAND. Now this was pretty exciting, as rumors had been floating about that the studio had secretly begun working on 2D projects, and that Brad Bird was possibly at the helm. This made complete sense of course--who was a one man band more than Brad Bird?

When the Incredibles came out however, it replaced OMB on the resume. Well, it was a code name, we decided--like Blue Harvest for Return of the Jedi. Many months passed, and this information all but slipped out of my head, until I was at a point where I really felt like I needed a kicker of an idea--I had a bunch of projects in 'development' but I was searching for something... sort of inevitable feeling. What a perfect idea!, I thought. It's evocative, and perfect for animation, it's classic in its appeal and could be handled well as a tribute of sorts. If Pixar wasn't going to make it, I was going to--or at least I'd do the preproduction.

What appealed to me about the OMB idea at first was how perfect it was for animation. If this had been Disney 1953, I imagine Ward Kimball, Tom Oreb and the Toot Whistle Plunk & Boom crew would have really done well with this. Toot Whistle became my model film, and style/tone reference, and Ward Kimball's dixieland revival band, The Firehouse Five Plus Two quickly became my source of music. (They also, if you hadn't figured it out, influenced the name of my blog!)





Anyway, writing was a very long, back and forth process between writing independently, trying to match the music I was unofficially adapting, and storyboarding the ideas as they came--but more on that later.

It was a number of months into the production of my film before I found out that the Pixar one was real. No Brad Bird, but Andrew Jimenez and Mark Andrews and Osnat Shurer. I was pretty nervous at first about what that meant, but our ideas proved to be very different. I did eventually get to see a clip at the Moma Michael Giacchino / Gary Rydstrom lecture this winter in New York, and it looks pretty cool I must say.

Here's links to PIXAR's ONE MAN BAND and composer MICHAEL GIACCHINO.