Pixar SparkShorts Directors Discussion
NOW AVAILABLE on the VIEW Conference 2020 On-Demand Portal
NOTE: Watch this session on our VIEW 2020 On-Demand Portal.
Pixar SparkShorts Directors' Discussion
VIEW Conference brings together five directors from Pixar SparkShorts animated short films that are under awards consideration this year:
- Madeline Sharafian (“Burrow”)
- Bobby Alcid Rubio (“Float”)
- Erica Milsom (“Loop”)
- Steven Clay Hunter (“OUT”)
- Edwin Chang (“Wind”)
for a conversation with Dan Sarto of Animation World Network..
Friday, February 26th, 2021
10:00 PST / 6:00pm UK / 19:00 CET
Madeline Sharafian, Director, Burrow
Madeline Sharafian joined Pixar Animation Studios as a story intern in 2013, and returned for a fulltime position in May 2015 as a storyboard artist on the Academy Award®-winning film “Coco.” She also worked as a story lead on Pixar’s feature film “Onward.” Most recently, Sharafian directed “Burrow,” a short film that came out of Pixar’s SparkShorts program. “Burrow” will release on Disney+ on December 25, 2020.
Prior to Pixar, Sharafian worked at Cartoon Network as a storyboard artist and writer on the show “We Bare Bears.” She also created character designs for the pilot episode while she was attending college at CalArts.
Sharafian currently resides in Oakland, California where she was also born and raised.
Bobby Rubio, Director, Float
Bobby Rubio began at Pixar Animation Studios as a story artist in January 2007. Rubio continued his work as a story artist on “Cars 2,” “Monsters University,” “The Good Dinosaur,” and “Incredibles 2.” He also worked on Academy Award®-winning feature films including “Up,” “Brave,” and “Inside Out.” Rubio recently worked on Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning feature “Toy Story 4” and is currently working on an upcoming Pixar film.
In 2019, Bobby’s directorial debut, the Pixar SparkShort “Float” debuted on Disney+.
As a story artist, Rubio is given a script, and his role is to draw all the images that are described. The images are then sent to the animation department to begin the animation process. Rubio will often come up with scenarios for the director to get inspiration for the story, and if the director likes scenarios they eventually make it into the final version of the film.
Raised in San Diego, CA, Rubio graduated from Morse High School before earning his BFA in Animation from the California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS). Before starting at Pixar, Rubio was a comic book artist for his own series “Alcatraz High” and “4 Gun Conclusion,” and also drew covers for several Marvel Comics series. Rubio also worked at Nickelodeon Studios as an assistant director and storyboard artist on the series “Avatar the Last Airbender.” Rubio also worked as a clean-up artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios on “Pocahontas” before moving on to become a ruff inbetweener on movies including “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Hercules,” “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” and “The Emperor's New Groove.” He was then promoted to traditional animator on “Treasure Planet.”
Rubio currently resides in Oakland, CA.
Erica Milsom, Director, Loop
Erica Milsom joined Pixar Animation Studios in October 2002. Milsom is an award-winning writer and director who most recently directed several episodes of the documentary series “Inside Pixar” available on Disney+ beginning November, 2020. “Inside Pixar” is a documentary series of personal and cinematic stories that provide an inside look into the people, artistry, and culture of Pixar Animation Studios. Milsom’s work on “Inside Pixar” was informed by a decade spent directing the behind the scenes documentary content at the studio, a role she assumed in 2006.
As a documentary director at Pixar, Milsom has created hundreds of short pieces about the studios’ filmmaking process, exploring topics ranging from Pixar’s unique approach to character, world and story development, as well the extensive technical innovations made over the years. In this role, Milsom works directly with each film’s director and producer to highlight the ever-changing production process and unique elements that go into creating a Pixar film. She has told the behind-the-scenes stories for every Pixar film since “Cars,” including Academy Award©-winning “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Inside Out,” and “Coco.” She recently completed work on the behind-the-scenes features for the studios’ Winter release “Soul,” coming to Disney+ on December 25, 2020.
Milsom also directed the Pixar SparkShorts film “Loop,” which tells the story of two kids adrift on a lake searching for a way to connect. “Loop” premiered on Disney+ in January, 2020 and was awarded “Best in Show” at the 2020 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival.
Additionally, Milsom has also directed many short “explainer films” and hybrid animation projects for the studio’s educational program “Pixar In A Box,” in partnership with Khan Academy, and content pieces for the exhibition “The Science Behind Pixar.” Milsom’s hybrid animation series, Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs, done in conjunction with NASA, can be seen in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Finally, when the lights go down on her work at Pixar, Milsom makes independent films. In 2017 Milsom’s first fiction film, “So Much Yellow,” a period piece set in the 1960s about a road trip that changed one family’s life forever, hit the festival circuit taking home the Austin Film Festival Audience Award as well as many other awards in festivals across the country. In 2016 her pilot "Diana and The Cake Boys" won the notice of IFP and was included in their Screen Forward Lab and Film Week in New York City. And in 2015, she directed a feature documentary, “Snow Day - Life, Death and Skiing” about a group of senior skiers whose dedication to the sport and their friendship proves that adventure is truly ageless.
Prior to her career at Pixar, Milsom was a program developer and job coach for the Volunteer Center of San Francisco where she worked with adults and youth with disabilities. Prior to that, she worked in non-formal education projects in the Oakland, San Francisco, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nepal. Milsom continues to volunteer with local non-profits that create economic, creative and social opportunities within her community.
Milsom currently resides in Richmond, CA.
Steven Hunter, Director, OUT
Steven Clay Hunter joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1997 and has worked as an animator on a number of Pixar’s most beloved films, including “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and “Finding Nemo.” He was an Animation Supervisor on “The Incredibles,” “WALL•E” and “Brave.” Recently, he helped bring to life the characters Hank from “Finding Dory” and Duke Caboom from “Toy Story 4.” Most recently, Hunter made his directorial debut with the SparkShort “OUT” which release don Disney+ on May 15, 2020.
Prior to coming to Pixar, Hunter worked for Walt Disney Animation on many projects including “Fantasia 2000” and “Hercules.” He first learned computer animation at Industrial Light & Magic on “Casper the Friendly Ghost.”
Hunter studied hand-drawn animation at Sheridan College and currently lives in Oakland, California.
Edwin Chang, Director, Wind
Edwin Chang joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2005 as a global technology intern and has since worked in simulation and crowds on several Academy Award®-winning films such as “Up,” “Inside Out,” and “Coco.” He also worked on theme park attractions including “Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage” and “Toy Story Midway Mania!” Chang was the Simulation Supervisor on “Inside Out” and the Crowds and Simulation Supervisor on “Cars 3.” Chang wrote and directed “Wind,” which is part of Pixar’s SparkShorts program and is currently streaming on Disney+. Most recently, he worked in simulation on “Soul” which will debut on Disney+ on December 25, 2020. Chang is currently the Shot Supervisor on an unannounced Pixar project.
Raised in Hancock Park and Koreatown in Los Angeles, Chang first explored animation and computer graphics in high school. He went on to participate in a summer program in animation at the California Institute for the Arts (CSSSA), and studied computer science and art semiotics at Brown University, leading to his internship with Pixar. After graduating, he returned to Pixar and has been there ever since.
Chang currently resides in Emeryville, CA.