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

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood February 9, 2012 at 10:56AM

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."
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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."

This article is related to: Oscars, Animation, Shorts, Interviews , Academy Awards, Awards, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.