DreamWorks Animation Drops Trailer to Annecy’s ‘To: Gerard’ Trailer – Variety


DreamWorks Animation has dropped a primary trailer to “To: Gerard,” from writer-director Taylor Meacham, a brief characteristic parable in regards to the sense of magic {that a} guardian or parental determine can spark in an dazzled youngster, nonetheless enchanting them 60 years on – and prompting them to encourage others.

Having been chosen for this yr’s Tribeca Pageant, “To: Gerard” will have fun its European premiere at France’s Annecy Pageant, which runs June 15-30.

Within the brief movie, Gerard, now set in his years, remembers again to when, as a tongue-tied youngster, he met The Nice Volonti, who dazzled him on stage along with his sleight of hand as he juggled a gold coin between one hand and the opposite.

“Possibly there shall be a time when you may create a bit magic of you personal,” The Nice Volonti says. earlier than presenting the little Gerard with the coin.

That simply hasn’t occurred. Gerard has labored all his life in a humble postal workplace, sending envelopes flying into pigeon holes with the identical easy dexterity he brings to repeating Volinto sleight of hand along with his cherished coin. However he has by no means had an opportunity to dazzle others – till a bit woman wanders into his publish room.

A homage to Meacham’s father, “To: Gerard” mixes the greatness of Hollywood – its capability to transfer audiences conveying life’s central verities – how, even 60, 70 years on, we stay formed, possibly outlined, by our dad and mom, or parental figures – with an aesthetic that drinks deep on the effectively of French 2D animation or Hayao Mayasaki in its retro element – Gerard’s pea-green cap, the steam-punk workplace tubing, a mahogany tape report, pencils – and pastel tones, aqueous blue backgrounds, and delicate play of sunshine. That turns a movie which talks about inspiration into its personal instance.

Variety talked to Meacham – in a heartfelt dialog about parental inspiration – and to DreamWorks Animation’s Jeff Hermann, who developed its shorts program which takes in “Chicken Karma,” “Bilby,” “Marooned,· a standout eventually yr’s Annecy, and now “To: Gerard.”

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To: Gerard
DreamWorks Animation

What’s the attraction of those shorts for you past making a small gem? What occurs to them as soon as they’re completed?

Hermann: There are some things. With some we strive to push the boundaries of inventive kinds we might discover, some to discover totally different know-how purposes or platforms we’re implementing on the studio to present a testing floor for our crew. However extra importantly, and particularly within the case with Taylor, it’s to acknowledge untapped expertise and to see the place there was potential in individuals we would not have seen in any other case and craft and mildew our subsequent technology of filmmakers.

How do you discover that hidden expertise in your groups?

Hermann: Taylor was a manufacturing coordinator on the time who bought to pitch his personal concept after which really direct his personal brief, which is fairly exceptional for somebody that younger and from that a part of the studio, from manufacturing help, and was enormous and provoking to all of us. It allowed us to see the untapped expertise round us that in any other case wouldn’t have been acknowledged at the moment.

There are robust European and particularly French influences within the look of this movie. How did the movie’s historically impressed 3D aesthetic come about?

Hermann: There are numerous individuals on the studio who hail from a standard 2D background and are impressed by European kinds of animation. DreamWorks has had a powerful contingent of French artists working on the studio. One is our character designer Nicolas Marlet, who did the character designs for the brief. I believe one in all DreamWorks Animation’s stronger fits is that the look of our initiatives very a lot embraces each ends of the spectrum: Not simply 3D tech, however the roots of what animation is, which is gorgeous inventive expression.

Meacham: And it’s a little bit of a fairy story. I believe a variety of the fashion inspiration and the animation fashion got here from the artists onboard. Nico is a improbable designer and a great pal who can also be deeply enthusiastic about magic, actually he’s a member of L.A.’s Magic Fortress. Our head character animator Pierre Perifel is French, and people two introduced a variety of their sensibilities to the fashion. Nico is a improbable designer who can also be deeply enthusiastic about magic.  Early on our manufacturing designer, Raymond [Zibach] needed to take the design language Nico used with creating Gerard and Jules and incorporate them into the aesthetic of the setting. I believe it actually enhances the story’s fairy story feeling. That melding of favor, together with what our head character animator, Pierre Perifel introduced, I believe, actually contributes to the European and French affect you might be seeing.

Though Gerard and the woman will not be associated, that sense of inspiration and pleasure in childhood is clearly one thing which many audiences would really feel about their very own dad and mom. It’s a legacy that lasts for all times in kids once they change into adults.

Hermann: That’s nice you acknowledged that. That’s a top quality Taylor needed to imbue in each characters, notably in Gerard that’s his worldview, although he didn’t get to fulfill his life’s dream, he carried on the spark and inspiration of these qualities and located a second to share them with a kindred spirit within the younger woman, not figuring out how he was going to affect her life: He was simply excited to share his ardour for magic in on a regular basis life. For her to then fulfill that dream on her personal and in flip carry him again to have fun him for having impressed her -that’s the reward in storytelling we discover so satisfying and hope it touches individuals the way in which it touched us.

Meacham: I believe it’s nice for anybody to learn into the parental dynamic since that’s the place it began for me. The movie is, in a really actual sense, about passing that baton and does contact on a message that’s common, no matter household. Like Gerard, I’ve noticed that on this business the individuals I get pleasure from studying from essentially the most, regardless of how lengthy they’ve been in it, nonetheless have that spark of pleasure and pleasure for all times.  simply being alive to be sincere. Simply to be part of no matter they’re doing. My dad may be very very similar to that. And past the inspiration from my father, this was a singular alternative to put as a lot of my influences as I probably may into the venture. I believe that helped the story be not so immediately a few father and the connection to their youngster, and maintain that common sense.

The place do you go from right here Taylor? Is there a characteristic in your future?

Meacham: I’ve undoubtedly invested a variety of time and a focus on concepts and getting ready. Luck favors the ready in some ways. DreamWorks Animation has been extremely supportive by way of the entire thing, and I’m not shy with them about what I’d like to do!

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To: Gerard
DreamWorks Animation


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