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But will Pixar hire local talent?

It goes without saying that the local actors union must be wetting its pants with the anticipation of work for its members now that it's out that Pixar, the makers of the Cannes Film Festival opening film UP, are studio-shopping in Vancouver.

Pixar has put a premium on hiring local talent. If by 'talent' they mean receptionists, IT guys and accountants, that'll be very disappointing. I would hazard a guess that the suits at the National Film Board of Canada's animation programs are already setting up meetings. Be interesting to be a fly on the wall when those two power houses start comparing trophies.

It's no surprise that Pixar has moved up north, what with global warming, Canada is now no colder than San Francisco and besides, we have tax credits - and a truly enviable talent base.

Studio GM Amir Nasrabadi is looking for a 20,000 square-foot space in the downtown core so that they can continue generating award winning international short film hits like PRESTO, FOR THE BIRDS and LIFTED.

Short film geeks (present company included - blush) will know that Pixar kicked it all off in 1986 with LUXO JR. aka The Lamp. That 2 minute animated short showed off the emotion that Pixar could create through computer generated animation. It was a far cry from the painted animation of Disney's studios and rose the possibility of animation to a whole new level.

The studio used Luxo Jr as its icon and inspiration as it moved on to create feature films like TOY STORY, A BUG'S LIFE, MONSTERS INC, FINDING NEMO, RATATOUILLE and WALL-E.Among the dust bin of their awards attic are a multitude of Oscars.

Short films, as readers to The Shorts Report blog already know, offer a multitude of opportunities for discovering talent, building partnerships and generating income internationally.

Pixar has handled this brilliantly. The short animation films at Pixar offer the company - which merged with Disney 3 years ago - a chance to test out new characters, storylines and new talent. With a short film taking up to a year to make and employing anywhere from 20 to 75 people, you really do get to see what each team member is made of.

The Pixar studio in Vancouver is looking to hire up to 100 Canadians and are planning to be up and running by the fall.


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