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Podcast: Oscar-winning director Patrick Osborne on ‘Pearl’ (Google Spotlight Stories)

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In our first proper podcast of 2017 we’re delighted to welcome back Patrick Osborne, the Academy Award®-winning director of Disney’s Feast, discussing his contribution to Google ATAP’s Spotlight Stories series Pearl. Following on from previous entries such as Glen Keane’s Duet, Shannon Tindle’s On Ice and Tim Ruffle/Aardman’s Special Delivery, the film marked a technological leap forward for the ongoing series, boasting the most shots, sets and characters on top of an interactive soundscape and custom lighting effects.

As with other films in the series, the viewer is placed in the midst of the action and can observe the story play out around them. For this music-oriented entry Patrick has succeeded in incorporating jump-cuts, a potentially-jarring filmic device that, in its execution, works very effectively from the viewer’s vantage point. In Pearl we are an unseen ‘passenger’ observing the life and times of a single father and his daughter traveling across the country, to tell a story ‘about the gifts we hand down, their power to carry love…and finding grace in the unlikeliest of places’.

Since its release last year the film has gone on to receive multiple Annie Award nominations and be shortlisted for the 2017 Best Animated Short Oscar nominations, a first for a 360 VR film.

Also discussed in this episode: Nominations for – and conspicuous absences from – the animation categories at the 2017 BAFTAs, anticipation of new Rick and Morty and how certain feature films set out to insult their audience’s intelligence. Stream below or download on Souncloud:

You can also learn about the music created for Pearl in our recent interview with Pollen Music Group in our podcast special Animation Composed:

To learn more about Google Spotlight Stories visit the official site.
See more from director Patrick Osborne at

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