Cavite-born UST alum co-directs Pixar film
LOS ANGELES – Folks, pop open the champagne: Cavite-born, University of Santo Tomas-educated Ronnie del Carmen is codirecting a film at Pixar. It’s one of the biggest and most important breaks ever given to a Filipino-American in the US movie industry.
Ronnie, one of the talented “Pixnoys” in the acclaimed animation studio, is collaborating with director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera in the project with the working title, “The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind.”
A statement from the studio reads, “Pixar takes audiences on incredible journeys into extraordinary worlds – from the darkest depths of the ocean to the top of the tepui mountains in South America; from the fictional metropolis of Monstropolis to a futuristic fantasy of outer space… The inventive new film will take you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind.
The film reunites Ronnie, Pete and Jonas, who worked as story supervisor, director and producer, respectively, of “UP,” the first animated movie to ever open the Cannes Film Festival. “UP” swept the best animated feature honors, including the Academy and Golden Globe Awards, in 2009.
There’s buzz that the movie’s script is being written by Michael Arndt, whose credits include “Toy Story 3” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” which won him a best original screenplay Oscar. Reports suggested that the film’s story is “specifically about the formation of ideas.” The exciting premise promises a highly original movie that would inspire Pixar’s geniuses to further push the possibilities of animation artistry and technology.
Disney announced this film project, including Ronnie as a codirector, and another new film, “Monsters University,” at the recent D23 Expo, an annual event.
Lectures back home
Ronnie, who majored in advertising at UST’s College of Fine Arts and Design, worked in Makati’s top ad agencies. After moving to the United States, he began in television animation, working on such shows as “Freakazoid!,” “Where’s Waldo?,” “Widget, the World Watcher” and the “Batman” animated series. He worked at DreamWorks and Warner Bros. before settling at Pixar, where his credits include being the story supervisor on “Finding Nemo” and handling the story duties on “Wall-E” and “Ratatouille.”
He directed the short film, “Dug’s New Mission,” which came with the “UP” DVD-Blu-ray. Ronnie has won several awards, including an Annie (which honors the best in animation) for storyboarding in an animated feature (DreamWorks’ “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”) and a Daytime Emmy for best special class animated program (as director of “Freakazoid!”).
On his trips back home, Ronnie finds time to give lectures and encourage aspiring animation talents. He has shared his talents with DC and Dark Horse comic readers and publishes his comic book series, Paper Biscuit.
Ronnie’s brothers, Louie and Rick, who are also UST alums, are enjoying burgeoning careers as animators in rival studios.
Congratulations, Ronnie! It’s a well-deserved break. Disney plans to release the movie in May 2014.
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