93rd Oscars Backstage Interview Transcript: ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

SPEECH BY: Pete Doctor and Dana Murray


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Q. Hi, there.  Congratulations, Pete and Dana.  Huge win.  The work your team put into making to reflect the environment of New York and jazz and the cultural relevance just cannot be understated.  So what inspired both the themes of jazz and existentialism in an animated film? 
A. (Pete Docter) we were thinking of something that would be fun to watch, something like an artist's journey kind of a thing.  And jazz ‑‑ you don't get into jazz to be rich and famous.  You do it because you love it.  It's a noble pursuit.  It just felt like ‑‑ and then as we got into it, we realized, boy, this has so many relevant features in terms of what life is all about, using whatever elements are thrown at you, and then using improvisation to make personal, to make it beautiful.  And that just seemed like it fit.  And then we just knew that our character had to be African‑American, and we enlisted a lot of help, a lot of great folks who ‑‑
A. (Dana Murray)  We got to work with Herby Hancock and Quincy Jones.
A. (Pete Docter) Yeah.
A. (Dana Murray) And, like, so many amazing artists of New York.
A. (Pete Docter) And Natalie Cole.  It was fantastic.

Q. Hello, the two of you.  Congratulations to you both.  Really good to see you both.  You referenced the fact that the movie was finished ‑‑ my assumption was your entire staff working from home.  Talk to me about that, because I know, having been at Pixar, there's such an atmosphere of creativity within the building and, you know, the collection nature and spirit, it must have been very unusual to have this movie, which had so much heart, finished in a separated manner at home. 
A. (Dana Murray)  Yeah.  You're right.  We were really lucky it was the last seven weeks of production, which was in the end game.  Everyone kind of knew what they were doing and had to finish the highly technical stuff, the effects and the lighting and the rendering, so people just took their machines home when we got sent home from work.  And we were naive; right?  We were, like, "We'll see you in a few weeks."  And little did we know.  So, yeah, we got really lucky.  But amazingly, even the films that are developing right now are able to continue.
A. (Pete Docter) I think it's, in large part, because we have spent many years working together and have a great camaraderie and relationship, and that can't be understated.

Q. Hello.  Congratulations on such a historic win.  Three wins in best animated feature.  Woot, woot.  First of all, has Jamie Foxx texted you at this point to say congratulations? 
A. (Dana Murray)  We haven't looked. 
A. (Pete Docter)  I know.  I left my phone out of the theater, so ‑‑
A. (Dana Murray)  Jamie, come on.  We're going to text him. 
A. (Pete Docter)  Yeah.  He's been fantastic.  He obviously brought so much to the character, to the part.  So much of Joe is weirdly ‑‑ okay.   Joe is way more nerdy than Jamie.  Jamie is much cooler.  But a lot of the elements of the film of the character were so plussed by him.  He has a sense of energy.  He just never stops.  He doesn't give up.  He's an amazing musician.  Of course, he can do the comedy and the drama.  We were just very fortunate to be able to nab him.

Q. Hey.  Hello, all you.  Congratulations, you guys. 
A. (Dana Murray)  Thank you.

Q. I'm so happy to see you guys getting the award.  So what is the next project for you guys after winning the Oscars?  What inspires you guys to do next?  What is the next project? 
A. (Pete Docter)  Sleep.  A lot of sleep.
A. (Dana Murray)  We just had a year of that.  No.
A. (Pete Docter)  No.  We have an amazing group of filmmakers coming up at Pixar.  The next film, called "Luca," comes out in ‑‑ June 18th, 19th ‑‑ 18th or 19th.  I can't remember now.  It is a beautiful film directed in Italy.  And then after that we have a film direct by Domee Shi, who did Bao, the short film.  That one is about growing up as a Chinese Canadian girl.
A. (Dana Murray) "Turning Red."
A. (Pete Docter) Yeah.  "Turning Red."  And we have an amazing slew of new directors that have brilliance airing different stories, different styles.  It's a very exciting time to be at Pixar.
A. (Dana Murray) I have to give a shout‑out about Alice Braga, since we're talking to Brazil, since we're big fans.


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