Three Minnesota animators worked on parts of the Oscar-nominated short, "Hair Love."/ShortsTV
At least three Twin Cities animators helped create Oscar nominee "Hair Love," even if none of them ever worked together.
Last year, producers of the animated short -- about a little girl whose father is trying to help her tame her unruly hair -- sent out the word to animators around the country that they were looking for folks to work on different parts of Matthew A. Cherry's seven-minute film. Locally, Mike Owens of St. Paul-based WOMO Studio, Bruce McFarlan of Rowboat Animation Studio and Courtney DiPaola all were hired to produce parts of the film.
"I've done character animation for 20-plus years so the comedy side and the sweet side of it are the scenes they gave to me," said Owens, who worked on part of the movie where lead character Zuri plays with her cat and another where her dad gets in a wrestling match with her hair.
Owens worked on "Hair Love" for about two months last summer, connecting with the producers and Cherry by Skype. He says screen-sharing and other technologies have made it easier than ever to work remotely in animation, but he has a bunch of projects closer to home, including work with the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Bell Museum, as well as what could become the first animated feature ever made in Minnesota.
Past Owens projects have included the opening titles for the Rainn Wilson comedy, "Super," "Animaniacs" and lots of cereal commercials but, these days, he's trying to concentrate on non-advertising projects.
"Entertainment work. Narrative work. That's the stuff that interests us and needs our storytelling approach to animation," who operates WOMO with partner Wendy Owens.