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  • Writer's pictureDavid Gidali

Ep-19: Colin Levy: From layout at PIXAR to directing AGENT 327 and SKY WATCH.

His highly anticipated short film SKY WATCH, a sci-fi proof-of-concept he’s been working on for the last 6 years, will undoubtedly grab Hollywood’s attention and set Colin up as a promising new director ready for his commercial feature debut. But he already has an impressive list of film credits as a director and a layout artist at PIXAR. SKY WATCH doesn’t have an official premiere date yet, but while we’re waiting, Colin and I chatted about his exciting professional journey thus far, and what drove him to take a break from animation and invest so much of his time in writing features and producing this short.

Colin Levy may look and sound young, but his experience and portfolio are incredibly impressive. In fact, his professional journey so far sounds more like that of the visual effects pioneers of the 70s, who often stumbled into the top ranks of a VFX studio out of sheer necessity, rather than rise up the ranks like most current day artists do. Colin went from being an amateur filmmaker with a knack for CG, to being invited to direct the original short Sintel for the Blender foundation in Amsterdam while he was still a student. By the time he finished his college degree, he already had the demonstrable skills to get into Pixar and work as a Layout Artist on films such as Monsters University, Inside Out and Finding Dory. Four years later, he was invited back to direct yet another original short for the Blender foundation, Agent 327.

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Apart for his work-for-hire, Colin has a long list of independent shorts and animation exercises he's made over the years - one of my personal favorites is his personal short My Grandfather’s Memory Book which was published as an Op-Doc by the New York Times in 2018.

In this episode I sat with Colin and talked about the unexpected twists and turns of his dynamic career so far, how he handled being given such tremendous responsibility at a fairly young age with minimal experience, and how he views his current state in the overarching trajectory he's envisioned for himself over the years.

Episode Links:

My Grandfather's memory book:

Agent 327:

Show notes:

Opening and closing song: "14 Days" by Akın Sevgör.

Our next conversation will be with Todd Sheridan Perry AKA 'Teaspoon', an experienced VFX supervisor currently working for Method studios, about his passion for VFX and filmmaking, and how he manages to split his time between studio supervision work and personal passion projects. Stay Tuned!

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