Moviegoers catching Over the Hedge at select theaters will be treated to a new DreamWorks Animation short. Titled First Flight, the seven-minute film from studio veterans Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson will debut in front of the studio’s latest CG comedy feature on May 19.
In First Flight, a fastidiously organized businessman has his perspective on life forever changed through an unexpected encounter with a tiny fledgling bird. The CG short will open on 400 screens in Los Angeles and New York, and will also screen the directors’ hometown of Toronto, Canada. It has already premiered at the South by Southwest Music Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas, and is screening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Screening with Over the Hedge will also make it eligible for Oscar consideration.
Jefferson and Hood crafted Flight over a period of three years while they worked day jobs on DreamWorks Animation films. After seeing a rough cut, studio execs got behind the production and signed on producer Maryann Garger (production manager on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) and co-producer by Pilar Flynn (story supervisor on Flushed Away). Studio CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg then reportedly took a look at it and decided right away he wanted it to use it as a show opener.
‘The studio is so proud to have two members of our DreamWorks Animation family come forward with their own beautifully original character piece that has such a unique painterly look and style,’ comments Bill Damaschke, DreamWorks Animation’s head of development and production. ‘Over 80 artists from every corner of the studio jumped on board in between their other projects to work on this film, which makes it even more special.’
Hood has been working as a professional animator and teacher for more than eight years. He began his career with DreamWorks in 1997 and has worked on such features as The Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Shark Tale.
A DreamWorks employee since 1996, Jefferson has lent his animation talents to The Prince of Egypt, The Road the El Dorado, Shrek, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Shark Tale.