Pixar's Soul to get documentary about finishing film amid COVID quarantines
Pixar's Soul will be the subject of a new making-of documentary to show all the soul that went into making Soul during stressful times.
Kemp Powers, co-director and writer on the film, shared the news during a virtual press conference with co-director Pete Doctor and producer Dana Murray. "We ended up actually creating a documentary about the process of finishing Soul remotely that'll come out at some future date," he says.
According to Murray, there were "seven weeks of production left" when shelter-in-place ordinances came down in March after the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the United States. "I guess we were really lucky and blessed of where we were at in production because the back-end is highly technical. So, people were able to literally grab their machines and go home with them, and we were up and running in a day or two," she explains. "Our systems team is incredible. Everyone was just really resilient."
"Usually when we complete these films, we get to celebrate it," Kemp says. "We have this big theater full of everyone celebrating the film being completely done and we weren't able to do that. So, it just dawned on me fairly recently that outside of just a handful of people, most of the folks who worked on Soul have not seen the completed mixed film. It's something that we still haven't been able to share with the team that's done it."
Little other details are known at this time and a rep for Disney did not respond with further comment when contacted by EW. However, one might expect this documentary to be a perfect fit for Disney+, which hosted a similar making-of docuseries for Frozen 2 called Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2. The series premiered on the streaming platform in June and followed directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and their team of animators in the final months before releasing Frozen 2 in 2019.
Well, that and the fact that Soul itself will forgo its postponed Nov. 20 theatrical premiere for a Dec. 25 bow on Disney+.
Jamie Foxx voices Joe, a middle-school music teacher in New York City who finally gets his big break to play piano for a noted jazz musician. Even though his audition goes well, a treacherous accident afterwards puts him into a coma and sends his spirit to the You Seminar, a cosmic space where souls receive all their defining personality traits before merging with human bodies on earth. With help from a soul named 22 (voiced by Tina Fey), Joe races to reunite with his body.
For Murray, the silver lining to the experience finishing Soul remotely was "seeing into peoples' lives and seeing their kids and their pets. The things that happen when you're on Zoom meetings... it's just funny and great to meet peoples' families."