“One Small Step”- An Oscar nominated short film that pays homage to mentors

TAIKO Studios is aiming for the stars with their new short film “One Small Step”. They present the story of Luna, a Chinese-American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut.

TAIKO Founder and CEO Shaofu Zhang  leads the team with a vision of the modern world, an amalgam of Chinese and American culture. Proficient in English and Mandarin, his perspective embodies the goals and spirit of TAIKO.  Zhang spearheads a team with diverse backgrounds and life experiences, who all have the courage to express their views. Shaofu is committed to supporting a creative environment that brings out the best work in the artists.

The next text is an extract of our friends of Nwasianweekly

In 2017, Bobby Pontillas became the art director for TAIKO. The studio’s first project, “One Small Step,” chronicles a Chinese American girl named Luna.

The opening scene shows Luna nestled in front of her TV, captivated by a rocket launch on-screen. Luna sets out on a dream of becoming an astronaut. Luna’s father, who runs a humble shoe repair business, supports her every step of the way. His unconditional love endures as Luna faces tough obstacles in her path.

“One Small Step” is produced by Zhang and co-directed by Andrew Chesworth, also a Disney alum. The CGI 3D-animated short film uses techniques in lighting and color to leverage its storytelling, preserving the feeling of a moving illustration. “One Small Step” is one of five films nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Pontillas creating the main character of his short film on his Cintiq Pro.

Pontillas said the film is a love letter to unsung heroes who support and inspire people chasing an impossible dream. “When we get tunnel-visioned into chasing a dream, it’s not a perfect road. It’s an awkward process, and it sometimes isolates friends, it isolates family members,” he said.

Pontillas thanks his mother for supporting his dream, even when she didn’t fully understand it. “I just want to say, ‘thank you for being there,’” he said. “For every accomplishment that our generation makes, our families made the sacrifice to even make that happen. That’s pretty selfless and humble.”

The film also pays homage to mentors and teachers, like Smith. “I am very happy for Bobby. The work that TAIKO did on ‘One Small Step’ is amazing,” said Smith.

Corazon Pontillas  (Bobby’s mom) hopes that her light will continue to guide her son and she can’t wait to see what’s next in his journey. “As I tell my son often, I am so proud and happy of what he has become in the career he had chosen,” said Corazon. “I also would like to let him know how much I appreciate him by never failing to always mention me in all of his interviews and dedicating this short film to me and to our family.”

To those who wish to launch a career in animation or rekindle a passion for art, Pontillas shares stellar advice.

“I’ve always had setbacks. That’s the more realistic path. It’s not a straight path … it’s a winding path,” said Pontillas. “Hold close to what inspired you in the first place. Remember that starry-eyed newbie that was so passionate and grateful to get to be an artist!”

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A big kudos to all the TAIKO Team!
They seem to have a blast doing what they love.

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