Google Spotlight Stories: ‘Son of Jaguar’ & ‘Sonaria’

Google Spotlight Stories is a new form of storytelling made specifically for mobile and VR. The award-winning Google Spotlight Stories team is comprised of artists and technologists making immersive stories for mobile 360, mobile VR, and room-scale VR headsets, and building the technology that makes it possible.

Meet the filmmakers behind the recently released Google Spotlight Stories, ‘Son of Jaguar’ and ‘Sonaria’, at Gnomon School of VFX on January 16th. ‘Son of Jaguar’ was directed by The Book of Life Director, Jorge Gutiérrez: in the most important match of his life, the once-mighty masked luchador, Son of Jaguar, faces his legacy, his family, and what it means to be a part of something bigger than himself. ‘Sonaria’, directed by Scot Stafford and Chromosphere, follows two ever-changing creatures as they flow from one life-form to another on a vivid journey of sound and light; the film’s visual language is simple and abstract, designed to suggest, while the sonic language is layered and immersive, designed to answer. Joining Jorge and Scot at the Gnomon Stage will be ‘Son of Jaguar’ Producer, David Eisenmann, plus meet Cassidy Curtis, Technical Art Lead for Google Spotlight Stories.

RSVP to join the Google Spotlight Stories team for a behind-the-scenes look at their immersive films for VR, and learn about the process of creation and challenges encountered along the way. For those that can’t attend in person, tune in at 7:30 pm (PT) on Gnomon’s Livestream channel or via the official Gnomon Facebook page.


Guest Speakers

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Jorge R. Gutiérrez – Director, ‘Son of Jaguar’

Jorge R. Gutiérrez is a painter, writer, and director born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana. Jorge has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love of Mexican pop and folk culture. He and his wife, Sandra Equihua, created the multiple Emmy Award-winning animated television series, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon, and he most recently co-wrote and directed The Book of Life for Reel FX and 20th Century Fox, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

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Scot Stafford – Director, ‘Sonaria’

Scot Stafford made his directorial debut with ‘Sonaria’ and has composed and/or sound supervised all 12 of the Google Spotlight Stories. In animation, he is best known for the award-winning score on ‘Pearl’, collaborations with Glen Keane (‘Duet’, for which he won AICE’s 2015 Best Original Music Award), Doug Sweetland (‘Presto’, nominated for an Oscar), and Jan Pinkava (‘Windy Day’). His music appears in dozens of film, TV, and interactive projects. He often works through his music collective, Pollen Music Group, which he founded with three fellow composer/producer/songwriters in 2010.

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David Eisenmann – Producer, ‘Son of Jaguar’

David Eisenmann is Technical Project Lead and Producer at Google Spotlight Stories, and was formerly a CG Supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios where he worked across Finding NemoRatatouilleToy Story 2Toy Story 3A Bugs LifeMonsters University, and ‘Piper’. David received an Emmy for producing ‘Pearl’, which also garnered a Peabody Futures of Media Award along with an Academy Award nomination. David is currently producing ‘Son of Jaguar’ along with Google Spotlight Stories’ current production directed by John Kahrs.

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Cassidy Curtis – Technical Art Lead, Google Spotlight Stories

Technical Art Lead, Cassidy Curtis, developed the non­-photorealistic look of picture for ‘Pearl’, directed by Patrick Osborne. His graphics research projects, ‘Computer Generated Watercolor’ and ‘Loose and Sketchy Animation’, have appeared in short films ‘Fishing’ and ‘Brick­a­Brac’. He was previously a Supervising Animator at PDI/DreamWorks, where he worked on a host of feature films, including Madagascar 2and How to Train Your Dragon.


About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.