WATCH: ‘Paperman’ Director Finishes Animated Short Film for Lyft


John Kahrs — the Academy Award-winning director of Disney’s 2012 animated short Paperman — was behind the wheel as writer-director of a new Lyft-branded animated short that debuts Wednesday on YouTube.

Produced by Broad Reach Pictures and Lyft, June follows the journey of an elderly African-American widow whose vintage car is destroyed, compelling her to use Lyft for the first time. June — now isolated and alone, but in her younger days a singer in a one-hit wonder Motown band — begins to notice she is surrounded by a ridesharing community, and ultimately takes the initiative to join this new world as a driver, learning by the end of the Chicago-set multicultural short that she’s not as alone as she thought.

Based on a concept from Lyft’s creative director, Ricardo Viramontes, the seven-minute film was designed and animated by Kevin Dart of L.A.-based studio Chromosphere and scored by composer Christophe Beck. The song “Moving,” featured in the short, was written and performed by former Lyft driver and Atlantic recording artist Sir the Baptist.

“When we looked at anecdotes from drivers and passengers, the common thread was how people connected,” said Kahrs. “That became the real story.”

Developing that story involved a scouting trip to Chicago that brought neighborhood details to life, video interviews with local drivers, and even a further trip to Detroit, to visit the Motown Museum.

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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Carolyn Giardina and Jonathan Handel