Directors Shaun Tan (right) and Andrew Ruhemann win the Oscar for best animated film for 'The Lost Thing'. Picture: AP/Matt Sayles Source: AP
MORE than a decade ago Shaun Tan was an unemployed illustrator not sure where his life was headed.
In the end, life has worked out nicely for the 37-year-old born in Fremantle, Western Australia, but now a resident of Melbourne.
Tan, you could say, is an accidental Oscar winner.
"I started off as an illustrator with no formal training other than high school," Tan said, stunned as he stood backstage at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood with his gold statuette for short animated film The Lost Thing, won with British co-director Andrew Ruhemann.
The 15-minute computer generated and hand-painted movie was only supposed to be a picture book.
"I originally wrote this story in 1998," Tan said.
"I was an unemployed illustrator. I wrote it on the kitchen table of my share house, worked on it for a year, developed it as a picture book, which was then published in Melbourne around 2000. "
The story is set in Melbourne and is about a boy who, while collecting bottle caps near a beach, discovers a strange creature that seems to be a combination of an industrial boiler, a crab and an octopus.~ AAP
N.B. View the film of The Lost Thing here.