Composer from Melville, Sask. worked on film shortlisted for an Oscar

Julian Beutel learned through social media that a film he worked on is in the running for an Oscar.

Julian Beutel waiting to find out if animated short makes list of final 5 nominees

Julian Beutel, raised in Melville, Sask., was composer and musical director for an animated short film on an Oscars short list. (Submitted by Brandon University)

As so many other bits of news travel these days, Julian Beutel learned through social media that a film he worked on is in the running for an Oscar.

An Object at Rest is one of 10 entries shortlisted in the category of Best Animated Short Film.

Beutel was the film's composer and musical director.

"It must be 2015 I guess. I was scoping through Facebook and I noticed that a bunch of people were sharing an article," Beutel recounted.

He clicked on it, "and then I did a quadruple check, and then I noticed that this film I was involved with just got shortlisted for the Oscars."

I was just going about it making the best music I could.- Julian Beutel, musician and composer from Melville, Sask.

For Beutel, it has been a short path from Melville, Sask., where he began piano lessons while in kindergarten.

He went on to play trumpet and organ, and "by the end of high school it became clear that this was something I wanted to pursue a little more seriously."

After getting his Bachelor of Music at Brandon University, Beutel went on to the California Institute of Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., to get his master degree.

It was there he met film animator Seth Boyden.

An Object at Rest is the third film they've worked on together. It was Boyden's final thesis film. Following its release in May, it won the Woody Award for Best Animation at the CalArts Producers' Show, and the Silver Medal in the Student Academy Awards before making the Oscars shortlist, out of a field of 60 qualifying entries. 

"I was thinking that it was too good to be true," Beutel said, calling the nomination "a huge honour."

"I was just going about it making the best music I could."

The pair have since worked together on another short film.

Beutel is now pursuing his music career in Winnipeg, linking up with many of his Brandon University friends.

However, he doesn't rule out the possibility of returning to California some day.

He and Boyden will find out on Jan. 14 if their film is among the final five Oscar nominees.