Turning Red movie poster featuring a red panda

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/22329473/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/yes/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/3e9ccc/” width=”100%” scrolling=”no” class=”podcast-class” frameborder=”0″ placement=”top” primary_content_url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/diabetesconnections/Ep_459_Final_Pixar_Fong.mp3″ libsyn_item_id=”22329473″ height=”90″ theme=”custom” custom_color=”3e9ccc” player_use_thumbnail=”use_thumbnail” use_download_link=”use_download_link” download_link_text=”Download” /]When Pixar’s new movie, Turning Red premieres, the diabetes community will probably enjoy the story, but we’ll be looking very closely at a couple of background characters. There are two with diabetes technology on their arms Diabetes isn’t part of the plot here, but it’s very visible.

We can thank Susan Fong for that. She’s what’s called the Dailies and Rendering Supervisor for Turning Red. Fong lives with type 1 and she’s the one who asked to put diabetes into the movie. We talk about the team effort to get these characters on screen, the balance of math and art that is both diabetes and movie-making and a lot more.

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Stacey Simms 0:00
Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Omnipod. Simplify life with diabetes. by Dexcom. Take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest and by Club 1921, where Diabetes Connections are made.
This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
This week when Pixar’s new movie Turning Red premieres, the diabetes community will probably enjoy the story. But we’ll be looking very closely at a couple of background characters. There are too with visible diabetes technology. Diabetes is not part of the plot here, which is kind of the point.

Susan Fong 0:45
And sometimes I think that’s important. I know a lot of folks get frustrated by the number of questions. They’re asked about diabetes, or can you eat that? Should you be eating that? What’s that thing on your arm, and sometimes it’s just nice to be who you are, and have it not be a part of.

Stacey Simms 1:01
That’s Pixar’s, Susan Fung. She lives with type one. And she is the person who asked to put diabetes into Turning Red . We talk about the team effort to get these characters on screen, the balance of math and art that is both diabetes and moviemaking, and a lot more. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Welcome to another week of the show, always so glad to have you here. If you are new, we aim to educate and inspire about diabetes with a focus on people who use insulin. And how cool was it to see people who use insulin in the Turning Red trailer when this came out a couple of months ago, and you know, there was that first trailer, the little teaser, where we saw one child with what looked like a pump infusion set maybe on her arm. We all went bananas. But then the second trailer came out and we saw another kid with diabetes technology. It looked like a Dexcom CGM on her arm. And that prompted 1000s of posts and tons of questions. Well, we’ve got the answers for you this week.
My guest is Susan Fung and she is what is called the dailies and rendering supervisor for Turning Red . She’ll explain what that means and how this whole process came together. Susan lives with type one she was diagnosed at age five. Her sister also has type one she was diagnosed a few years later. Susan was Pixar as sequence lead on Seoul, the rendering Supervisor of Coco and she’s worked on Brave Toy Story three Wally Up Ratatouille, the list goes on and on. I am really grateful that she spent some time talking to me about diabetes and animation and a lot more.
But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Omni pod. You know, I’m a big fan of choice when it comes to diabetes technology. I get so excited when there’s something new. Because if you live with diabetes, whatever type whatever age, you deserve to find the best fit for you. That’s just one reason I’m working with Omnipod to help spread the word about their program that makes it so easy to test their system out. It’s the Omnipod dash free trial. If you want to try an insulin pump or see what life without tubes is all about, you can now try Omnipod dash free for 30 days. The trial comes with no commitment or obligation, not right for you. No problem, go to diabetes connections.com and click on the Omnipod logo or go to omnipod.com/diabetes connections for details, Terms and Conditions apply for full safety risk information and free trial Terms and Conditions. Visit omnipod.com/diabetes connections.

Susan, thank you so much for joining me. I think the whole community just went bananas when we saw the trailers of the teasers for Turning Red . So to talk to you about how this all happened is just a thrill. Thanks for being here.

Susan Fong 3:55
Definitely. Yeah, thanks for having me.

Stacey Simms 3:56
Let’s just jump right in. Why are there depictions of diabetes in this movie? How does this happen?

Susan Fong 4:03
We have a long history of Pixar, of trying to increase diversity and representation on screen. It’s largely been motivated by folks in our characters and crowds departments who on each film have made suggestions on what we could incorporate. And I happened to be on read very early. When your supervisor you’re one of the first folks to start on the film. And so given that I was on early, which is the best time to make a suggestion. I asked the crowd supervisor like hey, can we get a representation of insulin pump in this movie? And he said, Heck yeah. And then he took that back to our director, our soup tech and kind of what we can consider our production pod and the producer. They made some suggestions about what we could incorporate to increase representation on screen and everyone loved the suggestion of insulin pump. And that’s how we got it in the film.

Stacey Simms 4:45
Just before we go any further sop tech.

Susan Fong 4:48
Is that a sup tech is it the supervising technical director is the supervisor of all the supervisors.

Stacey Simms 4:54
Okay. So when you were asking about an insulin pump What did you have in mind kind of to maybe sneak it in, or make it part of the story or just have it somewhere on the on the screen?

Susan Fong 5:08
Really, for me, it was just about representation. I think, you know, given that it was a kids movie, or were in middle school, we see a bunch of children on screen. It’s something that I don’t see, I don’t see representation of myself in that way. And so even if it’s not a central element of the story, to me, is just still holds value saying like, Hey, kids all look different. We all have something different about us. And this happens to represent how I’m different, at least visibly.

Stacey Simms 5:34
When I saw the trailer for Turning Red , I just thought I you know, I don’t know the story. As you and I are talking, I haven’t seen it yet. It has not yet been released. But even without the depiction of diabetes, you see this pre teen or tween, and then she turns into a panda. It’s just such a crazy, fun representation of the madness of puberty. I mean, I assume that’s what the movie really is about. And that’s a time where you feel so different, whether you have diabetes or not. But having that extra stuff on you has got to be even more of a burden. So I know you were gonna talk about your story. But is that part of what you were thinking about with this kind of movie?

Susan Fong 6:11
Yes, I think that is a strong central theme is kind of that challenge of those middle school years. And what happens when you go through puberty. And it is true, that’s kind of the phase when a lot of young diabetics become more self conscious, I actually did not get an insulin pump until I graduated from college, I have now had diabetes for have to do some math, I think 38 years. And so it wasn’t, you know, available for me when I was that age, which meant it was a little less visible. You know, for me, the way it manifested was a blood glucose meter, always getting eat a snack maybe whenever when other folks didn’t. But it did make you always stand out.

Stacey Simms 6:45
So let’s talk about you. You were diagnosed when you were five years old, in the early 80s. Do you remember any of your own diagnosis?

Susan Fong 6:52
I do. And some of it I think when I describe it is likely my interpretation as an adult looking back. I you know, I did listen to one of your podcast episodes a few weeks ago, you were surprised that both folks on the show had misdiagnosis stories, well add me to that list. I came down with some sort of virus kind of standard sore throat kind of thing. We went and saw the doctor says this just a virus sent me home went back a week later, because I wasn’t improving. They gave us antibiotics sent me home. Third week, when we come back, my mom was basically frantic at that point, because she could barely keep me awake. And when they tested my blood sugar, actually, the doctor took one look at me and said, Oh God, we got to get her straight to the ER, Mom rushes me to the ER. And then I’m like, basically in an attic consciousness. So I have flashes of like, remembering my mom running and screaming for help beat her up a little bit. Because my mother’s amazing. Such a fighter for me, my sister is diabetic too, by the way. And so you know, I was the first to be diagnosed of the two of us. And the doctor just really kind of missed all the signs, you know, massive weight loss, massive thirst, increasing somnolence, you know, couldn’t stay awake. And so when they tested my blood sugar, they couldn’t, you know, return a value, it was too high to return a value. I was in about a week, I was not sent home with a blood glucose meter, which is crazy. And we were in the middle of a move, which, of course. And so shortly after diagnosis, we moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, and I was lucky to be seen at Duke University. And they were much more forward thinking in that day and age of having, you know, everyone have a blood glucose meter. And also using sliding scales for insulin, really deciding on your insulin dose based on what you were eating instead of the other way around. Right. And I remember the horror, when we moved to Atlanta, endocrinologist was like you set your own doses. But I am grateful for that foundation, you know, that Duke gave us so I think I was probably without a meter for maybe four weeks. And that thing of those first blood glucose meters back then it’s like three minutes that had a wash bottle. You know, it was Yeah,

Stacey Simms 8:56
yeah. Many, many people at that time didn’t have a home meter in the early 80s. Is my understanding, at least Yes. Wow. When was your sister diagnosed,

Susan Fong 9:04
she was diagnosed, right? In the preteen years, bless her heart. And you know, in our case, we recognize the signs. My sister was complaining about something to my mom, my mom said, Hey, we should check your blood sugar, and it was high. And that’s always one of those things where you’re testing it. But you’re not really thinking about what that next moment is like, if that number pops up. And it’s not what you expect.

Stacey Simms 9:26
I’ve talked to parents who have multiple children with type one, but very few siblings. Would you mind talking for a minute of what is that? Like? I’m sure she wanted some support from you, but you’re the little sister. And then after a while you do have each other to lean on, but it still had to be devastating.

Susan Fong 9:42
I think diabetes was less intensively managed back in that day. And when I think about you know, it is a constant thought woven through every moment of my day as an adult and I think as a child, honestly, I didn’t think that way. You know, it was something that you tested your blood at breakfast and dinner You took a shot at breakfast and at dinner, and there was very little thinking in between, because often what they had was you running high enough to avoid the lows, you know, so I had a few critical lows as a child, you know, one of wishes the first day that pool opens and summer. Too many hours in the pool. Yeah, Dad was flying solo that weekend, I’m sure. You know, that was part of the challenge. But it just wasn’t as present in my mind. And I think, you know, as we got older, and the technologies improved, and the diabetes complications and control trial results came out. That’s really when the shift happened, where we tried to become more intensively managed. And so when I look back at the diagnosis that my sister, while it’s devastating, and I’m sure she was devastated, we actually didn’t talk about it that much. You know, I think that’s just part of the innocence of childhood.

Stacey Simms 10:47
Yeah, that makes sense. For sure. One of the things that I found when I was doing some of the research for this episode was a video of you, I think it’s three years old, it might be longer, it might be older than that was Khan Academy. And you’re kind of explaining your job and explaining things about, you know, how it works at Pixar. And then you talked about diabetes, and you held up the Animas vibe, which I just said off such fond memories of animals. But do you mind if I ask what technology you’re using now?

Susan Fong 11:15
I’m on the Tandem T slim with Dexcom.

Stacey Simms 11:17
If you’re not familiar as you listen, it went under business a few years ago. But in that video, you talk a little bit about math and diabetes and math and art and your job. I thought that was fascinating. Could you speak a little bit about how all that goes together.

Susan Fong 11:32
And again, our technology has improved. But as a diabetic, I measure almost everything I eat on a food scale. And so there’s a constant exercise of math of I read the package, and it says there’s 20 grams of carbohydrates for 30 grams of weight. And now on my scale, I have 60 grams of weight than how many carbs do I have. So there’s constant calculations like that, that you’re doing. And I’ve also mentioned, both in my job and in diabetes, the importance of kind of gut instinct, that the longer you’re diabetic, the more comfortable you are operating on gut instinct. As I know, I should take this amount of insulin for 40 grams. But because I did this intensive fitness class this morning, I’m going to lie and take a little less. And so there’s a kind of a math fine, you know, is your foundation, and it helps validate your gut instincts, but you’re still going to modify things from there, it’s not the end all be all. And in my job, so much of what I do is predicting the amount of farm meaning render farm cores or number of CPUs or computers, you can think of it that we need to make our film on any given day. And I start doing this forecast about three years before the film comes out. And so I am constantly playing with math, you know, figuring out if this department has this many shots to do, and this is the average cost per shot, how much farm do they need on a given day. And all of that is graphed and plotted over time. And it just reminds me so much of when I look at now my Dexcom graph on my MIT swim or on my phone, and I’m looking at these graphs, and I’m looking for anomalies like, Hey, this looks a little high, Hey, that looks a little off, hey, this is going up faster than I expect. And it’s all of the same things that I’m doing at work. When I’m looking at the validation of the data, I have that gut instinct of you begin to recognize the patterns over time. And then your gut kicks in and says this pattern looks wrong to me. And that’s when you dive in and figure out what you know how to

Stacey Simms 13:24
fix it. I remember when my son was diagnosed, our endocrinologist said, you know, you have to understand diabetes is just as much art as science. And I understand that kind of in theory, but the way you’re talking about it really makes sense is your your work must be just as much science as art and artists science as well.

Susan Fong 13:42
Definitely. I mean, I think, you know, there’s so much more art, I would say in my job, then definitely than in the world of diabetes, there’s the art of gut instinct, for sure. You know, working at Pixar, I’m so lucky that the math I do, ultimately results in a pretty picture at the end of the day. And I and that is how I got interested in working for a company like Pixar is I was in undergraduate school at Georgia Tech. And I took a class that was intro to graphics. And one of the things they have you do is write a math program that draws a single pixel at a time. The technology back then that we used was called ray tracing. So I wrote a ray tracer, that first time you generate a photorealistic image, just from writing text in a text editor. It’s magic, you can’t believe that you can do it. And that’s really what the art of rendering is. There’s a lot of complex math that goes into it, some of which I am familiar with, but it’s more handled by our engineers. But that math is all based on the laws of physics. And the laws of physics dictate how lighting bounces around the room, or how you know, skin is slightly translucent, if it has a light source behind it. And so those kinds of things. We have a physical measurements of real world data that inform equations that we use to replicate that on screen. So it’s really kind of a fascinating place to be with math and One pence to the accountants of the world. But no. When I think of what’s a career in math as a kid, that’s kind of what I would think of as something like, you know, being an accountant. And that did not hold enough interest for me. For me, it was more about what can I do with math that does tie back into some of my core passions, for things like art, photography, just the beauty of the world.

Stacey Simms 15:22
It’s interesting. I always wanted to be a journalist, you know, I spent my career in broadcasting. And when I was a freshman in college, one of my first assignments was, I was so lucky, they did a press tour for The Little Mermaid, the movie, it wasn’t finished. But they showed a lot of the unfinished animation to us. And they talked about how difficult it was to get her hair to swirl around underwater. And I always think about that, when I watch you laughing at that.

Susan Fong 15:47
I’m not, I just I’ve spent I’ve done a lot of work on hair over the years. Okay, that is a challenge. Okay,

Stacey Simms 15:53
so when I remember they took her hair, I think about that almost every time I watch an animated movie, and I cannot believe how realistic it’s getting. I cannot believe how far it’s common. And you know, I know it’s just the beginning is that realism that we’re seeing? Is it all the computers animation getting better is it people knowing how to manipulate it better, isn’t just so much, or the computer so much more powerful,

Susan Fong 16:15
it’s all three. So see anything about simulation simulation of something like hair or cloth, we start with a physical space solution that our director of software engineering who has a PhD from UC Berkeley, she has written along with her team, a simulator, and that kind of is the first thing that our simulation team will will run. But there are many cases that kind of physically accurate, isn’t what the director is looking for. And that’s where the art of simulation comes in. Of if the director is saying they want a different shape, try to think of a good example, like in the movie Brave, when Maratha has a hood up and then pulls it back over her long curly hair. That was a very art directed shot. If you just ran a physics simulator, that’s not what it would look like. And so you know, you have to learn to incorporate, you know, ways of tweaking that that base foundation to kind of give the look that you’re looking for. It’s really one of those things where it marries everything you’ve said, there’s better software that you know, is based on the laws of physics, there’s faster computers that can run more complex calculations. And then we evolve our artistry over time, and our simulation artists have gotten better at better at the art side of simulation, you know, sculpting the shape of a blanket or sculpting the way the shower curtain silhouette is. These are things that are more art than science.

Stacey Simms 17:33
So let’s go back then to Turning Red does the diabetes that we saw depicted on the two characters does that come up in the movie at all is it in the background isn’t mentioned or explained,

Susan Fong 17:44
it does not come up in the movie. It is not mentioned or explained more than one character is diabetic. One of my favorite characters that happens to be a diabetic. And you may have seen this on our second trailer is a blonde girl, her hair in a ponytail in the girls bathroom. But when Mei turns into a panda in the bathroom, she’s there, and she has her infusion set on her arm. Her name Stacy Frick, you know, she’s the the popular friendly girl. She accepts me for who she is, despite all her differences. And she also happens to be a diabetic. And so it’s just kind of she is a more central character than we often have. When we think about different efforts, we’ve had that increasing representation. A lot of times it’s just you know, kind of in the background on a crowds character, but species a reoccurring character, but it’s not part of the story. And sometimes I think that’s important. I know a lot of folks get frustrated by the number of questions. They’re asked about diabetes, or you know, can you eat that? Should you be eating that? What’s that thing on your arm? And sometimes it’s just nice to be who you are, and have it not be a part of the story.

Stacey Simms 18:46
Okay, I’m gonna let the fact that she’s named Stacy slide right by because I do not want the illusion ruined that I somehow influence that. I know I didn’t. But you mentioned a couple of minutes ago that you would listen to a podcast episode where two of the women were misdiagnosed. And I’m pretty sure that was one where we talked about this movie. And we talked about representation. And specifically one of the guests was concerned about talking about this as though it was only inclusive of type one, which we all know diabetes technology is worn by people with different types of diabetes. Did that occur to you at all? And is that? Well, I’ll just leave it there. Did that occur to you at all? Is that something that you had thought about?

Susan Fong 19:26
I mean, I 100% agree with Dr. Walker. I think I’m lucky that I’ve had exposure through my friends to type two diabetics that do read the same technology that I do. You know, one of my my good childhood friends, her mom crashed out her car when she was low, and she had never heard of a Dexcom and granted back then they were a little bit newer. But when I found out what happened, you know, I said you know about this technology. And one of the problems that we’ve been having over the years is having endocrinologist be open to fighting for that technology for a type two diabetic let’s say to come into dependent. So I 100% agree with Dr. Walker, that it’s extremely important to have that just be diabetes, and not necessarily about the type. We all have different pieces of technology that we need to use to manage ourselves. And this is just one of the tools.

Stacey Simms 20:14
I was struck to when you mentioned that you brought it up, hey, we’d like to have somebody with diabetes, visible technology in this movie. And the person next to you said, Heck yeah, let’s do it. Pixar seems to really be making this push to show so many more different kinds of people, different types of people, I guess you could have a big company meeting and talk about it is it’s kind of something in the air. How is that happening? And it just seems like they’re doing it right.

Susan Fong 20:38
I think this goes back to the importance of having a diverse workforce. If you have diverse voices in the room, they’re more likely to advocate for different things about the stories that stand out to them, where representation is lacking, or something as misrepresented. In general, in the tech industry, we’ve seen a groundswell of support for different diversity inclusion efforts. And we have had several talks and summits at Pixar, where we talk about different strategies to both increase our presentation, but also improve the hiring process, improve the support that folks are lent once they do start. And I think it was around that area that folks started saying, Hey, can we and crowds was our easiest place to start, because we build a giant library of different people. And so you know, over the years, we’ve added crutches and canes and wheelchairs, a cochlear implant on one movie. And I remember, I think it was added a few films back, but there’s a shot of someone just sitting in a waiting room, you know, it’s pretty large on the screen that you definitely see it. And we had a similar response to that. People just want to see the presentation of the real world. And I think given that this film, in particular, was set in toronto, toronto is an incredibly diverse city. And it gave us so many opportunities to represent represent that diversity on screen. It’s a little difficult

Stacey Simms 21:55
to see in the trailer, what type of diabetes technology the characters are wearing, is that on purpose, is it supposed to be a depiction of a Dexcom or a tubed pump site? You know, my listeners are really wanting to dig deep and find this. More general, it’s

Susan Fong 22:10
okay either way, unroll response on social media was overwhelming. And I took all my willpower in the world to not hop in and be like, it’s not that. I appreciate everyone’s curiosity. So I think one of the things that was really important to our director is being accurate to the time period in which the film was was set. And so this is the early 2000s, I was an early adopter of Dexcom. It did not look like that in the early 2000s, I think was 2004 when the Dexcom, seven first came out, they weren’t widespread. And so what we see is more of our presentation of a tube pump. And one of the challenges when we we said heck yeah, and that was our crowd supervisor, Paul Candiac. And are one of our folks and characters Mara. They were both on board. But then the question and the challenge became, how often do you shoot characters waist, which is where more most people wear a pump, in film and TV, if you’ve watched, you know, an episode tonight, pay attention to it. We’re always framing character spaces. If we put the insulin pump on the waist, I think it was going to be more challenging to actually see it. And so that kind of led to some strategizing by Mara of like, well, hey, can we put the infusion set on the arms? You know, how common is that. And I definitely had friends that did that. And it seems like a great way to make sure that even if we’re shooting from the waist up, or kind of, you know, torso up, that you would still have an opportunity to see a representation of it. So it’s intended to kind of be representative of a pump of that era, kind of pre CGM being quite popular.

Stacey Simms 23:41
Yeah, I had growing emotions and growing up when my son was growing up, we saw lots of kids wearing two big pump on their arms. He would never ever do that. He just drives me bonkers, like, just try it. No, but I remember we saw lots of kids doing it. I’m curious to you know, as a mom of a child with type 1 diabetes now, older teenager, my goodness, I am curious. And maybe I should ask your mom, but I’m gonna assume that your mom sees all of your movies. Yeah. And when she goes to this one, she’s got two kids with type one. She seen you guys through lots of ups and downs. Not only is she got to be just so incredibly proud of you. And I’m sure if your sister, what do you think something like this means to her?

Susan Fong 24:21
That’s a great question. I remember one story and I’m trying to pull it out of the recesses of my brain where my mom was explaining to someone that she had to give me a shot twice a day, and the other mother responded with I would rather die. And oh my god, no. I’m sorry. I think increasing representation helps even our parents, you know, who are fielding the same questions of just normalizing it. And I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about diabetes. If you’re well manage, and you know that someone is going to have birthday cake. Generally, you can figure out a way to manage that with insulin. And so there’s a lot of missing conceptions that parents are often having to fight, you know about what their children with diabetes can do? And the answer is they can do everything they can to everything that kid without diabetes can, it might be a little bit harder. It might take, you know, some strategizing some trial and error, but they can do everything. A person without diabetes can. And so I think, you know, just that normalization of kids are all the same. Some of them were diabetes, tech, some of them are diabetic, some of them are not, I think could be powerful.

Stacey Simms 25:29
When I asked my listeners, what kinds of questions they wanted me to ask you, the only actual question and I’ll share the thought is, was we say goodbye in a moment, but the only actual question was, will they make stuffed animals or merchandise featuring these characters? I understand. But I’m guessing the answer is probably not if they’re not main characters in the movie?

Susan Fong 25:51
Probably not. I’m not a part of our kind of, I can’t remember the name of the group consumer products are not a part of consumer products to know what is coming as a part of bread. But yes, I would imagine that

Stacey Simms 26:02
follow up and get the skinny on that one. And then the last question I want today, it’s really wasn’t about diabetes. But I’m just curious, you said you started working on this years ago, can’t imagine you know, I talk into a microphone, we put the podcast episode out next week or whatever, I can’t imagine the process here. What is it like for you all, when you know that people are going to finally see this movie?

Susan Fong 26:22
Oh, it’s it is the moment of joy that we all wait for. It’s been challenging and COVID times because we’re used to being able to go out to a theater and watch it with a fresh audience. And sometimes, after you’ve seen a film for, for many times, through many iterations, you don’t laugh at the jokes anymore, because she’s kind of have absorbed them and are used to them and you’re more focused on the visuals on screen and getting them approved. And so when you see with a fresh audience, it’s the first time you get to see that, that reaction, it really does make your heart sing. There was an absolutely incredible moment, when the crew was watching the film. At the end of the film, when the credits come up, the band in the film named for town is singing a song, and the audience was singing back. And it was amazing. And it’s yeah, it’s those moments that are really, really powerful. Just, I can’t even put words to what it feels like. But it’s a highlight for sure.

Stacey Simms 27:22
Get not really understanding how not only animation works, but all the computer stuff you were talking about. You kind of mentioned that many people had a role in this. Can you talk about what you meant there?

Susan Fong 27:33
Yeah, so my only contribution on the insulin pump was the spark of an idea. And from that point forward, many, many artists had their hands on this. There’s a process in the art department where they’re pulling reference, and they’re coming up with what they think that design should be. There’s a process of approval, where it goes in front of the director, and approving the design, the art director approving the design, it moves into characters to actually be physically modeled as a 3d model, into shading to be shaded, to look representative of insulin pump. And then you know, the tubing and the infusion set itself are also a particular challenge, because our stimulation department had to make sure that the tube moved as the cursor moves, they had to make sure that the infusion set laid flat against the skin. And a lot of those tweaks ended up being done by both animation and our characters department who do shot sculpts, which is when you just need to tweak something to make it flush, just a tiny little, you know, adjustment. So it actually required a number of requirements to have their hands on it, to make it work. So I just really want to thank everyone that put effort into it. And I think also, you know, artists also say when they work on something like this about how much they learn, and how rewarding it is to learn about how these different pieces of assistance, topology work.

Stacey Simms 28:47
Did they call you down sometimes, like, can we look at your pump? Can we look at your CGI?

Susan Fong 28:53
You know, I helped recall the shader packet repo reference and, you know, put it up on a board to kind of decide, you know, how you’re going to take the reference you see and turn it into something that is our own. And yes, I pulled a lot of the reference for for fire characters department and fielded constant questions. And I love that. One of the little things under the scenes is the infusion set was not named infusion set, because it got lost in the game of telephone. So it’s called insulin injector as the name of the model.

Stacey Simms 29:22
Oh, gosh. Gosh, I really appreciate this. It was so much fun. And I’m so excited to see the movie now. I mean, we’re so funny, because we’re like, yeah, yeah, the plot looks great. Tell us about this five second scene.

Susan Fong 29:37
I still am very overwhelmed by social media response. And I knew it was important to me. I didn’t know it would be the same for everyone.

Stacey Simms 29:46
Oh, well. It was quite the big deal. And it will continue to be so well, I said that my listeners didn’t have a lot of questions. But one thing they said over and over again was to please thank Pixar. They’re doing such a good job at making everyone feel rested. sent it. And everybody just said, please say thank you for doing this. And I wanted to pass those thoughts along as well. Because it really, as you saw on social media, I guess you saw the posts, it’s so meaningful to people. And we really do appreciate that not only you did it, but you came on to talk about it. So Susan, thank you so much for joining me and sharing your story and for sharing your story in the movie.

Susan Fong 30:21
Of course, I appreciate it.

Stacey Simms 30:28
You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
More information as always, at diabetes connections.com. If you’re new, and you’re listening, maybe on a podcast app, like Apple or Spotify or something, the show notes also have a transcription and links can be kind of difficult to see in some of those players even in some of the top and most used podcast players. So if you can’t find it, or it looks weird, you could always go back to diabetes connections.com. And we have a very robust search as well. If you are new, and you’d like to take a spin through all of our episodes.
I got to give a big thanks to Jim Hill. He is the host of the Disney dish podcast and fine tuning to podcasts. I really recommend if you’re Disney fan, he connected me with the right people at Pixar and helped make this happen a little bit more to share about Turning Red in just a moment.
But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. So my husband and I were watching a movie the other night, and we got a Dexcom alert, then he was upstairs in his room. And for some reason it took me back to the days when we basically had blood sugar checks on a timer. This was a long time ago, my son has lived with diabetes for 15 years. And we would check doing a finger stick the same time every day at home and at school. And whenever extra we needed to. It really is amazing to think about how much our diabetes management has changed with share and follow. I didn’t stop the movie to get up and check on him. I knew what was going on, I could decide whether to text him or go up and help out using the shared follow apps have really helped us talk less about diabetes, which I never thought would happen with my teenager. And he loves that part too. Trust me, that is what is so great about the Dexcom system, I think for the caregiver or the spouse or the friend, you can help the person with diabetes manage in the way that works for your individual situation. Internet connectivity is required to access Dexcom, follow separate follow up required, go to diabetes connections.com and click on the Dexcom logo.
Just a little bit more before I let you go about Turning Red in the community response and vape a little bit more from Pixar. I’m releasing this episode a little early, which means I’m taping it a little bit early. At this point, I have submitted an op ed to a couple of national outlets. So hopefully they will be picked up. And I’ll be telling you about that. But the Op Ed was about a lot of what Susan and I talked about in that interview in that Turning Red shows but doesn’t tell about diabetes, how it is not a plot point, and how that’s actually a bit of a breakthrough. And in the Op Ed I go on to talk about how it avoids what so many other even children’s shows run into, which is a depiction of media diabetes depiction of media. That’s wrong. And we talked about that a lot in the episode that Susan falling mentioned there with Dr. Heather Walker, and Dr. Phyllis duros, who was also in that episode as well had contributed a chapter to Dr. Walker’s book. So I will link that episode up you can go back and hear our whole conversation about diabetes and media. Her particular take on Turning Red s depiction you just showing telling about diabetes. And that will keep you posted. If the Op Ed pops up anywhere. We also talk in the op ed a little bit more about the type how the type is not mentioned either. And I think that is important. So as you’re sharing this story, remember, you know not everybody who wears an insulin pump or a CGM lives with type one diabetes, let’s include people with lots of other types. There are lots of other types of diabetes. I am one and I get pushback on this a lot. And we’re all entitled to our opinion. But I am one who thinks our community is much stronger together. And that means not throwing people with other types of diabetes under the bus. And all of that to say I haven’t even seen the movie yet. Right? The movie hasn’t been released as I’m taping this, I cannot wait. I’m sure it’s going to be terrific. And you know, I’ll be watching it as soon as it is released. Let me know what you think I would love to hear from you. I have a feeling we’ll be talking about this for quite some time to come.
Thanks as always to my editor John Bukenas from audio editing solutions. Thank you so much for listening. We’ve got in the news in just a couple of days. I do that every Wednesday live on social media and then we turn that around for a podcast episode on Fridays. These episodes are usually released these long format interview episodes every week on Tuesday. This one’s snuck out a little bit early, but usually we are on Tuesdays so you can find out more on the homepage or on social media. Of course you can always follow me. I’m Stacey Simms. I’ll see you back here in a couple of days until then be kind to yourself.

Benny 34:50
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