Pixar Storytelling is Going to Infinity and Beyond in Disney Parks - The Walt Disney Company
Pixar Animation Studios interview details: 79 interview questions and 67 Met with a number of people to mostly get a feel for each other and learn why I. Sep 13, Meet Paul Topolos and Meng Yu, creative animation experts from Pixar, the world-leading animation studio, during the upcoming international. Meet the Experts: Pixar Animation Studios, The OpenSubdiv Project: Pixar Artists describing their idea for standardizing sub-div handling and demonstration.
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It is our primary delivery system for straight talk. Its premise is simple: Put smart, passionate people in a room together, charge them with identifying and solving problems, and encourage them to be candid.
The Braintrust is not foolproof, but when we get it right, the results are phenomenal. Published by Random House, a division of Random House LLC While I attend and participate in almost all Braintrust meetings, I see my primary role as making sure that the compact upon which the meetings are based is protected and upheld.
How Pixar became the world's greatest animation company
The fear of saying something stupid and looking bad, of offending someone or being intimidated, of retaliating or being retaliated against—they all have a way of reasserting themselves. And when they do, you must address them squarely. They were funny, focused, smart, and relentlessly candid when arguing with each other.
Most crucially, they never allowed themselves to be thwarted by the kinds of structural or personal issues that can render meaningful communication in a group impossible.
Over the years, its ranks have grown to include a variety of people—directors, writers, and heads of story—whose only requirement is that they display a knack for storytelling. The one thing that has never changed is the demand for candor. Candor could not be more crucial to our creative process. Because early on, all of our movies suck. This is as it should be. People who take on complicated creative projects become lost. To understand why the Braintrust is so central to Pixar, you have to start with a basic truth: People who take on complicated creative projects become lost at some point in the process.
It is the nature of things—in order to create, you must internalize and almost become the project for a while, and that near-fusing with the project is an essential part of its emergence.
But it is also confusing. Where once he or she could see a forest, now there are only trees. How do you get a director to address a problem he or she cannot see?
The answer depends, of course, on the situation. No matter what, the process of coming to clarity takes patience and candor. With few exceptions, our directors make movies they have conceived of and are burning to make.
You may be thinking, How is the Braintrust different from any other feedback mechanism? There are two key differences, as I see it. While the directors welcome critiques from many sources, they particularly prize feedback from fellow storytellers.
The second difference is that the Braintrust has no authority.
Meet the Experts: Pixar Animation Studios, The OpenSubdiv Project | SPAFi
Giving the Braintrust no power to mandate solutions affects the dynamics of the group in ways I believe are essential. A mystifying plot twist or a less-than-credible change of heart in our main character is often caused by subtle, underlying issues elsewhere in the story. Think of it as a patient complaining of knee pain that stems from his fallen arches. To alleviate the pain, you have to identify and deal with the root of the problem. This principle eludes most people, but it is critical: You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when challenged.
To get a clearer sense of how candor is delivered at Pixar, I want to take you inside a Braintrust meeting.
Meet The Experts: Pixar Animation Studios, The Opensubdiv Project. Autodesk
I was developing stuff at Disney with computers doing the backgrounds and the characters still animated by hand. Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. I joined at the time it was trying to get Toy Story made. It struck me as a company of mostly young people. I was in my 20s, like most of the people there. What changed their mind was Tim Burton. Tim and I went to college together and he had developed a feature idea [while employed by Disney] called The Nightmare Before Christmas.
He went on to become a successful live-action director and was trying to buy Nightmare back from Disney. What its strengths were. Everything tended to look like plastic.
So why not have the main characters made of plastic? Having toys as characters really lent itself.
It was very convoluted, but we thought it was great at the time. So you have the cowboy doll and the spaceman. There were a lot of changes to the story as it went.
It was hard to believe in him as the most popular toy in the bedroom. Some of these characters had long and in-depth storylines. The Tiger Teething Ring I think was this old curmudgeon, like the lifer at the prison. I thought he was a guy delivering scripts to the studio. It took so long, you never got a view of what the overall movie looked like. It was really held together with spit and rubber bands. We were just making stuff up as we went along.
We always said when we were making Toy Story that it would be the ugliest movie we ever made. As traditional hand-drawn animation was becoming less profitable, attention turned to Pixar as the future of the medium. Then we could have faded from existence and that would have been the end of Pixar. We had the Apple II, then came out with our second computer, the Lisa, and it bombed. So that was great! It certainly was an epic compared to Toy Story. But we pulled it off.
We started overlapping the developing of projects. So it grew from a small group making one movie to an actual studio. Originally intended as a straight-to-video release, the sequel was promoted to a theatrical release. Part-way through production Lasseter felt the movie needed to be completely restarted.
Disney refused to move its release date so Pixar had to start the movie from scratch and complete it in nine months. It had to be a great movie. We lost control of it. Lasseter, Unkrich, Docter, Stanton and Joe Ranft, a beloved story supervisor who sadly died in a car crash in Lasseter was promoted to chief creative officer of both Pixar and Disney Animation.
Beforethe studio had only ever released one sequel, Toy Story 2. Of the five films it released between andthree were sequels. The company received criticism for allowing sequels to overtake original ideas.