Pixar Animation Studios

For the movie Finding Nemo, 43.536 storyboards were presented during the three year period it took to make the film. The full movie was screened five times for an invited audience until the result was satisfying for the team. At Pixar Animation Studios they are constantly creatively challenged. The storyboarding process is all about building an idea, pitch it for the creative team, get critique and re-do it. img_6138.jpgWhen screening the films, the interaction is direct. Critique is not about being polite, but say what you think. Details are important. An idea is finished when they feel a hundred percent sure that the result is exactly what they want. Intuition is a driving force. In the book The art of Wall-E Andrew Stanton, director and writer , describes the process: ”If you challenge yourself with each artistic endeavor, always aiming beyond your comfort zone, you invariably become a student of your own work…”. On the team directors, artists, sculptors, actors, writers, designers, editors and animators work in collaboration: drawings are done by several people and a story is very much a product built with team-work.“The atmosphere at Pixar is casual. But deadly serious when it comes to quality”.

Eric Pearson, Post Production Manager, meet us in the lobby. Two things strikes you when stepping in through the doors at Pixar. The lobby is a very large open space at the center of the building. It’s planned as the meetingplace for both visitors and the employees. img_6094.jpgIt’s a place where you eat lunch, meet over a cup of coffee in the lounge sofas or just run into each other as you move around between the film theatre, the second floor, coffee and drinks, and the reception. The second thing is how quickly they put up exhibitions of the work behind the films. Wall-E, the newest film, just opened at the film theatres in US. Walking at Pixar, everything is already exposed in the exhibition: example of storyboards, sculptors, products, sketches and small stories of how the film was built.

In New York Times’ Sunday Book Review there is a review of the new book telling the story of Pixar The Pixar touch. The Making of a Company. Writer Michael Hirschorn, argues in the article, that what is striking about Pixar’s history is that the whole thing with computer animation in the beginning seemed provisional. The entrepreneurs starting it kept on working, even though no-one believed in it, driven by an intuitive feeling that this was what they wanted to do. They were, as Hirschorn puts it, “entrepreneurs seeing clarity where others saw only fog”.

Also look at New York Times’ critic A.O. Scott, where he is reviewing Pixar’s movies.img_6099.jpgimg_6110.jpgimg_6129.jpg

9 Responses to “Pixar Animation Studios”

  1. [...] was showed to an audience and reactions taken into account in the building of a film (look here to read about our visit to Pixar Animation [...]

  2. [...] our visit to IDEO, reading about Barack Obama’s campaign organisation, and the visit at Pixar Animation Studios. An incubator in San Francisco within art and culture is Intersection Incubator. We also wrote [...]

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