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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: pixar, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 167
1. Peter Sohn Named New Director of Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’

Yesterday evening, Pixar quietly revealed on Twitter that the new director of "The Good Dinosaur," scheduled to be released in November 2015, is Peter Sohn.

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2. Watch The Teaser Trailer for Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’

The first teaser trailer is out for Pixar's next film "Inside Out" directed by Pete Docter.

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3. ‘Cars’ Co-Creator Jorgen Klubien Debuts His First English Album

Jorgen Klubien lives a double life: he's an animation artist in the United States and a pop singer in Denmark.

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4. Creativity, Inc.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace

Part Pixar-history, part management how-to, Catmull lays out his management philosophy with examples of how he’s implemented it.

One of the things that Catmull really values is candor and building a culture where everyone feels free and safe to give honest feedback, and where speaking truth to power is welcome and encouraged. He shows this well in his book, because he illustrates his ideas with real-life examples, and he is very honest about his missteps and what happened when things didn’t work.

And I think that’s what I appreciated most about this book--Pixar isn’t a perfect company. Many beloved movies failed multiple times before hitting the theaters. I don’t want to say this is a “warts and all” because it’s not a tell-all airing out the dirty laundry, but, at the same time, it is very honest. Catmull shows where things have gone wrong and then parses it to try to examine why and what they changed to make things better.

One the other big underlying themes is letting go of ego. When people point out ways your project isn’t working, it’s not personal. (Of course as he readily admits, not taking it personally is really hard and much easier said than done, but it’s something to strive for). You should hire people smarter than you are, and then trust them to grow and you should listen to them. I think another very good point he makes is that when managers first learn about problems in meetings, or when told about something not-in-private, it’s not a sign of disrespect and that they need to GET OVER IT.

Personally, this is something I strive for in my own management. I told everyone who works at the library in my first few weeks here that if something isn’t working, I need to know. If I’m doing something that’s not helpful, they need to tell me. I have bigger things to worry about and deal with than being personally offended when you rightfully call me out on my bullshit. (Easier said than done, but I’ve been working on separating stuff out. Dealing with the issue, and then going home and acknowledging my sad feelings and wallowing a bit, and then getting on with it.)

He’s also a big proponent of creating a culture where it’s safe to take a risk and it’s safe to fail. (As Robert Reich said in his commencement speech when I graduated from college, if you’re not occasionally failing, you’re not reaching far enough or trying hard enough.)

I like that he gets into the specifics of culture clash issues when Disney bought Pixar and he became the head of Disney Animation. He then talks about what he did to change the Disney culture and that, like most things worth doing, it didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t always smooth.

But, one of his big things, and I think this is a good take-away for libraries is that everyone’s responsible for quality. And this ties back with his points on candor--everyone should feel empowered to look for quality issues and to go ahead and fix them or bring them to the attention of someone who can help fix them. Problems are not solutions. Often the person who notices the issue won’t have the solution, because often solutions aren’t that easy, but everyone is responsible for quality. One of the ways they foster this is to bring people from different areas and departments together. When movies are in progress, works-in-progress are routinely shown to, and commented on, by people who aren’t involved in the movie. When Pixar had grown so big some of the candor was being lost, they had a notes day where people from all across the company (including kitchen staff) got together to talk about issues and possible solutions.

I spent a number of years in a large library where departments were very separate--the children’s staff had a different work room than the adult services staff, which was different than circ, etc. Since switching systems, I’ve been at branches, which are smaller. At my last branch, only 1 person could physically be on the desk at a time, so they did reference and circ, and helped people of all ages. There’s much more fluidity between departments because that’s how we need to function. I love it. We all have the areas we specialize in, but we all have our fingers in other things, which makes us understand each other a lot better, and we have a bigger pool of people to bounce ideas off, because even if it’s not their department, they know the basics of your resources and constrictions. It doesn’t always work and it’s not always good, BUT one of things I really want to do as a manager is foster this type of cross team collaboration and minimize some of the us vs. them dynamic that I often see in libraries that can get really poisonous really quickly. And this is where Creativity, Inc. really spoke to me, both with ideas on how to nurture this, but in just reaffirming its great importance. (And, here I’m going to plug my friend Rachel’s new blog, Constructive Summer: Building the Unified Library Scene which is about this very thing)

So, overall, obviously, I loved this book. I found a lot of inspiration, but it was also just a fun read (let’s face it, when your examples are about making Toy Story, I will find it more engaging than an example about making a car.) Also, the Afterword: The Steve We Knew made me cry, which was embarrassing, because I was on the bus. Steve Jobs (owner of Pixar) came up frequently in the bulk of the book, but the afterword really looked at his role, but more importantly was Catmull talking about a friend who died. Catmull really looks at the biographical books and articles about Steve and talks about how they jived and did not jive with the person he knew. As someone who’s read Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different a countless number of times, it was really interesting to see some of the big points directly rebutted.


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5. Disney, DreamWorks, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Sony Are Sued in Wage Theft Scandal

Shocking details of wage-theft conspiracy emerge in a class action lawsuit filed against DreamWorks, Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Digital Domain 3.0, Sony Pictures Imageworks and others.

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6. ‘New Yorker’ Makes Animator Profiles Available For Free

As part of their website redesign, the "New Yorker" has made every article they've published since 2007 available for free on their website, including some animation-related pieces.

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7. Mike Mignola Created A Poster for Pixar’s ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot’ Special

Comic artist Mike Mignola created this poster for the upcoming Pixar TV special "Toy Story That Time Forgot" that will air on ABC this winter.

0 Comments on Mike Mignola Created A Poster for Pixar’s ‘Toy Story That Time Forgot’ Special as of 7/22/2014 8:20:00 AM
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8. First Rendered Image from Pixar’s ‘Lava’

The first rendered image from Pixar's new short Lava" was published today in the "LA Times."

0 Comments on First Rendered Image from Pixar’s ‘Lava’ as of 7/11/2014 7:59:00 PM
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9. Pixar’s Ed Catmull Emerges As Central Figure In The Wage-Fixing Scandal

Pixar and Disney Animation president Ed Catmull has always had a reputation as a decent person, but newly revealed court documents show that he's been working against the interests of Pixar's employees for years, as well as trying to hurt other studios who didn't play by his rules.

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10. Artist of the Day: Nate Wragg

Today’s Cartoon Brew Artist of the Day post is sponsored by the CG Master Academy. Sign up TODAY for Nate Wragg’s class Character Design for Animation.


Nate Wragg

Nate Wragg works as an art director and illustrator for animation and book projects, and teaches courses about character design.

Nate Wragg

Nate Wragg

For the production of Toy Story 3, one of Nate’s assignments was to design the new toy characters in Bonnie’s room, including Mr. Pricklepants. See more toy character designs and read Nate’s thoughts about his process in this blog post.

Nate Wragg

Nate Wragg

Nate posts much more personal and professional work on his blog N8Wragg.blogspot.com, where you can also find links to the books that he has illustrated including two that are related to Pixar’s Ratatouille.

Nate Wragg

Nate Wragg

Nate Wragg

Nate Wragg

Nate Wragg

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11. “Monsters University” and “Blue Umbrella” Reader Talkback

Pixar’s fourteenth feature film, Monsters University, opens this weekend in the U.S. and many other countries. The film, directed by Dan Scanlon, is playing better with audiences, who have given it a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, than with critics, whose reviews currently stand at 77% positive. In the New York Times review, Manohla Dargis offers the typical dissenting viewpoint that suggests Pixar has been unable to fix the clumsy and cliched storytelling that had mired the studio’s previous two efforts:

[T]he story remains disappointingly familiar, mired in recycled buddy movie dynamics and the usual child-developmental directives about finding yourself and learning to work well with others. Both the originality and stirring emotional complexity of Monsters, Inc., with its exquisitely painful and touching parallels with the human world, are missing…

The feature is accompanied by a new photorealistic Pixar short, The Blue Umbrella, directed by Saschka Unseld. Check out both films and report back here with your opinion in the comments below. As always, this talkback is open only to those who have seen the film and wish to share an opinion about it.

(Monsters University billboard via Daily Billboard)

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12. “Monsters University” Scares Up Huge $82 Mil Opening Weekend

Pixar’s Monsters University opened with a powerful first-place finish in the United States. The Dan Scanlon-directed film nabbed an estimated $82 million in its opening weekend, which makes it the second-biggest Pixar opening ever behind Toy Story 3′s $110.3M opening in 2010. The real test will be next weekend: will the film decline in the mid-40% range as Toy Story 3 did or will it drop over 60% as Cars 2 did? Overseas, Monsters University opened in approximately three dozen international territories with an international cume of $54.5M, also good enough for a first place finish. After one weekend, the film’s total gross is $136.5M.

Meanwhile, as expected, Monsters University pummelled Blue Sky’s Epic at the American box office. Epic plunged a massive 72.5% percent for an estimated fifth-weekend total of $1.7M. The film finally crawled its way across the $100M mark, but it will now certainly end up as Blue Sky’s lowest grossing film in the U.S., and among its lowest grossing films internationally.

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13. Where Pixar Artists Get Wasted in Emeryville

It’s hardly a secret that artists who work in animation love to drown their sorrows in alcohol. Some like it so much that they drink themselves to death. While we’re not aware of any Pixar artists having done so, they certainly have enough alcohol at the studio should somebody decide to pursue that path. Here’s a photo tour of the Pixar studio’s private bars, with evocative names like Ye Olde Knife & Fiddle, The Love Lounge, and The Lucky 7. The good news is that if any of the establishments ever runs dry, they can just call on their boss John Lasseter who runs a booze-production facility on his sprawling estate.

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14. Chris Sasaki Shares Development Art from “Monsters University”

Pixar vizdev artist Chris Sasaki posted a generous heap of his Monsters University development art on his blog. One can’t help but think that the clarity of his design approach, with the simple funny shapes and candy colors, might also lend itself well to a hand-drawn animated version of Pixar’s Monsters universe. Of course, there’s plenty more of this type of work in the film’s ‘art of’ book.

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15. The Supreme Court Decision That Thrilled the Producers of “Monsters University” and “Toy Story 3″

With LGBT Pride festivities taking place all over the country this week, the San Francisco Gate got together with Pixar power couple Kori Rae and Darla K. Anderson to chat about their relationship, the recent Supreme Court strike down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the box office opening of Monsters University, which Rae (above, left) produced.

The twice-married (to each other), domestic-partnered producers and self-described “Pix-Mos”, Anderson (Monsters Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3) and Rae (Up, The Incredibles) started dating in 2001 during the production of Monsters Inc. and when they eloped in 2004, infuriated their family and friends, including Steve Jobs. “I remember Steve Jobs was mad,” Anderson recounted. “He said, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t invite Laurene and I to come down to City Hall to be with you guys.’”

“I was willing to leave the company at that point,” said Rae, expecting professional consequences to their new romance. “But [Pixar was] completely great. They were nothing but supportive, and have been the whole time.” The two maintain the sanity in their relationship by never working on the same film and maintaining strong boundaries. “It’s hard enough making one of these giant movies, and you put your heart and souls into them,” Anderson explained. “If we carried too much of that at home, we would just turn into animated characters ourselves.”

When asked if there will ever be (or has been) a gay character in a Pixar film, Anderson replied, “Our goal is to create great art, and if we’re telling true stories with great characters, people will project and identify with a lot of our films. A lot of people feel like a lot of our characters are gay, and have projected their stories onto it. If we’re doing our job right, that’s what should happen.”

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16. Brenda Chapman Acccuses John Lasseter of Micromanagement

Yesterday’s New York Times delivered a glowing profile of DreamWorks chief creative officer Bill Damaschke. The pieces describes how CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is relinquishing oversight of creative matters to Damaschke, who for his part is trying to make the studio more creator-friendly.

It reads like your typical puff piece until it gets to the part about Brenda Chapman. The article reveals that Chapman, who co-directed the first DreamWorks film The Prince of Egypt before jumping to Pixar where she made Brave, has recently returned to DreamWorks. First, Chapman explains why she left DreamWorks:

“I left in part because I felt like I was being asked to do the same story over and over. I look at the movies DreamWorks is doing now, and I see the exact opposite happening.”

Then, it gets juicy when she places the blame for her removal as director of Brave squarely on the shoulders of John Lasseter:

She was pushed out of Pixar after clashing with that studio’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter. Although she could have joined another studio, she said she chose to return to Glendale in part because of Mr. Damaschke, who started at DreamWorks Animation in 1995 as a production assistant on The Prince of Egypt.

“As Jeffrey has gained experience and age, and DreamWorks has grown, he has stepped back and allowed other people to run creative,” Ms. Chapman said. “At Pixar, it’s all John’s show.” She added of DreamWorks Animation, “you can butt heads here and not be punished for it, unlike at another place I could name.”

It’s not exactly news that there was some kind of a conflict between Lasseter and Chapman, but it begins a new chapter in the story when Chapman publicly claims that Lasseter’s micromanagement was the cause of her rift with Pixar. And on another note, who would have ever thought that directors like Chapman and Chris Sanders would begin migrating to DreamWorks for its liberal creative environment. In the animation world, the times they are a-changin.

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17. “Turbo” Fails to Accelerate at Box Office


Turbo, the DreamWorks-produced and David Soren-directed animated feature about the snail that could, opened in a disappointing third place in the U.S. with an esimated $21.5 million. The film is the third-lowest all-time opening weekend for a DreamWorks CGI film, doing better than only Antz (1998) and the Aardman-produced Flushed Away (2006). However, adjusted for inflation and 3D prices, Turbo had the smallest opening weekend audience EVER for a DreamWorks CG pic. The film has grossed $31.2 million since opening last Wednesday.

Illumination’s Despicable Me 2 kept up its amazing run in its third weekend. The film landed in second place with an estimated $25.1 million. Its current domestic total is a smashing $276 million, and by next weekend it will pass Man of Steel to become the second-highest grossing film in America this year. Holding up the tenth place spot was Pixar’s Monsters University, which earned an estimated $5 million in its fifth weekend. The film’s total now stands at a robust $249 million.

International numbers to come in a bit.

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18. Artist of the Day: Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova found employment as an animator at Pixar after graduating from the animation program at CalArts. Her 2011 graduation film was called The Real McCoy:

Eliza decisively models forms while simultaneously incorporating imaginative marks that add style and movement to her drawings.

Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova

One of the side-projects that Eliza is working on is the independent short film, The Dam Keeper, directed by Pixar art directors Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo.

Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova

See more of Eliza’s work on her website.

Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova

Eliza Ivanova

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19. John Lasseter Removes Bob Peterson As Director of “Good Dinosaur”

The LA Times has confirmed that director Bob Peterson has been removed as director of Pixar’s 2014 feature The Good Dinosaur. The news of Peterson’s dismissal was first revealed by Blue Sky Disney on Monday, August 26th.

This would mark the third time time that a director has been replaced on Pixar’s last four films: the other times were in 2010 when Brenda Chapman was replaced by Mark Andrews on Brave

and when Brad Lewis was taken off Cars 2 and replaced by Lasseter himself.

The unsettling trend at Pixar began in the mid-2000s when Jan Pinkava was booted off Rataouille in favor of Brad Bird. Another publicly announced project Newt, directed by veteran Pixar sound designer Gary Rydstrom was canned entirely. Lasseter’s preference for directorial musical chairs has extended to Disney Feature Animation where he yanekd Chris Sanders from the director’s chair on Bolt.

Ed Catmull, who confirmed the news to the LA Times spun the story in an awkward way, first by indicating that Peterson was too enthused about his own film and lacked perspective, then by suggesting that live-action films should have their directors replaced more often, too:

“All directors get really deep in their films. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors … are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up. I would go so far as to argue that a lot of live-action films would be better off with that same process.”

According to the times, twenty-year Pixar veteran Peterson remains at the studio. No new director has been named even though the film is due in theaters in nine months. Diffrent people at the studio are helping to guide the various parts of its production, including Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, Mark Andrews and Peter Sohn, who was Good Dinosaur’ original co-director.

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20. Pixar Shuffles Release Lineup After It Delays “The Good Dinosaur”

One of the big questions surrounding the recent removal of Bob Peterson as director of The Good Dinosaur was how would Pixar finish the film in time for its May 2014 release date.

The answer: they won’t.

The Walt Disney Studios announced today that they are pushing back the release date of the director-less The Good Dinosaur from May 30, 2014, to Nov. 25, 2015. That will also bump the release of Andrew Stanton’s Finding Dory from November 25, 2015 to June 17, 2016.

Pixar president Ed Catmull told the LA Times, “Nobody ever remembers the fact that you slipped a film, but they will remember a bad film. Our conclusion was that we were going to give the [dinosaur] film some more time.”

Pixar will not release a film in 2014. Their next film will be Pete Docter’s Inside Out due on June 19, 2015.

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21. ‘Incredibles 2′ is Being Planned, Disney Confirms

It's official: Pixar is developing an 'Incredibles 2.'

0 Comments on ‘Incredibles 2′ is Being Planned, Disney Confirms as of 3/18/2014 3:49:00 PM
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22. Watch A Rare Demo of Pixar’s Animation System Presto

This is a rare demo of Pixar's proprietary animation system called Presto. The program was written originally for "Brave" and is being used on all of the studio's upcoming films. It offers animators a deep level of control within a real-time, interactive environment.

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23. After Reading This, You’ll Never Watch ‘Finding Nemo’ In the Same Way Again

Pixar's "Finding Nemo" told of a touching bond between a clownfish father and son. But according to this fascinating excerpt from Stephen R. Palumbi and Anthony R. Palumbi's new book "The Extreme Life of the Sea", "Finding Nemo" director Andrew Stanton bypassed the most intriguing trait of clownfish, which is that they can change their sex. Had Pixar stayed true to clownfish biology, they would have ended up with a quite different story.

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24. Pixar’s Announces ‘Lava,’ New Musical Short

Pixar has announced their latest short film, "Lava," directed by James Ford Murphy, a studio veteran who has animated on the company's films since "A Bug's Life."

0 Comments on Pixar’s Announces ‘Lava,’ New Musical Short as of 6/20/2014 7:33:00 AM
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25. Disney and DreamWorks May Have Been Part of Illegal Pixar/Lucasfilm Wage-Fixing Cartel

Tech site Pando Daily has been providing amazing coverage of the Department of Justice antitrust invesigation and subsequent class action lawsuits over wage-fixing amongst Silicon Valley tech companies and animation studios.

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