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Woody’s News Round-up! (3/23/15)

Jonas Rivera, Pete Docter, RenderMan, Round-Ups

Posted by Simoa • March 23, 2015

Quite a fair bit of Pixar news today!

rendermanFirst, Pixar just launched a new Renderman site. Pixar’s Renderman technology has shaped the visual effects in the studio’s animated films as well as those made outside of Pixar. The sleek new site is brimming with tons of great information and resources, as well as a free download of a noncommercial Renderman.




peteOver in Toronto, Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera appeared on Breakfast Television to talk about Inside Out and sing their praises of the voice cast. Pete mentions Amy Poehler, who voices Joy, was such an integral part in “creating the character and the whole story”, who they actually wrote with! And a nice little surprise: Pete provides the voice for Anger in Riley’s father’s head! Inside Out, which Jonas Rivera calls “a love letter to our kids”, is now three months away! (Image on the right courtesy of Pete Docter’s instagram).




And now some good news for fellow Bostonians: a new Pixar exhibit will open at the Museum of Science in June! Capture“The Science of Pixar” promises to be an enriching experience for fans and visitors to learn more about the filmmaking and animation process. From the website:

The Science of Pixar gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the process used to create Pixar’s groundbreaking and award-winning films. The exhibit highlights the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts used every day at Pixar. Hands-on activities and interactive exhibitsinvite visitors to experience different roles, such as lighting designer, animator, or modeler. Videos of real Pixar employees give first-hand accounts of the technological innovations that have revolutionized the field of computer animation.
Tickets for this amazing exhibit go on sale in April, while the opening day is slated for June 28, 2015. Many thanks to Stitch Kingdom for the heads up here.
Be sure to check back in for more news!




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Toy Story 20 years later

Pete Docter, Toy Story

Posted by Simoa • March 18, 2015

In November of this year, Pixar’s first feature length film, and the first to make the foray into feature length computer animation, will turn twenty years old. That’s right, Toy Story is twenty! Thanks to Bryan Bishop over at The Verge, we now have a little more insight into the film and what it was like making history.

Pete Docter was one of the speakers at Austin’s annual SXSW conference, where music, film, and technology collide. Docter announced that he just wrapped up filming on Inside Out last Friday, which opens in theaters on June 19th. A new Spanish trailer for the film has been released, featuring some awesome footage, as well as a March Madness themed one.

But Docter, along with producer Galyn Susman, Pixar president Jim Morris, and technical director Eben Otsby focused on the challenges of Toy Story, and what it was like when Pixar was a fledgling studio. There are some neat tidbits about the process of making the film, which originally was going to be a holiday special about the main character in their short film, “Tin Toy”. Once they set their sights on making a full length movie, the tin toy evolved into Buzz Lightyear.

Below is an excerpt, in which Docter reveals his always endearing humble quality!

“We still don’t know what the hell we’re doing,” Docter said. “You think I’m joking, but we don’t. Every one of these [movies] has the weird ability to completely scramble your brain and fool you into thinking it’s working, until you show somebody else.” It’s only through their process of creative collaboration, Docter said, that the filmmakers are able to bring their movies together.

Check out some of the early concept art from Toy Story.

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John Lasseter: “There’s no desire to make things fit perfectly into any kind of Pixar model.”

John Lasseter, Toy Story 4

Posted by Simoa • March 11, 2015

Variety spoke with John Lasseter for their March 10 issue, and the animation chief discussed sequels and how things are run at Pixar.

photo via Variety

The article touches on Pixar’s philosophy of failure, which is encouraged in order to make room for risks. Once the fear of failure is removed, directors are freer to honor their ideas. It’s a strategy Pixar president Ed Catmull discussed at length in his book, Creativity, Inc.

Naturally failure is on everyone’s minds as Pixar plans to release more sequels. Although they’ve haven’t produced a mediocre film (those biased against Cars 2 are bound to disagree), the public feels that the animation studio is relying too heavily on existing properties. It’s a little odd that people who dismiss Monsters University, Finding Dory, and Cars 3 have been clamoring for a sequel to The Incredibles. Even if that’s a film where a sequel likely makes the most sense, no one accuses Pixar of “selling out” or of that sequel merely being profit driven. With the exception of Toy Story 2, Pixar’s sequels are never immediately released following the original film. Yet people have been demanding Brad Bird to make one for years.

Lasseter also discusses Toy Story 4, which has a confirmed co-director: story artist Josh Cooley. Cooley’s credits include the upcoming Inside Out, and he directed the short “George & A.J. ”

Addressing the concern over Pixar’s upcoming sequels, including the fourth , Lasseter has this to say:

“We do not do any sequel because we want to print money,” Lasseter says. “We do it because each of these films was created by a group of filmmakers, and to my mind, they are the owners of that intellectual property.

“So we look at it with the simple question: Is there another story we can tell in this world? And that desire has to come from the filmmaker group. Sometimes, the answer is an obvious yes. And sometimes it’s, ‘I love the characters and I love the world, but I don’t have an idea yet.’ And sometimes it’s just, ‘that movie is a great movie,’ and the filmmaker wants to move on and do something else. And that’s fine, too.”

A bit of encouragement about Toy Story 4: the treatment was written by Andrew Stanton. I think we can expect only the best.

Thanks to Leo Holzer on twitter for the heads up on this interview!

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