Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wisdom

... equals stating the obvious reality that most Hollywood players are loath to mention:

Brad Bird: Everyone in Hollywood says they wish they could do it like Pixar, but they really don’t. There’s no secret at Pixar, but there is a belief in letting people pursue something with passion and take chances, and most of Hollywood, really, doesn’t like that. It’s too scary. Some studio executives will say they love obsessive creators who take risks, but really most of them would rather play it safe. Projects cost a lot of money and people would rather follow patterns they know and make things safe and accessible. Hollywood wants there to be a math formula for making hit films.

The non-secret: It's pretty much always been the way Mr. Bird describes. But Brad can say the above without fear of retribution because he is (now) somebody with Clout and Leverage.

But I'm old enough to remember Brad saying pretty much the same things at Disney thirty-plus years ago, only then he got his ass fired.

The difference? Then he was a snot-nosed nobody that studio management found loud and annoying. So they took away his studio i.d., escorted him to the front gate on Buena Vista Street, and told him "Adios."

I doubt studio execs enjoy Mr. Birds's mouthiness any more now than they did then. Only now he has Power, so they have to pretend to like it.

But the power structure hasn't changed. It still lusts after safe bets. And thank God Pixar hasn't changed. It might be owned by a conglomerate now, but it stays away from the mediocrity of stale sequels merely because they make money. The Emeryville studio is above and beyond all that, because it knows that Fresh and Original is the only thing worth pursuing or possessing. I mean, where would be the creative fun in following the Hollywood way?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Die, mediocrity, die!"

Anonymous said...

...it stays away from the mediocrity of stale sequels merely because they make money. The Emeryville studio is above and beyond all that, because it knows that Fresh and Original is the only thing worth pursuing or possessing...

Excuse me, Steve...CARS 2. A Pixar production, right?

Anonymous said...

Those pesky money making sequels sneak up on the best of 'em. TS2, TS3, Cars 2, Monsters Inc. 2... (with Planes, Trains, Emergency Vehicles and Boats in the Little Pixar/DTS pipeline)!

Anonymous said...

Oh Steve. You laid the sarcasm on so thick, the newbies think you were being serious.

I know better though.

Anonymous said...

Hey wait a minute...isn't Brad directing THE FOURTH, I SAID THE FOURTH, Mission Impossible movie?

Yeah Brad, just avoid the whole Cars 2, Monsters 2, Toy Story 4, stuff. Then keep bleating on the whole tired "Hollywood sucks, only PIXAR does it right" mantra "waaaaaah""waaaaaah".

It must really suck to work with a lowly Hollywood studio like Paramount and a hack like J.J. Abrams then too.

Anonymous said...

its over.

Steve Hulett said...

Excuse me, Steve...CARS 2. A Pixar production, right?

Sarcasm eludes you, correct?

And the other commenter points out that Brad isn't directing "Mission Impossible, Uno" but even if he was, he would be directing a movie based on a t.v. show from decades ago.

On the other hand, you wanna succeed moolah-wise in this town, you gotta compromise.

Anonymous said...

What a hypocrite. The studio that will soon bring you Monsters Inc 2, and probably Toy Story 4.

Pixar= The New Cartoon Factory.

Anonymous said...

"Those pesky money making sequels sneak up on the best of 'em"

...shrek 2,3,4,puss and boots, madagascar 2,3, tv shows, kung foo panda, that dragon cartoon.

Not many of those needed sequels. And I'm still waiting for the sequels to Prince of Egypt, Road to El Dorado, Cimoron, sinbad, over the hedge, shark tale, and antz. Zzzzz....

Anonymous said...

The Pixies are disturbed...roflmao

Anonymous said...

Hey, not all the Pixar brain trust is selling out. Andrew Stanton is carrying the torch of originality and innovation, working on that highly personal project John Carter.

Anonymous said...

John Carter is way over budget (over $300 million), and has several sets of reshoots. Having Disney move the release date to March doesn't show much confidence (it's the traditional dumping ground for movies they don't have faith in). Personal or not, I'ms surprised Disney gave a first time live action director this much budget. Especially since he's only directed one (cartoon) feature before (and co-directed 2).

Anonymous said...

Uh, I was being sarcastic with the 'personal' adjective. John Carter is an utterly generic big budget, FX-heavy popcorn movie designed to compete with bombastic, empty movies like Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean. It's the exact opposite of the kind of filmmaking that Stanton brags about being a part of at Pixar.

Why Bird and Stanton would take the mojo they built up at Pixar and waste it directing crap like John Carter and MI4 is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

For those who saw the recent Pacific Northwest test screening of John Carter, your concerns appear to be well founded ("utterly generic big budget"). Disney must be very worried.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this site is really infected by DreamWankers.

rufus said...

I, for one,am looking forward to MI4. Brad Bird has a solid record. At least, he's a better director than some of you, armchair cinema critics.

rufus

Anonymous said...

Or at least in Brad Bird's case, maybe he is trying to get the studios to put money in the project he really wants to work on like 1906. What better way to get them to invest the money than to make a potetially stale sequel successful. It work for JJ Abrams. He did what he had to do with MI franchise and Star Trek, then he was able to make a movie like Super 8.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Pixie @6:43 I can guarantee yoy there are more employees at DW then anywhere else that is hoping John Carter is a great film.

Pull your head out of your arse (or is it up JL's arse?)

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