Friday, June 01, 2012

Ed Talk

Eric Savitz types it as Dr. Catmull says it at D10. This caught my eye:

... Pixar benefited early from being near Silicon Valley; watching companies rise and fall from doing stupid things. When Disney acquired Pixar, it was important to me that we not merge Disney Animation and Pixar. Disney Animation was not healthy when we got there; we had to turn it around. Get people with a lot of talent to operate in a different way. Philosophically, Pixar and Disney Animation do the same things. They do have their cultures. If one gets in trouble, the other studio can’t help them. Not allowed to. In the end, when Disney made Tangled, they made it. It was their film. ...

Pixar hummed in all cylinders for a long time. Twelve hits in a row is nothing to sneeze at. But when Ed Catmull says that many of the pictures had "make or break" points, and creative staff was replaced, I believe it. Because most animated pictures have story problems at one point or another. And sometimes the problems are repaired, and sometimes a whole new engine and body are brought in.

And sometimes the unrepaired, unreplaced production is allowed to limp out to the world, as is.

Pixar (mostly) strives to fix them. And mostly succeeds.


Floyd Norman said...

As an early fan of Pixar, I watched the long, long struggle while Steve Jobs supported the scrappy little firm out of his own pocket. Pixar's salvation came when Disney offered the co-production deal that eventually saved their bacon and launched an animation juggernaut.

Perhaps Disney animation wasn't "healthy" when the new leaders arrived. Yet, I find the dismissive attitude somewhat disconcerting. After all, this is the company that ultimately saved your butt.

hoopcooper said...

I think it was a combination of Pixar's talent and Disney's deep pockets. I remember talking to the story department folks at Pixar back in the late 90's. They were some of the smartest people I've met. Mind bendingly astute...and totally sensitive to what they needed from storytellers.

Matthew said...

High praise for men who draw little planning pictures and craft ol’yarns for the silver screen [while perhaps rightfully earned] really should be held in a more relative perspective to the world at large. A Conversation with the Pixar Creative Team. The vibe speaks for itself.

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