Monday, November 25, 2013

Walking Through the Hat Building

I spent part of my afternoon at the Hat Building, where a lengthy Frozen trailer is on display on a large monitor in the entrance hall, and a lot of employees are taking Thanksgiving week off. ...

According to artists up in the story department, there are six (maybe more) features in various stages of development. (Don't ask me what all the titles and subjects are, because beyond Big Hero Six and Zootopia, haven't really kept up.)

And one of the story artists said this:

"We finally have a lot of story development going on, because it's taken a long while for John [and Ed] to have confidence, I think, in what we can do.

"Back when we were working on Bolt, we were taking the picture up to Pixar all the time, to show Pixar the brain trust what was happening. That's not happening now. I don't mean that nothing gets taken up to Emeryville these days, but John is a lot more comfortable with the artists here. And because he's more comfortable, more projects are in work, and there's not as much input from Pixar.

"Because John trusts what the Disney artists can do now. I don't think he did, a few years ago." ...

Speaking of Pixar, there is this bit of exuberant admiration from Professor Bob Sutton.

Ed Catmull has been one of my favorite senior executives for a long time. I admired him from afar after reading about him in David Price's excellent The Pixar Touch. I admired him even more after talking to people at Pixar about what it was like to work with him. And then I got to him a little through several interactions I had with him as part of an authors' group here in the San Francisco area and also, when Huggy Rao and I interviewed him for our new book Scaling Up Excellence.

The most interesting, and I think revealing, interactions I have had with Ed, however, have not been in person -- they have come from the process of reading and commenting on an earlier draft of his book, and exchanging emails with him. And, most recently, reading the finished product. I won't go through all the twists and turns of the process, but Ed (and obviously his co-writer Amy Wallace, who I did not interact with directly) clearly were dedicated to getting it right, Even in that early draft, the astounding and intertwined stories of Ed's life and Pixar's development into one of greatest companies on the planet were riveting, as were his insights about building a creative company ...

Jeeze, Professor Sutton. If you have issues with Dr. Catmull, don't beat around the bush. Just come right out and say what they are.


Unknown said...

We know BH6 is do next year

We know WDAS will have no film out in 2015 "That's Pixar's comeback year".

We know Zootopia is due out in 2016.

And we know Moana & Giants are currently in development.

Beyond that, well, lets get through the aboved first.

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