Thursday, 2 February 2017

The History of Pixar

Above is an excellent short film about the history of the Pixar studio. It's a promotional piece, but also a great introduction to the history of the modern medium, the second "Golden Age" of animation. Among the impressive insights into the story-telling process at Pixar are John Lasseter suggesting that "every Pixar film at one point in time was the worst motion picture ever made". Why? Because "it's a process". In other words, it's not the doing of the thing, it is the re-doing of it that really counts.

John lasseter. Wikipedia
Why should students watch this? Because it's important to understand the history of our medium. Pixar is the studio that, more than any other, plucked the torch of excellence in animation from Walt Disney, and moved his methods into new technology and the digital age.

And it isn't easy.  As Lasseter puts it: "To make it believable to the audience, everything you see in a Pixar film has to be created. We don't get that for free. In live action, you can go on location and film something. But everything you see in a Pixar film has to be designed, modeled and shaded". And ultimately, if the teams at Pixar do their jobs really well, "the audience will never notice it", because they will just take it for granted.

Lasseter's advice on life? It's what he tells his kids. "Do something you really love to do. Because then you'll never work a day in your life".

Amen to that.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2017, follow this link.   And to take our evening class in storyboarding, click here.

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