Thursday 3 July 2008

Mark Walsh Pixar Talk

Mark Walsh Pixar Talk, originally uploaded by electrolyte2006.

Well it's true what they say about clouds and linings that are silver. Just a couple of days ago I was lamenting that Björk had cancelled her Sheffield concert. It meant we had to look for somewhere else to go out to last night. I looked at the Showroom Cinema website and noticed that there was a talk by Mark Walsh, Supervising Animator from Pixar

I am a big Pixar fan and think that their films have been some of the best released in the last 13 years. They are much more than kids films. So assuming that the talk would have sold out weeks ago I rang up yesterday afternoon and managed to secure 2 of the last tickets.

Mark was an extremely entertaining speaker and his talk was very inspiring. He shared with us the secret behind Pixar's success - they are encouraged to fail. And then learn from their mistakes. On each film they work on they are encouraged to try out something new that no one else has done before. So they are expected to fail the 1st time they try it and aren't thought of badly by the bosses if they do.

As an example he told us about his time working on Ratatouille. He said that each film that Pixar makes takes about 4 years to complete from start to finish. Ratatouille was no different. By the beginning of year 4 they realised that the film they had produced wasn't very good. It was a bloated film which centred on the fat chef and didn't work as a film. So with 9 months to go before the film was due to be released they scraped most of what they had worked on previously and changed the story to concentrate more on Remy the rat. He said that killing the fat chef upset the animators who had spent years working on the chef but it had to be done.

This is what separates Pixar from say Dreamworks or Sony I think. Any other studio would have said at the 3 year point "well, it's good enough as it is, lets just spend the next 9 months polishing it". But not Pixar.

Truly inspiring stuff.

PS Sorry for the crappyness of the photo but I only had my mobile with me....

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