As I sit down in the plush red velvet seats, the lights dim and the ceiling starts to sparkle like twinkling stars. The crowd lets out a collective”Ooooooh” much like the one you would hear from the Aliens of Toy Story. Then one of the stars shoots across the dark ceiling sky and then another, “Woooooow!” The twinkling stars fade to black, and the familiar sound of The Incredibles action music starts. Ba dant da daaa!
This month I traveled to San Francisco to visit Pixar Studios along with 24 other bloggers to learn everything we could about the upcoming Incredibles 2. Going to Pixar is a considerable honor because the campus is not open to the public. But what was truly amazing about the experience was the amount of knowledge they bestowed upon us about the process of making an animated film or short. We also got to see the first 20 minutes and a few clips of the new Incredibles 2 movie!
I'm a huge fan of Disney and Pixar's animated movies. They always capture the heart of great storytelling. In fact, most of the people we spoke to shared with us that they ended up at Pixar Studios because of the storytelling that was happening. They wanted to be apart of the magic. The amount of talent and creativity on the Pixar campus is endless, and you can feel it the moment you walk through the doors of the Steve Jobs building.
The Steve Jobs building was designed in a way to bring people together and also to bring the outside world in. The bricks on the ground and the side of the building come in before meeting the wood. The cafe and common areas are all located in the atrium so that you are forced to come out of your office and into the community. I love this aesthetic.
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Upstairs you will find galleries of some of the recent work that Pixar has done. One gallery holds the film most recently finished, which was Coco, and on the other side and throughout the majority of the building you will find the current film, which is Incredibles 2. I found out some new fun facts about Coco, and the amount of modeling that was done for all the skeletons caused it to be the most modeled film to date. Modeling is the process of sculpting the character in clay to fine tune what they will look like when they begin to animate.
The amount of art that is created during the planning process is astonishing. From the modelings to simple sketches to full storyboards with color and lighting, there is so much fantastic art. All of this art is preserved not matter if it gets used in a film or not. There is no throwing away ideas at Pixar. That is where the archives team comes into place. Much like the Disney Archives, Pixar has an archives team that helps to preserve everything. They were even able to recall and look at all the art from the first Incredibles movie to see if there were characters that didn't get used that might be a good fit for Incredibles 2. Take a look at some of the concept art that was preserved but never used for the films. Edna Mode could have been a mad scientist!
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Speaking of concept art, we got to make our own Super and it was so fun that I came home and did the project with my kids. Check out how to make your own Incredibles Super concept art here.
Seeing all of the art and work that goes into a Pixar Animation has given me a new appreciation of art and the processes involved. Incredibles 2 hits theaters on June 15th!