Pixar’s R&D

The “Here’s why Pixar is so amazing, and why their movia-a-year is consistently so good” article is a bit of a cliché now. Doesn’t make such investigations much less fascinating, though. I can’t wait to see Wall-E. Though of course I will …

Pixar is also unique because of its origins. Today’s studios are four generations removed from their original immigrant entrepreneurs. They’re more like banks than movie companies, made up of employees all surrounded by constant reminders that they work for a mega-conglomerate always worried about making back its investment. Though owned by Disney, Pixar is still, creatively, the construct of Steve Jobs, a first-generation technological entrepreneur and visionary.

“We’re a studio of pioneers who, if you look at it technically, were the ones who invented much of computer animation” says Lasseter. “Everything we’ve done no one had done before—it was all new. So that creates a group of people who strive to break new ground. It’s addicting. When someone comes in and says, ‘This is something no one has ever done before,’ we all get excited. We have a company culture that celebrates being pioneers.”

He adds: “Because we’re a culture of inventors, nothing is standard operating procedure for us. We constantly reevaluate and reexamine everything we do. We go back and study what works and what didn’t work and we get excited about what didn’t work because, for us, that’s a challenging new problem to solve.”

from ”Pixar defies gravity”, by Patrick Goldstein, the LA Times The Big Picture blog

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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