A day at Pixar

It feels like yesterday, but it was actually a few weeks ago. The team at Disney-Pixar sent me over to San Francisco to explore Pixar, and learn about how they made The Good Dinosaur {their new film due out on Boxing Day this year}.

It was equal parts surreal and awesome. I’m going to share more about the movie later, but today I want to share about my day at Pixar. I was one of six media people {the rest were from Europe} who got to visit, meet the director and hear more about the new movie.

Pixar Studios isn’t a park or place to play, but a work-space where all the magic is made. Outside is beautiful gardens, and little Pixar things for you to notice.

The media I was with were serious media types. Like the real deal. They were sitting through breakfast making notes, preparing questions, and researching details for the day. And I just turned up {and freaked out that I had no idea what to do}. It was rough going there for a moment, but I totally winged it and loved it.

We spent most of the day in The Steve Jobs Building. It was named this after his passing. They also have apple trees outside as a tribute to him, and for the staff to eat as they please.

Check out cute Arlo, the dinosaur, on my media pass. Also, I got lots of compliments on my pink skirt. It’s from Eloquii {I bought 3, in 3 different colours}.

I loved people-watching over breakfast. You wouldn’t know who was high up in the business and who was doing the photo-copying. Everyone is cool here.

First stop was checking out a new short film, Sanjay’s Super Team, and then we met with the Director of The Good Dinosaur {Peter Sohn} and saw a few clips from the movie. They were still working on it, so we couldn’t see the whole film. I’m going to share more about the movie later, but I teared up in the 10 minutes that I saw. I think it’s going to be one of those movies.

There were no cameras allowed in most areas of Pixar, which near killed me – because there was so much to photograph. I totally get it though. We can’t be giving away their secrets, right?

We went on a tour of the campus, and I met these guys. You know ’em.

Someone left this little random quote on Mike’s hand. I love that stuff!

It had to be done.

Pixar has secret meeting rooms throughout the campus, a soccer field, a pool, a basketball court, and public areas so that people get together and collaborate. They want people to be spontaneous, and not only get together for scheduled meetings. The bathrooms are purposefully put in areas so that people have to get up from their offices and see other people. I love that stuff too.

In the foyer of The Steve Jobs building is a cabinet with all their awards, plus sweet drawings from children around the world. There’s also a much-loved Woody toy, that a child had loved so much that it’s leg had fallen off. The little boy who owned him, was gifted a new one, but couldn’t throw Woody out. So he took him to Disneyland and handed him in, asking if someone could look after him until Infinity and Beyond. The team at Disneyland sent him to Pixar, and now he lives there. I love with Disney-Pixar that everyone matters, from the big people to the small people.

It’s a FREAKING REAL Oscar! And cute drawings from kids.

The rest of the day was spent seeing how the movie was made, from it being a dream idea, to the first draft, to the scenes being made, and the story boards coming together. I had no idea so much work went into a movie. These guys care. As I said above, more details on the movie later.

We had to have a go at drawing Arlo, the dinosaur. Here’s my attempt.

Oh, and I thought I’d show you lunch too, cos if I don’t share a photo it never happened.

There’s also a little store, so I bought Lulu a glitter Jessie. She sleeps with Woody and Jessie EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, so she lost her mind of this doll.

And that was my day. I left feeling so inspired. I’ve started art classes because I want to get back into painting and drawing. I’ll never make a movie, but I just remembered how awesome it is to create. The people at Pixar are so inspiring.

I traveled as a guest of Disney-Pixar.

8 thoughts on “A day at Pixar”

  1. well that sounds like an awesome day!! also im so very envious of you. there was a time that I contemplated being a cartoonist.. I use to have the time and patience to draw, paint, and do so many other artsy crafty thing. I hate to admit it but its been about 20 yrs since ive drawn anything. Just like you Chantelle I think that’s it is time to give it another go.. I am so happy that you had an amazing day !!

  2. That’s so cool!! Thank you so much for sharing. It is so great to know that Disney-Pixar is such an awesome, caring company. It really makes a difference.

  3. What an innovative workspace! I love that story of the leg less loved up Woody. Yay for chatty co-passengers I hope you have an equally easy journey home. X

  4. I got goosebumps looking at that and nearly cried when I heard about Woody being taken care of to infinity and beyond. I am such a sap. That tour is the stuff dreams are made of. Now I’m going to sit back and wait for your animation movie to come out – just promise that when you move to SF and work at Pixar and hang out with the cool peeps every day, you’ll still blog because if you don’t, I’ll have nothing to read. Just sayin’!

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