I’ve been in a creative slump for a really long time. Way too long, actually. I have all these creative things I want to do, but I cannot bring myself to do a single one of them.
I miss painting, I want to write my book(s), I’d like to go on some artistic retreats, I want to be more involved in raising creative children; but I’ve been stuck.
Going to Pixar Animation Studios was like a reawakening of the mind.
It wasn’t immediate, but walking into the building with the creative minds that actually create the movies we so love was pretty intense.
The Steve Jobs Building is where the magic happens. Everywhere you look there are reminders of some of your favorite Disney*Pixar movies. “Incredibles 2” figures blanket the space and live alongside Rainbow Unicorn from “Inside Out”, Luigi & Guido from the “Cars” films, Woody & Buzz from “Toy Story”, and touches of “Coco”.
When you get past the awe of your favorite life-sized characters, you notice the people who make the stuff happen. There are plaid-shirted creative hipsters EVERYWHERE, chicks with fun glasses, tattoos, jeans and t-shirts, hair of every color, and a buzz in the air you just don’t feel every day.
This building is awe-inspiring for millions of reasons, but it will always go down in history for me as the place where I learned I had been nominated for an Iris Award. In this creative megahouse (literally), I learned that my own creativity had been honored.
I cried. In public.
The gravity of finding out about such a thing in a place like Pixar Animation Studios was heavy and light all at the same time. I still feel like I haven’t woken up from the dream I was having when that moment happened.
It was nothing short of Incredible.
Cheesy pun totally intended.
But we’re not here for me, are we? Our full day at Pixar Animation Studios was full of all things creative. We even had the opportunity to create our own Super with Costume Designer Alonso Martinez. He explained all the ins and outs of creating a character. Then he let us loose with some paper, scissors, and glue so that we could create our own.
I didn’t bother with tracing anything, I just went to town with paper and scissors and created this Summer Len Davis-inspired Superhero. As you can tell, I’m with Edna Mode on this one – NO CAPES!
We were then given an impressive tour of two separate hallways, one dedicated to “Coco” and one dedicated to “Incredibles 2”
In these hallways,we saw sculptures that are created for animators to get a feel for their characters in 3D next to renderings of those characters.
We saw storyboards, crude animations, and so many digital paintings. My head was absolutely spinning. The talent is insane.
We also learned about the process of coming up with the new Incredibles house through renderings of different homes the creators thought about using.
One of my favorite parts of the tour was finding about about recycling characters. In the image above, you see the Dever siblings, who are the people responsible for helping get Supers back in the limelight in “Incredibles 2”.
Because of the shorter timeline for producing “Incredibles II”, the creators had to recycle some of the villains or superheroes that were in the original storyboard that they had decided not to use. They took the form and facial features of these characters and created the Dever siblings without having to go completely back to the drawing board, spending weeks on characters that may or may not be used.
That little tidbit was important to me as a writer because I’ve written so many things that are in draft, that I haven’t been able to publish for one reason or another, that I wasn’t sure I could work in. I have all these ideas swirling around in my head that quite literally torture me that I just need to get out on paper.
Hearing how Pixar animators reuse things gave me life.
It helped me realize that just laying everything out on paper is AS important as putting out a final product, because you never know what you’ll be able to reuse in the future.
We were also given a tour of the super-secret Pixar Archives where I met my first real-life Archivist. I didn’t even know that was a career opportunity until recently when it popped up in multiple of Styles’ “what should I be when I grow up” career tests.
These ladies LOVE their job, and why wouldn’t you? You get to handle some of the most private, top-secret, limited-edition, stunning pieces of artwork ever created in animation. I was like a kid in a candy store. It was difficult not to touch everything!
How can you get a tour of Pixar Animation Studios?
I wish I could tell you it was easier, but it really is in who you know. This exclusive was for press only. The easiest way to get in would be to win a Pixar Tour as part of an auction. Unless you know someone who works for Pixar, then you might be able to get a Friends & Family day tour from them, but you know, use your manners.
What else can I tell you about Incredibles 2?
Some of you, I know from experience, want to know some things about the Incredibles family, and why the cuss it took so long to come out with a second film.
I dunno, they were just waiting for something Incredible, I guess.
And I think they got it.
Sorry, that’s all I can give you about THAT until June 4th. So set an alarm to come back to my site for our interview with Brad Bird & Producers Nicole Grindle & John Walker.
Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2” – but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transition for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.