Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pixar! and a painting.

So as I mentioned before my school put together a private tour of Pixar. This was made possible by Roger Rose, a long time Cogswell alum who has been working at Pixar as an animator since the first Toy Story. The tour had to be kept small so we didn't completely mob Pixar, and somehow out of the 7 or 8 spots, both Chris and myself were lucky enough to go.

Here is everyone that traveled with us in Chris' car. That's me, Robert Moore, Marika Timmerman, Christian and David Hines. Aren't we cool standing in front of the Pixar gate? Not pictured are the slackers in the other car (Barb, Katie, Andrew and Matt) who just had to go to KFC first.

We met up with Roger outside the front door, we said hello and introduced ourselves and went inside. Right away we ran into Rich Hurrey, a technical director whom Chris, Andrew and myself had met during the recent bay area Modo usergroup meeting. He recognized us even if he doesn't have any idea what our names are. We shook hands and everyone else was like "uh you guys already know other people at Pixar?" That was pretty damn cool :D

So the tour started and we pretty much got to see the whole complex. We walked around towards the render farm where all the busy little computers are churning out their next big hit movie I'm sure. This "farm" was actually a lot smaller than I had imagined. Roger mentioned that even since he's worked there it keeps getting smaller and smaller.

From there we walked the upstairs hallways and got a chance to see a lot of cool artwork, original storyboards, scene color comps, maquettes (friggin' awesome sculptures) and the doorways of various important peoples offices. I wanted to go in and bug everyone but we had to remain respectful. /sigh

We went downstairs again to check out the Pixar theater and Daily room (a smaller theater where they review progress). This was the only 'disappointment' of the tour. I was really hoping we'd see some sort of a sneak peak of Wall-e but ah well! From there it was off to the animators area which was really cool. Each individual office was decorated in a unique fashion. Some were made to look like individual shacks with cool props adding to the atmosphere, and some looked like they were in more of a jungle setting. I wish I could have gotten pictures of this part, but I think these hallways can be viewed in some special features you just gotta know where to look. Rogers office was also cool. The face of it was decorated like a western saloon, complete with the swinging double saloon doors.

From left to right: myself, Christian, Roger, Katie, Robert, David, Andrew, Marika, and Matt

After that, the building was pretty much covered. We went back to the lobby to hang out for a bit, chat with Roger and spend money at the little store they had. At least 4 of us just had to get these cool brown athletic Pixar sweaters.

Aren't we dorks? Anyways, this was just a completely awesome experience. Pixar is without a doubt one of my dream jobs. Those of us in Chris' car made a promise that we were all future Pixar employees, and when the first one gets in (probably Marika) we will try to get the others in.

Lastly, and not related to this trip, here is a photo of my first acrylic illustration project. It is currently hanging up in the hallway at my school, so I think the bad lighting tinted this a bit too orange. The board should be white as well as the highlights, oh well. This was one of my first paintings and it turned out great I think.

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