Pixar, Dream Job: The Creative Geniuses Reveal What It’s Like To Work At The Studio

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Would you accept a job at Pixar?

Um, yeah, so would I. (Don’t tell Peter)

The studio behind everything from Up to Wall-E, from Toy Story to Toy Story 2, strikes me as a hotbed of ingenuity. A shop where creativity rules. A place where the impossible becomes possible. Just listening to someone like director Pete Docter talk about all the creative influences that have brought him this far makes me want to sign for an unpaid Pixar internship:

Time after time, the studio has surpassed the expectations of their harshest critics. There were those who thought a CG movie wouldn’t work, and then came Toy Story. With Ratatouille, they sold America on falling in love with a dirty little rat. In Wall-E, they took a hero who couldn’t speak, occupying a planet without life, and delivered one of the best films of the year.

We’ve already written plenty about Toy Story 3 coming up later this summer – check out our exclusive sneak preview and our gallery of all the new toys – and the possibilities that this could very well go down as one of the best trilogies of all time. And as I was watching the special edition Toy Story and Toy Story 2 combos (which come with both DVD and Blu-ray copies of the film) last weekend, I was delighted to see a couple bonus features that focus on what it’s like to work at Pixar.

It appears to be every bit as much fun as you would expect.

Here’s a clip from the Toy Story DVD about people’s first jobs at Pixar. My favorite position: The Imperfectionist, the person who tries to figure out ways to take a carefully choreographed CG scene and add some imperfections to the surface. The result: Movies that actually have an air of authenticity and reality:

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Then there’s the footage of this chap, who lays down “scratch voice,” or temp voice tracks, that allow the animators to mark out the action.

What’s awesome is that this guy is so good at doing scratch voices that he often gets left in the movies – he plays the caterpillar in A Bug’s Life, the penguin in Toy Story. And I think this is kind of what makes Pixar awesome – it’s all about quality, and if the temp voice is hilarious, then the temp voice is staying in.

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And this clip answers a question that I’ve always had about the animation editing room.

When you talk about animation, you’re talking about a grueling, multi-year process of modeling, coloring, rendering and refining. And finally here, someone from an animation studio cops to the insanity that can play out after day-long editing marathons (or longer) of staring at computer screens. My favorite part is the utter mental breakdown that an exhausted filmmaker experiences, when he’s delivered a sandwich with tomatoes on it. He hates tomatoes:

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If anyone from Pixar is reading: I’ll be happy to provide a resume. And I’ll personally pick all those tomatoes off the sandwiches, too.

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