02 September 2010

What Pixar does right

I read the article about Pixar in the 18.06 issue of Wired, and learned a few things about how they are as successful as they are:

* They provide a regular system of brutal review. Everything gets picked about by everyone so mediocrity isn't allowed to seep in (think peer reviewed academic journals).

* A deliberate focus on classical storytelling techniques. 3-act structure, heros vs. villains, etc. If the story doesn't work, no amount of fancy graphics will help.

* Previsualization. They do animated storyboards to see if the story works in motion. To wit: they make a movie before they make the movie!

* Self-motivated employees. Like Woody Allen said about how he hires actors: "I choose good people and let them do their work." There are no incentives, no carrots and sticks -- everyone is motivated to do their best work internally.

I am eager to apply these techniques to my next production.