As most of you know I attended a special Disney. Pixar & Disney Junior event from September 29-October 2 in San Francisco to take part in a fun few days of exploring the movies, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and Miles From Tomorrowland. It was an amazing few days and it is my pleasure to share some of my experiences with you!
On the second day there we spent all day at Pixar exploring the Good Dinosaur as well as going to the Pixar archive and then going to a special event at GOOGLE for the Disney Junior series, Miles from Tomorrowland. I was really excited to have the opportunity to learn more about The Good Dinosaur, the Pixar Archive and Miles from Tomorrowland.
In the afternoon of the second day we spent time with some of the main leaders of the movie The Good Dinosaur, learning about the process that they took to create the new movie. In each of these sessions we learned something new and over three different posts I will share some of my experiences within these sessions to give you some glimpse into what Pixar and their artists have done to create an amazing film.
Today I am sharing with you my thoughts on my conversations with The Good Dinosaur Story Supervisor, Kelsey Mann, and Screenwriter, Meg LaFauve and their presentation: PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT. In this presentation we learned about how how the story of The Good Dinosaur was developed and boarded, and also learned how to draw our own Arlo!
Kelsey Mann started by explaining that the room that we were in was the actual story room used for The Good Dinosaur. He told me that the seat that I was sitting in was the actual seat that Peter Sohn always sat in (talk about cool!)
Kelsey continued to tell us that it is the job of his team to take the writing of Meghan LaFauve and transform and draw it so that it could work on screen. We received a bit of a history lesson of how this was similar to the same process that Walt Disney used, albeit with a lot more technology mixed in.
While the artists use pen and paper, most also use special computers that help them easily draw, erase and manipulate the images that they are creating. The benefit of the computers is that it allows them to quickly draw on something that is very similar to paper, while being able to flip, flop and bring the image to scale very easily.
So how does the process work? Well, Kelsey Mann said that in The Good Dinosaur and all movies, Meghan LaFauve as the writer and Peter Sohn as the Director would first sit down to talk about what the movie will be. Part of Meghan’s job is to question Peter and pull out of him more about the vision for the movie. To do this she will find out what Peter cares about in regards to the movie as well as what is the world that Peter wants to create. Once this meeting occurs, Meghan will go and write a first draft of the script. While Meghan was the main writer on The Good Dinosaur, this is not always the case on all films. On some films there can be multiple writers. In the end in this writing process Meghan works to create a script true to the vision of Peter. Both Kelsey and Meghan mentioned that The Good Dinosaur was Peter’s film so their team is trying to dig out.
Once you have a script the team comes together to start drawing. As the team is together in the story room they will typically take one scene at a time and it is the job of one animator to pitch the room. Kelsey Mann made our presentation a ton of fun by pitching us a seen, one that we saw in the movie where Arlo and Spot run into a number of Prairie Dog like creatures. As he pitched us, he got into the pitch and really acted out the screen. Kelsey Mann mentioned that acting out the scene is part of what is called “bringing yourself to it.” Kelsey mentioned that to get at the A+ you have to be there, involved.
At the end of the session Kelsey walked us through the process of drawing Arlo for ourselves. I loved this and it was so much easier than I would have first imagined.
I learned so much in these two sessions and I hope that you did too!
Find out more about The Good Dinosaur
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