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Seven Hills Parent Lecture Series - Doc Wave of Pixar

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Making movies is a complex, collaborative, creative activity. At Pixar, they don’t pretend to know exactly what they’re doing, but they do have a process. They “trust the process”, but constantly test and refine it based on the stories they want to tell, their resources, and most importantly - the people who want to tell them.


Technology and art go hand in hand at Pixar — each challenges and reinforces the other. Technologist Michael B. Johnson, a Pixarian since he joined as an intern in 1993, has been involved in most of Pixar’s feature films and short films. He will share his perspective on the Pixar film-making process; one which involves both creative story tellers and flexible technologists.


Dr. Johnson leads the groups responsible for the design, implementation and support of the preproduction pipeline for Pixar features and shorts. This includes story, editorial, art, playback and the review process. His team works directly with the directors, editors, producers, production designers, art directors, artists and production folks who start the process of bringing Pixar stories to the screen.


Dr. Johnson has written tools for all of Pixar’s feature films (and many of their short films), including storyboarding, pre-viz, layout, animation, modeling, lighting, rendering, and editorial tools.

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