JoBlo visits Pixar!
The first thing you notice when entering PIXAR studios is the overwhelming want and need to ditch whatever job you’re currently stuck in and apply to be—at the very least—a janitor at PIXAR. You walk through those front doors and if the seemingly endless ceiling doesn’t cause you don’t drift off into an employment fantasy world, then the employees themselves riding around on razor scooters and skateboards might.
JoBlo.com was recently invited to PIXAR in Emeryville, CA, just outside of Oakland, as they promoted the release of their newest animation flick, RATATOUILLE (out on DVD today). On this trip, we were to take a tour of the magnificent and expansive facilities, as well as interview some of the key players who helped bring the story to life. Last year, our very own Jason Adams did a tour of the joint for the Cars DVD release, so rather than reiterate everything he wrote about (which was excellent, by the way), I’ll tell you about some of the things that I found interesting while I was there. First of all, the artwork on display is impressive. Now, you’re thinking, “no shit, it’s PIXAR dude! EL OH EL” But we’re talking huge canvases, original paper doodlings. Clay sculptures of characters. Since they like to keep things fresh at PIXAR, the interior décor changes with the movie they’re currently promoting, so on this occasion, the place was filled with RATATOUILLE goodness. The posters for the flick hanging from the wall had a really cool, retro look to it. Another thing I really liked was the Employee Art Gallery. This gallery is filled with the employee’s art contributions that don’t necessarily have anything to do with PIXAR. They feel that encouraging an artists’ work outside of the PIXAR name breeds originality and creativity. If only my boss would buy that excuse when I look at porn at work.
While on our tour, walking past the employee gym, and past the sand volleyball court outside, and through the bushes, and beyond the swimming pool and basketball court and full size patio with grill, and on a gravely path that circles the front of the building we finally got word that the interviews were starting.
In between interviews with Animation Supervisor Dylan Brown, Director of Photography Sharon Calahan and Production Designer Harley Jessup, I along with the other journalists sat in the employee lounge. If you’re lucky, at your job, the employee lounge consists of a vending machine, plastic chairs and a wheezing, hacking, old lady coughing up lung butter from the two pack a day habit she’s had for the past 45 years. And when I say, “wheezing” and “hacking”, I mean, “hot,” and “classy”. On the contrary, the PIXAR lounge consists of four different gaming consoles featuring the lasting PIXAR titles, a foose ball table, an air hockey table, a ping pong table and, my favorite, a pool table, and really, since it’s PIXAR, would you expect anything less? All that was missing were some batting cages and a bowling alley, but then again, we didn’t see the entire second floor. With all that said, I hope you enjoy the interviews as much as I had doing them, and don’t forget to check out RATATOUILLE on DVD today. Thanks again to Disney for the invite and tour.