Monday, August 11, 2008

Ed Catmull

Today is the first day of the conference, which for me started off with booth duty at the International Center and an Education session, followed by the International Committee lunch.

In the afternoon there was the awards ceremony (my former professor Stephen Spencer received the award for outstanding service) the conference officially kicked off with the keynote by Ed Catmull, the computer graphics pioneer who is currently heading both the PIXAR and Disney animation studios together with John Lasseter. It was not a technical talk but addressed the issue of how to have a creative team create the best films by working as an open community. Quite insightful!

I found it interesting when he mentioned that when the goal he set for himself while a student, namely creating an animated feature which he then thought would take ten years, left a big gaping hole when it was finally achieved twenty years later. A huge: "what's next?" Building a healthy studio community was the new goal he then set, and while this might have been achieved at PIXAR, Disney still has a way to go there. Although he made it sound like the new Disney production coming out this fall will suck a lot less.

And now I'm off to the Chapters Party!

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