As you can imagine, registering for classes at Monsters University and Freshman Orientation was quite the whirlwind. The next day, classes began! I learned so many amazing things in just a few hours at Pixar, that I feel like most people don’t learn in a lifetime. The process of creating a Pixar film is very fascinating to me, and I would love to share a bit of what I learned by sharing my class schedule with you! I can be a very visual learner, as I’m sure many of you are too, so I will share some things I learned via photos!
My first class was ENGLISH 101: How to Tell a Great Story. The instructor was Kelsey Mann, the story supervisor, and I learned about the story process, and how how to draw a character from MU. I really wish I hadn’t forgotten my drawing because my Mike Wazowski was pretty great, if I do say so myself. It is so fascinating to me that these animated films actually start as a ton of drawings first. They technology with which the drawings are created is just amazing.
My next class was SOCIOLOGY 203: The Deconstruction of a Character, taught by Ricky Nierva (Production Designer), Jason Deamer (Character Art Director) & Daniela Strijleva (Character Designer). This was quite a fun class for me for a couple of reasons. For one, the “teachers” were so energetic and enthusiastic about their job. I also LOVED all of the artwork around the entire room – pictures of all of the characters from Monsters University. In this class, I learned about the design of college-age Mike & Sulley, and creation & design of new characters in the film. It was fun to see side-by-side comparisons of the young Mike versus the older Mike in Monsters Inc. We saw the same with Sulley and Randall. We also learned about the development of some of the new characters that you will see in Monsters University. Just wait until you see the newest villain – she is to be feared!
The next class on my itinerary was ANTHROPOLOGY 152: Monsterizing the World, taught by Dice Tsutsumi (Shading/Lighting Art Director) & Robert Kondo (Sets Art Director). I admire these two “professors” who two the ordinary things that we see in our world, and “monsterize” them for the world of MU. I have recently learned, from this trip as well as my video shoot last week, that shading and lighting play a huge part in any type of filming. The ability to focus on all of the little details to make each scene and mood just right, is amazing to me. I don’t quite have the patience for all of that nitty gritty!
Now for a class that was pretty much over my head, but fascinating none the less. DRAMATIC ARTS: Bringing a Character to Life, taught by Scott Clark (Supervising Animator). I like to think that I’m pretty tech savvy, but watching Professor Clark whip around on his linux machine as he demonstrated how the animation process works, was quite enlightening. I have always wondered about the animation process, and now I know. However, it is all so complicated for my brain that I won’t be repeating it to anyone! We were able to see various stages of a character and how they make it from a paper drawing into a live animated being! Amazing minds and technology I tell you!
The last class of the day: PHYSICS 250: Global Illumination, with Jean-Claude (JC) Kalache (DP-Lighting), Sanjay Bakshi (Supervising Technical Director) & Christine Waggoner (Simulation Supervisor), as the instructors. You all know that Pixar always has an amazing short film in front of their feature films, and Monsters University is no different. In Physics 250 I sat and watched as the instructors presented the use of Global Illumination in MU and The Blue Umbrella. I only saw a portion of MU, but I can tell you that The Blue Umbrella is adorable!
I feel so honored to have been in the presence of such brillant minds and talent. Monsters University and The Blue Umbrella will hit theaters everywhere on June 21st, so stay tuned! The photos above are just a glimpse of the ingenious talent behind the films!
Which subject do you think would be your favorite?
I was provided with an all-expense paid trip by Disney, for the purposes of experiencing Pixar Studios and writing about it. All opinions expressed are my own.