Monday, July 26, 2010

Jim goes to Pixar

I have done my share of networking as a commecial artist in the entertainment industry. This networking has, in recent years, led me to a couple of connections at the one place that has been a dream career destination of mine since 1995 and the release of their first animated feature, Toy Story. Yes, those who know me will realize that I am talking about Pixar. Yesterday I had the incredible opportunity, pleasure, and luck to get a personal tour of Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California with Pixar's own character engineer extraordinaire, Sanjay Bakshi. So away like a glowing child headed to Disneyland for the first time, I brought along my good friend and fellow game artist, Chris, and his fair lady, Michiko, and we made our way to Emeryville and to one of my happiest days...

The first this we noticed is that the main entry to the studio is currently closed due to construction on an expansion going on at Pixar. Sanjay informed us that the new building will eventually house the artists and story team on the Pixar campus.

The Cars logo painted on the road headed into the parking lot from Pixar's main entry gate.

Luxo stands tall in front of the studio's main entrance.

Yes, someone tossed a pink ball into Luxo's shade.

The view down Pixar's annex on a sleepy Saturday afternoon.

Guido and Luigi!

Michiko hearts Sully... do I.

Mr. Bakshi is a kind soul - one of the nicest fellows you could meet.

Sanjay grins behind one of Pixar's Academy Awards for Wall-E.

Sanjay, myself, and Chris in front of Pixar's many awards.

Ah... now this - this I am familiar with!

I could have been in TS3, no?

Bo Peep for the ladies, Woody for the gents (sorry, I forgot to grab a pic of the 'guys' sign).

Pixar's main in-house theater.

Superhero pose!

"Honey... Where's my SUPER SUIT!"

Goodbye, Pixar...

Needless to say, this was a dream come true for me. I want to extend my thanks to Sanjay for being such a gracious host! And to Chris and Michi for letting me crash on the couch and bearing the Bay City traffic to get us around town for the weekend. And thanks, Tess, for letting me sneak away for the weekend. :)
Here's hoping that this is not the last time I visit Pixar Animation Studios...