Just last week at this time I was on my way to beautiful San Francisco for the Inside Out Event. During our trip we got to go inside Pixar Animation Studios to learn about their newest animation, Inside Out, from Pixar storytellers themselves. Just being able to step foot inside of the Pixar campus was a dream come true. You could feel the creative energy flowing through the air. We were so excited to be their to learn about Pixar and Inside Out.
The Pixar campus is located in Emmryville, CA and is made up of 5 buildings. All them except for the Steve Jobs Building have New York themed names because they are located on Park Avenue. The Steve Jobs Building (Main) houses everything in the production pipeline from animation forward. This building was named after Steve a year after he passed away. Brooklyn houses development and story, everything before layout and animation. This is the newest building and was built in April 2011. The West Village houses theme parks, HR, and finance. Soho houses IT and Uptown, Marketing.
I thought I would share with you my 5 favorite things about our Pixar Animation Studios tour!
1. The Atrium
The Atrium is located inside the Steve Jobs building. It is a beautiful two-story space that greets employees and visitors. When building this building, Steve wanted the atrium to be a meeting place that was inviting for everyone. He wanted there to be things found in the atrium that would invite you there even more. There you will find the cafe, mail room, and restroom. There you end up running into people, having informal meetings, and bouncing ideas off each other.
The atrium also holds a display case filled with Pixar’s multiple Oscars, Golden Globes, and Annie Awards!
There are 3 large concept paintings found on the first floor of the Steve Jobs building that represent Inside Out. This artwork changes once a year to represent the new movie that is about to be released. They just put this artwork on display just last week!
The character above is Joy. She represents the emotion joy inside of the main character Riley’s head. Joy is bubbly, happy, and filled with well, joy!
The concept art above is of Joy and Riley’s imaginary friend Bing Bong.
On our tour we got to see the Color Script from Inside Out. It was a wall filled with beautiful images from the animation. A color script tells the story of the film from start to finish. It gives everyone in the production pipeline an idea of the world found in the film including the mood and mood of individual scenes. Just looking at these three images from the film, you can really get a feel of the mood of these scenes!
My favorite artwork on display was the maquettes. They are sculptures of the characters made out of clay so they are malleable through the process making them easy to change. The models on display are cast in resin to make them permanent and durable. We were not able to take photos of the Inside Out Maquettes, but I did get some from past films!
You never know what Pixar characters you are going to run into. As you enter the Atrium, on the left is Mike and Sulley, and to the right a couple of characters from Cars . As you walk in further you find Lego versions of Buzz and Woody!
4. Back Story behind the buildings
It took 4-5 years to design and build the Steve Jobs building and there is so much back story to it. The site was built on what was a Del Mont fruit and cocktail canning factory. That is why Steve wanted the building to have an industrial look. Even though the building was built from scratch, the steal girders were aged to look older than they were.
The bricks found in the building were built to mimic the design of the bricks on the Hills Brother Coffee Building in downtown San Francisco, Jobs was always fond of that building. Getting the bricks to match was a very specific and painstaking process. This is pretty similar to the way they make films in that the attention to detail is very important to them.
Before the space was even the Del Monte factory, the parking lot was the outfield of the Oakland Oaks ball club. In Brooklyn, there is a lounge inside the giant fireplace found in the center of the room that honors the history.
5. Luxo Lamp and ball
Last, but definitely not least, are the monumental sculptures of the lamp and ball characters from Pixar short Luxo Jr. They sit directly in front of the Steve Jobs building. At night the lamp lights up! It sure is a favorite spot to take pictures in front of!
Stay tuned for more about Inside Out including interviews with the lighting team, animators, and director!
Inside Out is in theaters everywhere June 19th!