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Inside The Pixar Braintrust
In This Exclusive Excerpt From Creativity, Inc., Ed Catmull Unveils One Of His Management Tools — The Pixar Braintrust, Which Has Helped The Animation Powerhouse Score 14 Box-Office Hits In A Row. 

A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Our decision making is better when we draw on the collective knowledge and unvarnished opinions of the group. Candor is the key to collaborating effectively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional environments. So how can a manager ensure that his or her working group, department, or company embraces candor? By putting mechanisms in place that explicitly say it is valuable. One of Pixar’s key mechanisms is the Braintrust, which we rely on to push us toward excellence and to root out mediocrity. It is our primary delivery system for straight talk. The Braintrust meets every few months or so to assess each movie we’re making. Its premise is simple: Put smart, passionate people in a room together, charge them with identifying and solving problems, and encourage them to be candid. The Braintrust is not foolproof, but when we get it right, the results are phenomenal.
More> Fast Company 

Inside The Pixar Braintrust

In This Exclusive Excerpt From Creativity, Inc., Ed Catmull Unveils One Of His Management Tools — The Pixar Braintrust, Which Has Helped The Animation Powerhouse Score 14 Box-Office Hits In A Row. 

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A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Our decision making is better when we draw on the collective knowledge and unvarnished opinions of the group. Candor is the key to collaborating effectively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional environments. So how can a manager ensure that his or her working group, department, or company embraces candor? By putting mechanisms in place that explicitly say it is valuable. One of Pixar’s key mechanisms is the Braintrust, which we rely on to push us toward excellence and to root out mediocrity. It is our primary delivery system for straight talk. The Braintrust meets every few months or so to assess each movie we’re making. Its premise is simple: Put smart, passionate people in a room together, charge them with identifying and solving problems, and encourage them to be candid. The Braintrust is not foolproof, but when we get it right, the results are phenomenal.

More> Fast Company 

Historically, video-game-themed movies and adaptations are the second-class citizens of cinema, frowned upon by critics and audiences alike. But “Wreck-It Ralph” worked. Last weekend, it became the biggest opening for Walt Disney Animation ever, topping the box office with $49.1 million. Does the critical and box office success of “Wreck-It Ralph” spell the beginning of a new era for video game films?

Historically, video-game-themed movies and adaptations are the second-class citizens of cinema, frowned upon by critics and audiences alike. But “Wreck-It Ralph” worked. Last weekend, it became the biggest opening for Walt Disney Animation ever, topping the box office with $49.1 million. Does the critical and box office success of “Wreck-It Ralph” spell the beginning of a new era for video game films?

Three months before Laika’s 3-D stop-motion feature ParaNorman was set to start production, the company’s breakthrough workflow technology—making puppet faces via 3-D color printing—was spitting out disasters.

“They looked awful,” says Brian McLean, Laika’s director of rapid prototyping (RP, or 3-D printing). “The skin tones were terrible and inconsistent. What you saw on the computer screen was completely different than what printed out. There were some ‘Oh shit!’ moments when we realized we’d jumped head first into shooting this movie using this process, and we now had to figure out a way to make it work.”

By sheer force of will, scientific process, and ulcer medication, McLean’s team solved the system quirks.

Behind ParaNorman’s Breakthrough 3-D-Printing-Driven Animation Process

A Liquid Typeface Melts Before Your Eyes

We recently wrote about Ruslan Khasanov’s sublime typeface, Au Revoir, which he made by painting letterforms onto a porcelain sink with the spigot on and photographing them before they slipped down the drain. Now, the Russian designer has produced animated GIFs showing some of the letters evaporating like smoke into thin air. See more.

(via transastral)