LATIMES: Pixar Animation yanks director Bob Peterson off 'The Good Dinosaur'

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

THREAD CLOSED
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08 August 2013   #1
LATIMES: Pixar Animation yanks director Bob Peterson off 'The Good Dinosaur'

Quote:
"For the fourth time in eight movies, Pixar replaces a director midstream, this time taking Bob Peterson off 'The Good Dinosaur.'"

http://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...0,3649321.story
__________________
LW FREE MODELS:FOR REAL Home Anatomy Thread
FXWARS
:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government

 
Old 08 August 2013   #2
HO are they supposed to develop talent and trust if everytime some higher up feels like it decides to boot the director? Usually replaced by the old guard, like Doctor, and Lasseter. The only place the newbs can shine are the shorts I guess. I understand that PIXAR is afraid of having a flop but this is ridiculous.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #3
Obviously we're not privy to the background of the this story, but Peterson's been there from the beginning and from seeing videos of him in Pixar's featurettes it seems like he's Pixar through and through so I can't begin to guess why he's been taken off of the project, I can only hope for Pixar's sake that he stays there because he's an amazing talent and would be a major asset at any studio.

-Harry
 
Old 09 September 2013   #4
Wow. I'm not holding my breath, but I'd love to read someday what creative differences cause these replacements to keep happening.

I can't help but be curious how Ratatouille and Brave would've been different had Pinkava and Chapman been left in charge, respectively. Cars 2 doesn't have my interest as much, but there's still some curiosity as to whether critics would've liked Lewis's full vision any better (or panned even worse).

Years ago I remember thinking Pinkava's removal from Ratatouille would be a one-time cautionary tale within the studio, but now it's starting to look like a recurring pattern. If nothing else, I hope it's for the benefit of the projects, though this kind of replacement sounds like a creator's nightmare...
__________________
www.patfour.com - Personal Site
www.thundercluck.com - Latest Project
 
Old 09 September 2013   #5
While it makes me wonder how much trust Pixar directors are actually given, after reading the article it makes sense.
__________________
adamator.com
 
Old 09 September 2013   #6
Pixar's approach, as we've been told, is that they have a story team refining the movie in a story reel format with temp sound and music for something like 2 years. They also have multiple test screenings to see what works and what does not. So my opinion is that it's a double edged sword.

On the one hand, this helps them to iron out any bumps, to find all the possible jokes and one liners and visual gags and whatever that the setting and story allows. They can also remove unnecessary scenes, characters, events.

On the other hand, this approach tends to make all of their movies very similar, robbing them of their individual character, and eventually making the director a problem as he tries to defend his original vision. Sometimes a story team will stop you from thinking outside the box, from coming up with an unexpected twist, and so on. I think there's even a saying that design by committee never works, but employing an entire team of story guys is a committee, isn't it?

Now perhaps on the first 10-12 of their movies, the director has always been a pretty important person in the company hierarchy and he was able to overrule the story team when he felt that their suggestions were wrong for his movie (notice there are no women among these people). This has helped to keep these movies original and more or less original, and most importantly very good.

But nowadays the old Pixar guys are moved to higher positions in the company, or they're pursuing different ambitions like directing live action movies. But the new upcoming directors don't have the influence of power to overrule the story team and so if they are not willing to compromise on their original vision, then they'll get removed from the project.

Again, I'd like to repeat that this is just my personal view of what's going on and why the recent Pixar movies aren't as impressive as the first batch. I also haven't seen Monsters University yet so I can't tell if it's a return to the original spirit, or it's another "story team" movie that either works or not.
__________________
Tamas Varga
 
Old 09 September 2013   #7
Originally Posted by Laa-Yosh: ...I think there's even a saying that design by committee never works, but employing an entire team of story guys is a committee, isn't it?....

Good points Tamas. Ironically, in one of the recent interviews with the founders, the opposite was mentioned for their technical/graphics team where one person (instead of a committee) drives the vision of where Pixar wants to head in technology.

Having said that, I think most story arcs would eventually be the same in any case. By their very nature of being multi-million dollar animation films that cater to a very specific demographic the stories always seem to fit into a traditional format or boundaries. Pixar however manages to make it interesting (most of the times) by designing and writing strong characters. Similarly, there is an inherent "sameness" in Miyazaki/Ghibli's productions despite crazy fantasy elements in some of their films but they are still amazing due to the characters and certain quirky aspects.

And sometimes its also us ordinary viewers who like more of the same (like ice-cream!). For instance, Mike and Sully, the whole Toy Story gang are such fun characters that most of us would probably watch them all day long doing the same goofy stuff. And that probably feeds into this story screening reviews where they might be getting great feedback as long as it sticks to what people generally like or expect of a Pixar film or characters.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #8
I really hope that this has nothing to do with Disney, as I'm more than sure that Pixar movies had a noticeable quality drop since Disney had the power to 'drive' the production from the start (this means just after 'Up'): sequels (TS3, Cars 2), prequels (MU) and just one original story (Brave) which honestly was mediocre and more Disney than Pixar.

At the same time, Disney cgi movies (which were always quite ugly) began to be good (Rapunzel) and very good (Ralph) both produced by Lasseter.

So, again, I hope that this and similar cases have nothing to do with Disney.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #9
"but "Cars 2" was the rare critical disappointment."

Why in the world did they make a 'Planes'?
We all knew they could keep making stories in that crazy Cars World, but there wasn't a need to. I get they're probably trying to get more kids to like their products, maybe Pixar is becoming more of a Hasbro company line now.

Originally Posted by cignox1: I really hope that this has nothing to do with Disney, as I'm more than sure that Pixar movies had a noticeable quality drop since Disney had the power to 'drive' the production from the start (this means just after 'Up'): sequels (TS3, Cars 2), prequels (MU) and just one original story (Brave) which honestly was mediocre and more Disney than Pixar.

At the same time, Disney cgi movies (which were always quite ugly) began to be good (Rapunzel) and very good (Ralph) both produced by Lasseter.

So, again, I hope that this and similar cases have nothing to do with Disney.


This is what I'm feeling. It seems the quality products have now moved over to the Disney side, making Disney look like the King while Pixar is slowly becoming the Jester.

A bit disappointing to see.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #10
Originally Posted by rhinton: Why in the world did they make a 'Planes'?
We all knew they could keep making stories in that crazy Cars World, but there wasn't a need to. I get they're probably trying to get more kids to like their products, maybe Pixar is becoming more of a Hasbro company line now.
That is a common misconception. Even though it is a spin-off of Cars, Pixar did not make Planes, which was made by Prana Animation Studios and DisneyToons Studios, Disney's animation division that's responsible mostly for the straight-to-video films and TV specials. Planes was originally slated for straight-to-video release, but somewhere along the decision-making process, someone decided that the movie would make more money if it was screened in movie theaters first.

The bad news? There's a sequel on the way. Planes: Fire & Rescue will be flying into theaters in July 2014.

Pixar has a longer history of replacing directors than most people know. A lot of people are aware of Jan Pinkava and Ratatouille, Brenda Chapman and Brave. But did you know that Ash Brandon was the original director of Toy Story 2? Or that Brad Lewis was the original director on Cars 2? source: http://pixartimes.com/2013/09/03/th...cing-directors/

Don't forget that recent non-Pixar animated movies changed directors too. Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois joined Dreamwork Animation's How to Train Your Dragon in mid-production as co-directors. Genndy Tartakovsky was the latest in a long line of director changes for Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania. Even Studio Ghibli has done this. Mamoru Hosoda was the original director on Howl's Moving Castle, but Hayao Miyazaki took over the reins.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #11
Originally Posted by pomru: But did you know that Ash Brandon was the original director of Toy Story 2?


That's interesting--I didn't realize the replacements went back that far! However, hearing it happened on Toy Story 2 is less surprising than Ratatouille and Brave: given Toy Story 2's reputation for late-stage re-writes, as well as Brannon & Unkrich both being credited as co-directors under Lasseter, it's clear a lot of people had creative influence on the film.

Reading more about it on Wikipedia, it looks like Lasseter had the initial inspiration for Toy Story 2, handed it off to others, and then came back to take it over in the end. With Ratatouille and Brave, though, it seemed more like the directors had their own projects taken from them... and that appears to be the case again with The Good Dinosaur.
__________________
www.patfour.com - Personal Site
www.thundercluck.com - Latest Project
 
Old 09 September 2013   #12
Originally Posted by pomru: The bad news? There's a sequel on the way. Planes: Fire & Rescue will be flying into theaters in July 2014.


I was hoping you were kidding.

Planes 2
 
Old 09 September 2013   #13
Doug Sweetland (Presto) was originally directing Monsters University as well - making Pixar 4 for 4 in replacing directors over their last run of movies.

The Good Dinosaur, Monsters University, Brave, and Cars 2 not to mention Disney recently losing John Kahrs, the director of the short Paperman.
__________________
-willRyan
 
Old 09 September 2013   #14
Originally Posted by Laa-Yosh: Pixar's approach, as we've been told, is that they have a story team refining the movie in a story reel format with temp sound and music for something like 2 years. They also have multiple test screenings to see what works and what does not. So my opinion is that it's a double edged sword.

On the one hand, this helps them to iron out any bumps, to find all the possible jokes and one liners and visual gags and whatever that the setting and story allows. They can also remove unnecessary scenes, characters, events.

On the other hand, this approach tends to make all of their movies very similar, robbing them of their individual character, and eventually making the director a problem as he tries to defend his original vision. Sometimes a story team will stop you from thinking outside the box, from coming up with an unexpected twist, and so on. I think there's even a saying that design by committee never works, but employing an entire team of story guys is a committee, isn't it?


It reminds me a bit of some of the changes in approach Scorsese, DePalma, Spielberg, and Lucas did when they were all starting together and later as they each developed their own positions in the industry:

Originally Posted by Film 90 (paraphrased): Barry Newman: "You used to hang out together with Martin Scorsese."

Steven Spielberg: "Yeah... we had this little incubator going.... We weren't afraid to show each other our unfinished prints, or ideas.... It wasn't a clique or a brat pack... It was just a bunch of directors who weren't afraid of showing stuff to each other. I remember De Palma and I watched the first print of STAR WARS with George. And I liked it, but Brian went off the deep end. He said 'It doesn't make any sense!' ... Brian's contention that night gave birth to that Foreword of scrolling text....I was with Scorsese working on the last 10 minutes to "Taxi Driver". That idea to blow up the shark in Jaws wasn't mine. It wasn't in the Peter Benchley novel. It was some filmmaker friends I talked to early on who said 'that shark has to blow up and not just die.'...It's nice when it's selfless thinking, opening yourself to pain or ridicule, when your ego isn't leading you by the nose. It's a great way to work."

.....

Barry Newman: "Would you still do that with guys like Scorsese today?"

Steven Spielberg: "A lot less now.... In the beginning we were all a bit lost, we were all just trying this business called movie making.... Now we're all a bit more full of ourselves (chuckle), and we think we all know a bit more than we did 20 years ago. And that kind of self-effacement is not as forthcoming. Also as we all get older we all get a little more crusty... It's not anymore 'Hey! You know what can really help your movie?' it's become 'Oh! What a piece of crap!'"


The whole interview is actually very nice. It can be seen here .

Makes me wonder if.. with the way Pixar has been going so long... if something like this hasn't happened to them already.... The "old guard" walking into the room proclaiming.. "This is crap!" And somehow, unlike before, there's no more suggestions.

You just get yanked from the film now if they don't like it.

Ironic, if you consider that when Disney was consulted on "Toy Story", the suggestion at the time was: "Add a love interest and 3 song numbers with positive messages." Lasseter supposedly answered: "We're not making that kind of movie!" And they stuck to their guns.

If Pixar has started clamping down on new ideas, then this (and the Spielberg interview) just shows the "Limit of Innovation" that people keep talking about. You're on to a bright idea half the time, but you spend the other half rejecting the ideas that aren't identical to your bright (now old) idea.

At the same time, I wonder if new directors are perhaps untrained in getting criticism?

It's definitely worth an interview for Pixar's Think Tank members just as it was in 1990 for Steven Spielberg.
__________________
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation

Last edited by CGIPadawan : 09 September 2013 at 01:00 AM.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #15
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan:
If Pixar has started clamping down on new ideas, then this (and the Spielberg interview) just shows the "Limit of Innovation" that people keep talking about. You're on to a bright idea half the time, but you spend the other half rejecting the ideas that aren't identical to your bright (now old) idea.



I agree. Having 10 persons to decide could easily lead to come up with the average of their ideas, which most probably is less original, interesting and personal than what it could have been. As also Spielberg says, this can be usefull when you are inexperienced, but Pixar cannot make new movies this way.

Quote: At the same time, I wonder if new directors are perhaps untrained in getting criticism?


I don't think so, or else we would have the same problems with Disney, Dreamworks, Sony Pictures and Blue Sky as well (or do we?)
 
Thread Closed share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.