Sunday, January 23, 2011

We Went to Pixar!

Thursday we woke up and there was excitement in the air!  After a quick breakfast at the ihop in Emeryville we drove up to the Pixar gates and got our visitor badges.  Which had our names followed by A Stranger from the Outside!  We met up with Mike Altman, a CCAD grad and modeler at Pixar who kind enough to show us around.  The hallways at Pixar are covered in concept art for their movies, all framed and beautifully presented.  Even the most simple sketch of Bonnie from TS3 reinforces the fact that the folks at Pixar are world class artists and animators.  It was like a playground for artists!  There were larger than life sculptures of The Incredibles and Bruce the shark from Nemo, a cereal bar, the Luxo Cafe, and a huge theater screening room.

I bought Tyler a Pixar coffee mug in the gift shop so that he can use it in the morning while he animates.  Right outside the gift shop Mike said there's JL.  Sure enough, there was John Lasseter the CCO of Pixar & Disney in his signature colorful print shirt, and it just happened to be his birthday!  We spotted Pete Doctor, the Director of Monster's Inc. & UP eating lunch with some animators whom Tyler could tell you all about.  And we ran into Aaron Hartline who animated on UP & Toy Story 3. We got to take pictures right inside of the atrium with Mike & Sully from Monster's Inc.  Both of the Tylers were so excited to be there, they were like little kids in a candy store!  I have no doubt that they will both be working at Pixar someday!

After Pixar we went exploring and ended up crossing the Bay Bridge into San Francisco.  From the car we could look out across the bay and see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island (we all cracked up when Tyler accidentally called it Azkaban).  SF is a very interesting and very busy city.  We walked around for a few hours and ended up in the SFMOMA gift shop where I added to my fine art postcard collection.  It would take a few days to see the sights, hopefully we'll be back someday!

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