Friday, November 09, 2007

The Pixar Story

Last night I went to the opening night of the San Francisco Animation Festival at the Embarcadero Cinemas. I had no idea we even had such a film festival here. They screened The Pixar Story, a new documentary about Pixar Studios by Leslie Iwerks. It amounts to a 90 minute commercial for this hard-working & successful studio. In the Q & A afterwards, the director even admitted that she had a hard time finding a conflict for the film, since so far the studio's history has been one of producing one hit after another.

However, I still learned some things I didn't know before. In the most surprising moment in the film, John Lasseter relates being fired from his dream job at Disney over a project called "The Brave Little Toaster." & I understand a little bit more about Ed Catmull's role in developing the technology that gives the Pixar movies their vivid 3-D look.

The San Francisco Film Society seems like a neat organization. My movie ticket got me into a reception where they served wine, beer & desserts, which all disappeared pretty quickly. Pete Docter, the director of Monsters Inc., was there & drew some pictures for fans. Coming up are screenings of a movie version of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis at the Kabuki & a new Gus Van Sant movie. The latter I would want to see just because of the venue: it's being held in something called the "Premier Theater" in Letterman Digital Arts Center in The Presidio.

Cool moment of the evening: When I used a $20 bill instead of a credit card to pay for my ticket, the box office guy observed that "Cash is king."

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