Monday, May 7, 2012

This Day in Pixar History: Up Benefit Screening

There are very few ways of getting inside Pixar Animation Studios. One would be to get a job there, or know someone who works there. Another option, and probably one with a higher chance of success, is to attend one of the charity benefits held at the studios. There are a few of these every year. On this day in 2009 my son and I were fortunate enough to attend a benefit for the Emery Ed Foundation. The mission of Emery Ed is to increase funding and bring in new programs to Emeryville's schools. The benefit included self-guided tours of the campus and the building including displays of pre-production artwork from Up, wonderful food served up by the Pixar Luxo Cafe, a silent auction including artwork by Pixar artists, other Pixar memorabilia and items donated by Emeryville businesses. The night was topped off with a screening of Partly Cloudy and Up in Pixar's renowned theater, 3 weeks before its release to the public! The Pixar theater has super comfortable chairs, an awesome sound system, and when the lights are dimmed before the film starts, the ceiling is covered with stars!

Of course, it was an amazing and memorable night! To be able to drive through the Pixar gates and be on campus, well it's hard to describe. I spent most of my time looking at all the artwork, although we were lucky enough to bid on and win The Art of Up book signed by Pete Docter. The only minor bummer? The benefit was only 3 hours long which was nowhere near long enough!!! I was so busy admiring the artwork and building I didn't take time to eat - I believe I was able to sneak one skewer of chicken satay from my son's plate. Even still, I could have spent many more hours looking at the artwork and walking around the grounds.

In addition to the Emery Ed Foundation, the Cartoon Art Museum (CAM) holds a benefit, usually in the fall. Unfortunately, there was no Emery Ed benefit last year for Cars 2 and it doesn't look like there will be one this year for Brave. There was a CAM benefit late last year so hopefully there will be one this year for Brave.

Below are some images I took during the benefit. The Emery Ed Facebook page has many other great pictures from the event. In addition, the Pixar Planet blog has a copy of the announcement for the benefit.

 Waiting for the event to start!

Luxo Jr. and the Ball! Luxo lights up at night!

People milling around the auction items and food during the event.

Some of the artwork and posters (below) decorating the atrium.

The sign outside the men's bathroom.
What's outside the women's bathroom you ask?
Bo Peep!

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