Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This Day in Pixar History: Motorama! (UPDATE 2)

About this time every year, the folks at Pixar get together on the studio's lot and hold an awesome car show called Motorama. With films like Cars and Cars 2, it should be no surprise that there are a number of gear heads at Pixar, including both John Lasseter and the guardian of the Cars Franchise, Jay Ward. Ward organizes the Motorama every year, inviting not only Pixar employees to bring in their unique cars but also car companies such as Porsche, Ferrari and Mini. In addition, they often get cars from Fantasy Junction, a car dealer right across the street from the studio specializing in vintage automobiles and race cars.

One of the featurettes on the Cars bonus DVD (I got mine as a Target exclusive, I'm not sure if this disc was available from other retailers) was Meet Pixar's Gear Heads, which includes footage from a Motorama event and interviews with both Lasseter and Ward. In the featurette, Jay states he owns 10 vehicles, including a '29 Model A Ford and a '39 Mercury Convertible.

The Disney Blog has done a couple of posts (and here) on previous Motorama events. AutoWeek did an article on the 2010 Motorama (thanks to Mike at Big Screen Animation for the link), and Minddrive brought their first electric car to one of the events. In addition, some Pixar employees and other attendees have posted photos on the web:
I haven't heard anything about this year's Motorama. If I get any information on it I'll post it here!

UPDATE (7/28/2012): Pixar artist Arik Ehle confirmed there was no Motorama this year. Here's looking to next year!

UPDATE (7/17/2013): The 12th biannual (it's now an every other year event) Motorama was held last week on July 12. If you'd like a recap of the event and see some of the photos, check out The Pixar Post's blog article covering the event! I have found a couple other articles on the 2013 Motorama with a lot of great photos here and here.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pixarian Start and Birth Dates, July 2012 Edition

Every month I hope to have a list of Pixarians that have either started at Pixar or have their birthday in that month. Here is the list for July:
  • Claudia Chung (2002) - Claudia started as an intern at Pixar in 2001. Her first role was that of a rendering technical director for Finding Nemo. She has also been a simulation and rendering technical director on The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Up. Chung just finished as simulation supervisor on Brave. In addition, she has worked on the short films Lifted and Day & Night. If you'd like to hear more about her awesome work on Brave, you should listen to episode 76 of The Pixar Podcast, in which Derrick recorded a presentation Chung made during the Brave bloggers press day at Pixar.
  • David Lally (2010) - Born in Philadelphia, PA, David began his Pixar career as a crowd simulation technical director (TD) on Cars 2. He then worked as a cloth and hair simulation TD for Brave, and is now character tailor, cloth and hair simulation TD on Monsters University (being released next June). Check out his website for his blog and some of his recent work on Brave.
  • Brian Larsen (2005) - Brian was born and raised in Los Angeles, and is a CalArts graduate. Before coming to Pixar he worked on Brad Bird's film The Iron Giant. His first role at Pixar was a storyboard artist on Ratatouille. He just finished as story supervisor for Brave.
  • Steve May (1998) - A long time Pixarian, Steve began as a shading and modeling TD on Toy Story 2, working on the characters of Wheezy and Buster. May has worked on many other Pixar films, including as a supervising technical director on Brave, and is also Pixar's Chief Technical Officer (CTO). He has a bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. in computer science, all from Ohio State University.
  • Matt Nolte (2004) - Matt began at Pixar as an animator on Cars. He was a character designer on Ratatouille and most recently was the character art director for Brave. You can see a number of his wonderful illustrations and sketches in The Art of Brave book by Jenny Lerew. In addition, he did the illustrations for the children's book Brave: One Perfect Day, which was written by Brave co-director Steve Purcell.
  • Steve Pilcher (2005) - Steve began at Pixar as a production designer, working briefly on WALL•E before moving to Brave. Prior to coming to Pixar, Pilcher worked on Shrek 2 for Dreamworks, did freelance at Disney and worked as an art stylist for Warner Bros. Feature Animation.
Thanks to Austin Madison, we also know that Chris Chua's birthday is July 2nd!

If anyone knows of other start or birth dates, please pass them on!