Written by Sean C. Stacey and Brooke Thompson

Opening the day with the Keynote Presentation was Dr. Michael B. Johnson, Pixar Animation Studios‘ Moving Picture Group Lead. His presentation explored creativity and collaboration, art vs. craft, design vs. engineering, and above all, a unique entertainment experience. As he carried us through the creative process mixed with clips from a variety of Pixar’s projects, the message was clear – “Story drives everything.”

From the pitch — which is essentially telling a story at the same time as you are selling it — to the big screen, the creation process is driven by the story. It starts with the team – the best team that you can find because, as he pointed out, “A good team can take a bad story and fix it or reject it; a poor team cannot.” It takes a team to work through the process of iteration and criticism which is essential to fixing issues with the story, the characters, the design, and so on. At Pixar, art is a team sport. You cannot make a film by yourself.

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