PICNIC07: Some thoughts on creating worlds, Michael Johnson

Talking about making a movie at Pixar. 3 steps:

  1. Creating an interesting world with self-consistent rules;
  2. Designing engaging characters that exist in that world;
  3. Tell a compelling story with those characters in that world (the hard part, where flaws are exposed);

All underpinned by research. e.g. in a Bugs Life, they put cameras at ground level and noticed that everything seemed translucent - so used that in the film. Shows 2 videos of fish in water side-by-side: one film, the other animation based on film: indistinguishable.

For Ratatouille they spent a lot of time running round Paris in the Autumn, looking at live action, etc. Also spent time looking at the details of food porn photography.

Again, Edna from the Incredibles: building up of the character through 2D and 3D design.