Friday, May 20, 2011

"As it ramps up, Pixar's under pressure"

Hypercritial has discussion about three major companies:

John Siracusa and Dan Benjamin turn a critical eye towards last week’s episode on criticism, then try to pick the single biggest challenge facing three different wildly successful companies: Google, Facebook, and yes…Pixar.

It's an interesting perspective and worth a listen.

But this article in Variety, "As it ramps up, Pixar's under pressure", was a bit surprising and unfortunately familiar. (you need to register, or as the page loads, do a quick copy/paste. :) ).

Pixar's Bill Polson outlines the strategy and worries of releasing more and more movies.

On the production side, Pixar updates its software for each new movie. That means that as many as six distinct software pipelines are working at the same time. It's a huge strain on the technical staff. It also complicates things as basic as dailies. Some versions of the software require specific hardware, and not every screening room can have every hardware setup, so some screening rooms for dailies can't be used by some toons in mid-production.


In short, Pixar is starting to look and feel a lot more like a traditional movie studio, with crews and productions working independently...

This sounds a bit like the structure of an FX house and the aspect of multiple independent pipelines is not exactly something that's worth celebrating There are some positive aspects about it for sure, but boy does it come with headaches as well... Why is there a need to release more and more movies? Is it because Dreamworks is doing it? Is it just the pressure of the current movie landscape? What about over-saturating the market?

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