The Up wrap party took place Saturday evening in Oakland, California, and it was, by all accounts, a big success. Attendees were greeted by a variety of Up-themed decorations and in-jokes and received blue Up wristbands and other such party favors. Nearly every well-known Pixarian was present.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Speaking with Variety in a piece published online an hour ago, Hanks said in part:
He talked further about the challenges and rewards of recording voice work for an animated film.
"Being in the hands of the people at Pixar, it's like getting into the JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory]. You're with folks who invented the art form in many, many ways and never seem to rest on their laurels. It's like I've been invited to a great party for a third time.
"We wouldn't be doing this if there wasn't a story where it's like, 'How do you guys come up with this?'"
Hanks also discussed 'TS3' briefly with Empire magazine earlier this week, recounting how the studio showed him a complete story reel of the movie before he signed on. His response: "This is great, let's get to work!"
Sohn talks about the short film and its influences, John Lasseter's advice for him, the technical aspects of animating the clouds, and whether the matching of the short with Up was intentional or not, just to name a few of the many subjects discussed.
The AWN interview also contains several stills and pieces of concept art from the short, such as the one seen at the top. And be sure to check out the 30-second clip from the short on AWNtv.
Written by Art of WALL-E and Art of Up author Tim Hauser, 'Treasures' is a hardcover scrapbook of Pixar's history, films and characters, filled with removable keepsakes, in the style of 2003's The Disney Treasures. The official description calls it "an essential collector's item for every Pixar fan."
The Pixar Treasures arrives in bookstores on September 22 and is published by Disney Editions.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
New York Times film industry reporter Brooks Barnes, who regularly covers Pixar for the paper, cited my reports (here and here) on Pixar's Emeryville campus expansion, calling TPB the "definitive unofficial chronicler" of the studio.
The New York Times reports that the TV spot will "depict the duck, a balloon in his teeth, floating in the sky with the movie’s main characters." Aflac!
Sounds like a very fun tie-in; the Aflac commercials are already some of my favourites. Disney/Pixar should do more of these.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Up is only the second Pixar film (after The Incredibles) to receive the "more mature" PG rating.
Not at all surprised here. You?
Update: The Up official website now displays the PG certification mark with the rating reason Some Peril and Action.
Thanks Great Gonzo for pointing this out in comments.
(Updated Apr. 21)
One important detail I was not able to report at the time was the cost of the project. Pixar PR politely declined to comment on the matter. Now a further search of recently filed City of Emeryville documents reveals a substantial portion of the expansion's cost.
According to a city memorandum, the "preliminary material and equipment (M&E) cost of [the] project is approximately $15 million." This figure does not include labour and other associated costs, which undoubtedly run into the many millions of dollars as well.
It is interesting to note that while many companies, including other parts of The Walt Disney Co., are downsizing because of the current economic climate, Pixar is able to proceed with a project of this size. Quality —it's the best business plan.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Variety describes the sneak peak as consisting of "Woody supervising the Toy Story characters as they improvise a sign for the pic, only to have Buzz upstage them all with a high-tech version."
A trailer for 'TS3' —whether this one or not remains to be seen— will play in front of the double feature 3-D re-release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 out October 2nd.
Considering the title and how it should fit in with Up's plot, this has got to be one real tear-jerker sentimental piece of music, and possibly a highlight of Michael Giacchino's score for the film. Up's "Define Dancing" if you will.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Some exciting new scenes that will surely amaze in 3-D plus we get to see Pete Docter in a shirt and tie, possibly a first :)
Watch it at Disney.com.
The still gives us our first close-up look at Gus the cloud and his 'loyal baby delivery stork', Peck.
If what we've learned so far is any indication, this may end up being one of Pixar's best shorts.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The screening takes place on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 PM with the reception beginning at 6:00 PM. Scheduled to be in attendance as hosts are Pete Docter and family. Tickets are $275 each ($250 tax deductible for U.S. residents) and include some light food and wine, a silent auction of limited-edition Up merchandise, and of course, entry to 1200 Park Avenue which is generally strictly off-limits to the general public.
For more info or to purchase tickets —in the S.F. Bay Area you'd be crazy not to— go to this page. Seats, very limited, will be assigned on a first come, first served basis so act fast if you're interested.
(via Upcoming Pixar)
In the morning, he made a stop at local public radio station KUER 90.1, operated by the University of Utah, to speak with host Doug Fabrizio on the RadioWest program. A great variety of topics were discussed during the 45-minute show.
Listen online at the station's website.
As part of a presentation entitled "RenderMan: Creating the Impossible", guest speakers (to be announced) from the studio "will be on-hand to talk about the making-of Pixar's feature films" and present a "behind-the-scenes look" at the production techniques employed.
A live demonstration of RenderMan for Maya will be used to teach attendees how to incorporate Pixar's RenderMan rendering software in their own 3D animation and special effects work.
The studio will also be holding a special recruiting event hosted by Senior Technical Recruiter Robin McDonald, called "Pixar Career Gears". Prospective applicants will have the opportunity to talk with members of the technical team, including Technical Directors. These recruiting events have been effective in driving the best and brightest talent to Pixar over the years.
Complete details, such as event locations and times, can be found here.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Last week, Disney PR sent out the invites for the press day at Pixar's Emeryville studios, as well as for the press screenings at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank taking place early next month.
The first screening of the complete movie (sans credits) for members of the general public happened this past Thursday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Euan Kerr of Minnesota Public Radio's film blog Movie Natters brings a fine account of the screening of the "at times quite breathtaking" picture, particularly the very heavy security measures that surrounded it.
Other reports are beginning to leak online, on sites like Twitter, and they are, unsurpringly, overwhelmingly postitive. /Film conveys one Twitterer's thoughts: "...Pixar has done it again. I cried like a baby during Up."
Needless to say, this is all very exciting, and hopefully marks the end of the unusual news drought we've been experiencing over the last while.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
First up (no pun intended), a new international trailer for Up is now online and embedded above courtesy of Trailer Addict (via CanMag). Similar to the most recent "domestic" theatrical trailer, but with some different scenes edited in and some other changes. British-accented narration would've been nice.
Also fun is a third UPisode vignette just released by Disney. Entitled Snipe Trap, it can now be viewed at AOL Moviefone and has Russell setting up a trap to try and catch the "snipe" that's been bothering Carl.
The description I provided for the link was "Wall Street idiots doubt Up will succeed". Evidently, others were just as flabbergasted by the ignorance and short-sightedness of the analysts quoted in the story.
Michael Glitz at The Huffington Post wrote: "...anyone who characterizes Pixar as becoming less and less commercial or anything other than wildly successful on every level is lying or stupid and probably both."
More politely, Sarah Ball at Newsweek's arts and culture blog Pop Vox asked, and stated: "When was the last time you met a kid who hated balloons? Or grandparents? Or movies? About flying? Lighten "Up," guys."