I recently attended the Incredibles 2 early press event at Pixar Animation Studios in beautiful Emeryville, California, just outside of San Francisco. Pixar and all of its’ facilities are not open to the public, so attending was a real honor. It was an amazing couple of days, so I’m excited to share some of my experiences with my readers!
Being a fan of Pixar movies and Pixar short films for years, just entering through the Pixar gates and walking into the Steve Jobs Building, was a thrill I mean, this is where all the magic happens.
It all starts when you are greeted by a giant version of Luxo (the Pixar mascot) and his colorful bouncy ball and the creativity just flows from that point on. The campus is a dream, its’ 22 stunning archers are filled with modern architecture, a full size pool, basketball courts, a sanded volleyball court and a work out gym and more, all surrounded by beautiful landscaping and tall palm trees, like I said, a dream.
1. Hung out in The Steve Jobs building Atrium
The Steve Jobs building (designed by Steve Jobs) features a two-story atrium that is designed as a meeting space where employees are encouraged to come together. It features a welcoming entrance, a large cafe, small gift shop, mail room and lots of colorful seating. There is a gorgeous fireplace in the middle of the atrium that features a cozy, little private lounge called the “Brooklyn Hearth Lounge” built right into the back of it.
There are plenty of beloved Pixar characters placed throughout the building, from larger than life-size to tiny images built into the building’s decor, more proof that you are among some of the most creative people in the world.
2. Enjoyed a guided INCREDIBLES 2 Art Gallery tour
Both floors of the Atrium are always decorated with the colors and art work of a current Pixar project, right now that project is The Incredibles 2. I love the bold colors and lines, even the abstract art has the same strong feel of the Incredibles.
The majority of the galleries are actual sketches, paintings and animated pieces that were used in research and while making the movie. Some of the character artwork includes a model that was used during the animation process. That was really cool to see.
A lot of architectural research was done while creating the world of Incredibles 2, which is based around a slick, mid-century, 1950’s-60’s concept. It was fascinating to see some of that artwork and sketches.
3. Creating my own Super Hero
Led by Costume Designer Alonso Martinez, we first learned the difference between a concept artist and sketch artist and how concept art can really capture the feeling and personality of a character before a sketch is even completed. We went on to learn how collaging was used by artists to conceptualize characters and their costumes, and then we tried it out for our-self by creating our own Super.
Now, I feel the need to mention that I am not very crafty, in-fact, just the sight of those craft tables covered in papers, stencils and glue gave me a little instant anxiety, the pressure was on. It’s no surprise to see that my outcome is not very impressive or crafty – but hey, I tried, and I had some laughs doing it. As far as her super powers, I’m not totally sure what they are, but it might have something to do with eating, she’s pretty round in the middle, or is that an 80’s skirt, I don’t even know.
4. Took a rare walk though the Pixar Archives
In a building not far away are the Pixar Archives after months, often years, of hard work is where a lot of sketches, paintings and concept art will end up once a film is complete. It will all be placed in meticulously labeled boxes and cataloged on labeled shelves, oh so many shelves. There are approximately five million pieces of art currently stored in the archives. The shelves are maneuvered by a rolling hand crank and housed in temperature-controlled rooms.
The building is very private and secure, in-fact, as amazing as it is, they just recently started allowing people/press a peek inside, but it likely will never be open to the public. I am honored to have been an early visitor. We were not allowed to bring our phones and we were not allowed to touch anything, it was all so very FBI’ish.
I really enjoyed seeing some of the Incredibles 2 concept artwork. We were able to see several colorful sketches of Elastigirl and her costume. Seeing them gave me some great perspective on how her style and look came about. It was pretty neat to see Elastigirl, before she was actually “Elastigirl”. So many details go into creating an animated movie and it was really interesting to see some of the unfinished artwork as well. We also got a quick look at a stunning hand painting from the making of Brave. Wow, so much history and beauty in this place!
A big contributor to creating animation is the use of of marquettes (which are kind of like moods/statues). It was so cool to see and learn how the the process of using these has changed over the years. There must be thousands of them in the archives, from body parts and full body images. We were lucky to get a peek at the different facial expressions of Mr. Incredible, which were pretty cool.
5. Attended several presentations to learn everything that went into creating The Incredibles 2.
Watch for blog posts on all of the presentations like “Anatomy of an Action Scene” and “No Capes!” to be shared here soon.
Check out the exciting all-new Incedibles 2 poster and trailer!
In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
Like INCREDIBLES 2 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarTheIncredibles/
Follow Disney/Pixar on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypixar
Follow Disney/Pixar on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixar/
Visit the official INCREDIBLES 2 website here: http://disney.com/incredibles2
INCREDIBLES 2 opens in theatres everywhere on June 15, 2018!
Disclosure: I was provided with travel, food and lodging in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own. Some photos and images were provided by Disney/Pixar.