WiASF - Monsters University at Pixar

That was a fun night. I missed my stop on BART and then I end up jumping on the wrong bus so I had to run as fast as I could to make it to Pixar in time for the event hosted by Women in Animation San Francisco. I had already missed a movie screening at Pixar once, Finding Nemo 3D, and I was determined to make it to this event even though I was 1.5 miles away with less than 15 minutes until the movie starts. I ended up 10 minutes late, sweating, out of breath, and cramping but they still let me in which is awesome. As I've already seen the movie once it wouldn't have been so bad if it was just that but I really wanted to see the wonderful panel of artist that were lined up to speak after the movie. I'm not quite sure why but I enjoyed the movie a lot more this second time around. The first time I saw it I had felt that the pacing of the plot was slow but I did not feel that at all and had a great time. I got to catch all the beautiful little tidbits that I missed the first time, I made sure to watch out for the Pizza Planet truck that Pixar likes to hide in each movie, and I found Davide Pesare's and Nick Pitera's names in the credits!

One thing that I wished that they did more though that I did catch this time is monsters with multiple sets of arms. One thing that I loved about Bug's Life was the extra set of arms that the grasshoppers had and how the additional sets would gesture and pose in response to the rest of the animation and dialogue. Randall didn't really have anything going on with his second set of arms and Terri Terry only had some but it didn't really have anything extravagant, mostly just being some secondary motion.

I had read about how Hardscrabble's wings were designed to have a tweed texture so it would blend in to her outfit while it is folded. I wish there was a clear shot of it so that I could see how the wings work. There were very few shots of her from the back and the few that did exist were all closely cropped.

I love Sully's roar. When he does the very big impressive roar, one at the finals of the Scare Games and the one when he scares the adults. They are amazing and I feel something catch in my chest when he does it. panel of Pixar artistsFrom left to right: Beth Albright, shading TD. Cathy Carmean, animation manager. Rosana Sullivan, story artist. Amy Allen, set dresser. Sylvia Wong, layout artist. Bret Parker, animator.

The panel was amazing. I got to hear about the backgrounds of each of the artist and how they have journeyed to be in the position that they are in today. All of them came from different backgrounds and it was a journey as they found themselves gravitation towards the animation industry. One great topic that came up were any challenges that they had to meet. Beth had to individually place hairs on Art and create precise collision meshes so that the hair would layer properly. Sylvia talked about how the layout team had to pick and choose from the large variety of monsters which ones go where and for what crowd to really shape compositions. Really interesting was that the movie took place in an entire school year so there was the change of seasons. While I noticed the lighting change, I actually missed the fact that season change of fall to winter then spring and summer so I will have to look for it if I watch the movie again. Amy talked about how they had to design trees and foliage to match the world of Monsters and that it has to look good throughout the four season.

While called Women in Animation, the organization is also open to all genders. Women in Animation is a professional, non-profit organization established in 1994 to foster the dignity, concerns and advancement of women who are involved in any and all aspects of the art and industry of animation. The SF chapter, who was the lovely host of the night, was recently started, led by Angelique Reisch, Mary Kate Dangoia, and Angela Entzminger. As a student and professional organization, WiA strives to encourage and enable women (and men) to become the best they can be in the industry. There are bimonthly meetings where members have the opportunity to meet others in the industry, learn more about how to survive and thrive in the industry and talk shop.

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