Dinosaur Dig

Watched WALL-E for the second time last night, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time. I’ll probably have to buy that one. DKC and I were watching the commentary afterward, and Andrew Stanton (the director) gave this really cool analogy about the creative process that I wanted to share with you all. Basically, he said that to him, creating a movie was like a dinosaur dig. When you start the creative process, you start uncovering bones, one by one. And sometimes those bones surprise you. You don’t know what sort of a dinosaur you’re dealing with at first, but as you accumulate the bones, you get a better and better idea. However, sometimes–right at the end–you get a final bone that throws your whole perception off. What you thought was a T-Rex is actually a Stegosaurus. And then you have to make a decision: do you take all the work you’ve already done–piecing all those bones together into a T-Rex whole–and abandon it, or do you shove the Stegosaurus bone into the T-Rex and try and make it fit. He said that where Pixar has succeeded is that they’ve always been willing to scrap material so that the whole is complete and right. Rebuild from the ground up, if they have to. I see a lot of truth to that statement, and I can say from experience that I hate rebuilding from the ground up when I find I’ve made a mistake like that. The end result’s always better, though.

Leave a comment