The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC had a fascinating Pixar exhibit in 2016. Getting a small peek into the work within the studio gives a real appreciation for the concepts (like simplexity) that are applied in the Pixar process:
And how research, collaboration, and iteration wrap around Pixar’s story wheel:
“…You are sure right about the importance of a good story in movies. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of work (and rework, and rework and rework) to get it right. And even then quite often we’re not 100% pleased. As John Lasseter likes to say, our films don’t get finished, they just get released.” –Pete Docter
While they’re no slackers when it comes to research, the bottom and right of the wheel appear frequently in writing about Pixar…as if iteration is the gravitating foundation and collaboration is the forward force to keep the wheel moving (in a left-to-right world). As Peter Docter puts it to Grantland:
And Anthony Lane details in the New Yorker:
Iteration and collaboration together provide the productive feedback needed to advance the creative process. Operating in a safe space allows great teams to embrace risk and keep hitting a consistently high quality bar. We all could use a little Pixar process.