A few weeks ago I was able to experience something that was only on my Dream Bucket List – something I never thought would happen. I got to tour and spend the day at Pixar Studios in Emeryville, California.
I visited Pixar Studios with a group of 24 bloggers to learn more about the movie Brave, which is Pixar’s latest movie. When you pass through the iconic Pixar gates and first step foot onto Pixar’s campus – and it truly is a vast campus – you’re greeted by the giant hopping desk lamp that is featured in the Pixar logo and the small ball.
Walking into the main building of Pixar Studios, it seems similar to walking into a giant airplane hangar.
They began the tour telling us how Steve Jobs designed the concept of Pixar Studios – he wanted it big, open and informal to nurture creativity, not close it off.
At Pixar Studios there’s an outdoor swimming pool, soccer field, basketball courts, fitness center and even a daycare center. With everything on the Pixar Campus where you wouldn’t even have to leave, you would imagine most of the employees practically living there. I asked one of the Pixar employees what an average workday was and she said it was about 8-10 hours and up to 12 only if they were on a deadline. Pixar believes in a work/life balance!
There’s Cafe Luxo, which serves up items like pizza, pasta, sandwiches and made to order burritos.
For your mornings, there is a Cereal room with a huge variety of cereal, teas and coffee.
I was impressed by how green Pixar Studios is. Everywhere you looked there were recycling bins and also the encouragement of a bike rack outside – I love companies like that!
We got to explore the second floor of Pixar Studios, where the magic really happens. Of course, there were no photos allowed there, but believe me when I say it’s amazing!
All of the walls were covered in artwork from the beloved Pixar films. We were introduced to Story Corner, where we saw how an idea gets pitched at Pixar Studios. When someone comes up with an idea, they pitch it with story boards. No one ever tears down an idea, they “plus” the idea! They’ll say, “I love that idea, now let’s add this to the story, this to the character!”
We also learned a little bit more about the process of making a Pixar film. On average, most Pixar films will take 4-5 years to make. They have a film come out every year, so that means they are always working on something!
Fun Fact: A frame of a Pixar film is 1/24 of a second. Each frame can take anywhere from 5-50 hours to render. No wonder it takes so long to make a film – but it’s all worth it!
Touring Pixar was such an amazing opportunity and I loved the little touches we kept coming across like a hidden Mater in the floor or Bo Peep outside the women’s restroom. Just walking around I felt inspired and the need to let some creativity out!
Check out the rest of these pictures!
Disney/Pixar is providing me with an all expenses paid trip to San Francisco for an advance screening of Chimpanzee and select footage from Brave. All thoughts and opinions are my own.