Monday, November 23, 2015

A sneak peak of how The Good Dinosaur story was developed and I get to draw Arlo the dinosaur #GoodDinoEvent

 ****Disney provided me with an all-expense paid trip for me to cover this great event ****

As a part of an event at Pixar Studios, I was able to meet up with The Good Dinosaur Screenwriter Meg LaFauve and Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann to see how the story gets developed and boarded, and I learned learn how to draw my own Arlo! We all know how much work goes into making a Pixar film, but now we were going to find out how the story develops. We were very fortunate to have this sit down, and in the actual story room that the writers for The Good Dinosaur used. This is the room where they made the movie, an idea for the movie might have come from someone who was sitting in the very chair I was sitting. That is pretty amazing, this was the room that build the DNA for The Good Dinosaur!
 From the very beginning of the days at Disney Studios with Walt Disney there were story rooms, this was a place where the Disney team would fill a room full of story boards, individual little drawings to get the movie started.  According to Kelsey Mann  “As story board artists, our job is to take the beautifully written words and translate them into the visual medium which is the film, When we get to draw we see if the movie is working, we see if the script is working”. 
When the writers are happy with the scrip that is when they go and shoot the movie. This is how things have worked for many years at Pixar, things have not changed much over the years.  This is how is was until very recently when Cintiq’s came into their lives. A Cintiq is basically a small tablet computer that is really high tech. The artists now use their Cintiq’s and the program Pitch Doctor to story board, with this program, you can create new boards and quickly draw, with this system you can draw and erase just like drawing on paper, the artist can flip and flop, scale and rotate what they are drawing easily. 
You can go anywhere and draw with paper, and the artists wanted to capture what was great about the past, the camaraderie and the hand drawn pictures with today’s technology, that turned into the modern day storyboard room. The current rooms are places where the Cintiq’s are available for all in the room, and there is also plenty of old fashioned paper to go around for the artists. Everything that is drawn in paper form is sent to the Pixar Archives, I will be sharing more about the Pixar Archives in an upcoming post be sure to stay tuned!

For story boarding the first step is to get together and talk about what you want the movie to be. Read the script out loud, then start drawing the scene on the Cintiqs. Meg was brought into the storyboard room at times to get the feel of the characters to help her with the writing of the movie. Meg will craft a script for a scene, then the group in the storyboard room will go back and forth say what they like and express their new ideas, they do this process until Pete is happy with the outcome and gives them the go ahead.
The director let them have a good amount of say, according to Kelsey Mann  “Pete allowed everyone to bring more to the table in order to get the A+ (film) he relied on those around him and trusted them,”.  Meg LaFauve said  “It was Pete’s (Sohn) movie and just like any artist as a writer I have to own it enough to feel. So I can express and find the characters in the scene, but it ultimately goes back to Pete it is his vision”. 
"Meg, being a screenwriter and story supervisor are you the main person at Pixar that writes all of the scripts?" Meg answered, “ Each movie has a writer, and I was The Good Dinosaur’s writer. Storyboard artists are writers too, I have much respect for them. They can do the discovery process and they can add in a joke or an emotion and was not there, it is all about plussing and making the movie better, there are no owners it is Pete’s and we are all trying to dig it out.” The small amount of the film I got to see was amazing, and I can see that these writers and animators plussed everything they could and came out with a movie that looks spectacular. 
After we chatted Kelsey Mann gave us a little lesson on how to draw Arlo. We all had our professional Pixar animator paper and a Sharpie, then the lesson began. Kelsey instructed us to draw circles, more circles, a straight line here a straight line there, and then another line and before you knew if viola! I drew my own Arlo, and I think I did a pretty good job. Can you tell from the pictures below which is mine? Ok, I am sure you can tell mine is at the top, I am not ready to quit my day job and run off to become an animator, but it was still pretty good for just one lesson.
For a huge Disney/Pixar fan like me it was such an honor to be able to get to see all of the back stage works for The Good Dinosaur, from the brainstorming, to the models, to the research, I will look with a new found admiration whenever I watch a Pixar film. The Good Dinosaur is in theaters this week! It hits theaters on 11/25/15! Are you planning to see The Good Dinosaur with your family? My family and I are planning to go after we do some Black Friday shopping, it will be great to be able to sit relax and enjoy this masterfully made Pixar film.
Visit the official The Good Dinosaur site
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The Good Dinosaur is in Theaters on 11/25/15

Are you planning to see The Good Dinosaur with your family?

 ****Disney provided me with an all-expense paid trip for me to cover this great event **** 

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .


  1. It is so neat to hear how movies come about. This one looks so good and we are looking forward to seeing it.

  2. It always fascinates me to see the actual process of cartoon movie making. Amazing the things these artists can do!

  3. This is going to be such a cute movie! My kids are very excited to see it as a family!

  4. We will be seeing this movie VERY soon! Can't wait for this one since we are big Disney fans.

  5. I can't wait to watch this with my son!

  6. This looks like such a fantastic movie! I can't wait to go see this in theater!


Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.

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