Ever want to be a fly on the wall when Hollywood filmmakers pitch their ideas? During a recent press trip to Pixar Studios, story supervisor Kelsey Mann and screenwriter Meg LaFauve for Disney•Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR shared how a story gets developed at the studio, and what it feels like to be caught up in the excitement of the pitch. Continue reading for more details on the art of the story pitch with Disney•Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR writers.
DISCLOSURE: I was hosted by Walt Disney Studios on an all expense paid trip to San Francisco, California including airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation, and meals to attend this press event and learn more about Disney’s films and shows. All opinions expressed are those of the author.
During our meeting with Disney•Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR writers, we gathered inside the actual Pixar story room, where creative teams gather to bounce ideas off of each other, such as when John Lasseter pitched his most recent idea for Toy Story 4 (pictured above). Inside the story room, the director, producer, screenwriter, and story supervisor collectively figure out their vision for the movie, and, in the case of THE GOOD DINOSAUR, how the relationship between Spot and Arlo progresses and changes throughout the film.
You could tell Kelsey Mann and Meg LaFauve have great admiration and respect for their director Peter Sohn. “It’s Pete’s movie, and we are all just working together and trying to make it better,” said Mann.
Kelsey Mann demonstrated pitching a scene so we could see how it goes. As we watched the storyboard play out on a screen at one end of the room, Mann did a bit of performance art including voices and sound effects (a doggie squeaker toy) to make everyone feel as though they were watching a part of the movie. Take a look at the film clip below, the chirps of those little prehistoric prairie dogs take me right back to the Pixar story room with Mann and his squeaker toy.
Our session concluded with Kelsey Mann saying, “you cannot leave a story room at Pixar without doing a drawing” and taught us all how to draw Arlo from THE GOOD DINOSAUR.
Disney•Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR opens in theaters on November 25, 2015; click here for more photos, news, trailers, and activity sheets for the film.