A Lesson From Pixar

I think we as a society can find many lessons from the Animation Studio Pixar. Pixar is a studio I have looked into, with great detail, for the past few years. They are the most successful film studio of this decade. They have come out with ten movies, all of which have been hailed both critically and publicly as great successes.

Pixar has not failed. They have pushed the boundaries of film making and dared to do the unconventional, with nothing but success to show from it.

Many have asked the question, “What is the key to Pixar’s success”? The CEO’s and Producers of Hollywood have seen the vast amounts of money Pixar has brought in, through the popularity of their films, and they want a piece of the pie.

The secret however, is something that money can not buy. When Andrew Stanton, director of Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Wall-E, was asked about the secret of Pixar Studio’s success, the answer was simple, “What is best for the film?” That is the question that Andrew says, guides the studios every move. There is one core Visionary (the director) who has an idea on a film that he wants to create, and nothing will get in the way of making that vision come to be a reality.

Unlike typical Hollywood, it is not lust for profit that guides the Pixar Studio. Nor is it popularity, safe/conventional storytelling or power from the higher ups, that directs Pixar’s path. The Pixar Studio is guided by Vision.

Pixar is successful because they are not worried about money or what critics think. They are not in the business for the popularity or even the big buck. They all want to create something great, and are willing to put the time and effort into making this Vision come to pass.

Most of the film business can not have the success Pixar has, because they are too caught up in profit and safe reliable storylines. When you put money first you are not able to take risks, you do not open yourself up to what the actual film needs. To let Vision come first you need to be willing to let go of the control.

I have seen through the years, a lot of similarities between the Church and typical Hollywood. The audience is who both Hollywood and the Church rely on for money. When you are guided by money, you tend to want to take the safe rout. A Pastor usually tries to stick to a typical yet safe message just as Hollywood tries to come out with the safe love story that will attract a broad audience. There is also a need for control.The need to have control is a typical thing you see in both Hollywood and the Church as well. This is perfectly understandable, I mean if you need to worry about, salaries, rent, and keeping an audience, you want to have a certain amount of control and know that you will survive the jump.

The problem is that the Vision sometimes asks us to jump without looking. Vision sometimes requires us to have a blind faith, and be willing to sacrifice everything to accomplish the goal.

The Pixar studio has been told many times that movies like Toy Story, Ratatouille, and Wall-E would be their undoing. Pixar dared to create unique stories and go place never gone to before, and with that came the possibility that no one would follow. But they chose to jump anyway.

They jumped because they were following something that could not be calculated, something that required dedication, the willingness to work together and follow the best ideas no matter where the source came from.

Let us learn from Pixar. Let us truly follow Vision no matter the destination or what we will have to question. The only thing that will bring on revival and freedom is a dedication to Vision that surpasses our human need to be safe and goes for the calling that God has given us.

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2 comments on “A Lesson From Pixar

  1. Scott Erb says:

    I decided to check your blog after you commented on mine. Very interesting, I’ll come back here more often. I agree with what you write about Pixar. My first son was born in 2003, and since then I’ve discovered children’s movies, especially ones like Nemo, Wallee and other Pixar shows. I think Nemo was the first one I watched and I remember being shocked by how good it was and how much I enjoyed it.

  2. striker49 says:

    Thanks Scott, your blog seemed very interesting as well and it has something I long for, discussion. I have enjoyed reading some the the conversation you and the people who read your blog, have been having. I like throwing out a topic and not always agreeing on it, but having enough strength to test the waters and be willing to change. Your blog seems to bring up topics that are allowed to be seen at different angles without being downsized because of it.

    I am glad you enjoyed Finding Nemo. It is amazing to study all the Pixar films and see how different all the Directors and staff are. But, they are all interested in what is best for the movie and do the best they can to have the Vision come to life. It is a powerful thing, to see so many people of completely different backgrounds and lifestyles, work together to create one magnificent piece of work.

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