An Evening Under the Magical Hat
Last week I was humbled to receive an invitation from Doeri Welch-Greiner, whom I had met at SIGGRAPH, to attend the Walt Disney Animation Studios Open House!
At the studio, I met with both Joel Eden, Senior Interaction Designer, and Terry Moews, Head of Layout, as I was toured around the facility. Joel was kind enough to give me some background about the studio and how everything operates within the company. In addition, I was able see a breakdown from their new animated film “Frozen” for the song “Let It Go”, watch their 2D/3D short “Get a Horse” featuring the voice of Walt Disney, and see some behind the scenes clips from their upcoming films “Big Hero 6” and “Zootopia”. On their tech side, both Bonzai, their procedural floral generation software, and OnDeck, a mobile app for artist to submit and view dailies remotely, showed real promise of innovation within the studio.
Overall it was a great networking event with some fantastic food and informative sessions. It is rare to get an opportunity to see what goes on at a studio, especially Disney, and I am always inspired when peaking behind the curtains and speaking with the artists that bring these beautiful images to the silver screen. I am especially looking forward to seeing “Frozen” in the coming weeks - it seems to be a call back to the golden years of Disney musical classics like “Beauty and the Beast”. Honestly my favorite part of the visit was the ability to just walk around the hallways and see all the art on the wall, everything from hand drawn classics of “Snow White” and “Lion King” to concept art for their upcoming slate of films.
Ah and can’t leave one of these events without some swag :]