This morning, after nearly drowning in several surprisingly deep puddles left by some heavy duty rainfall, stamping and posting an overwhelming variety of packages (including bridal shower invitations Mother's Day mail, and a chubby birthday parcel for my 3-year-old niece), and returning several [overdue] items to the library, I jumped at the chance to buy the Pixar Collection of Short Films while it was on sale at K-Mart. I've had my eye on it for a while because I love those little shorts. To me, they're the film-making equivalent of a short story: a focussed storyline centering around a limited number of characters with minimal distractions and a complete tale with real emotion which shines the spotlight on what might be a rather tiny moment.
This evening, during an early dinner before Lauren headed out for an evening of Bible study, we watched a couple of them and then a feature on the beginning of the Pixar animation franchise. From a nerdy-but-I-know-nothing-about-it perspective, it was cool to watch the evolution of the computer animation world from its baby steps in the eighties when individual frames would take 8 minutes each to render (and that was a few years into the endeavour, when things were moving faster) and Pixar was just a bunch of inspired geeks doing all-nighters and spending six months on a single two-minute film. Amazing.
But from a creative perspective, it was especially cool to see the intense correlation between inspiration, rational thinking, and serious hard work. For every Pixar short, the inspiration and the brain wave probably factors in at about 2% of the entire work process (yes, I just plucked that number from the air. But I'm not kidding). Someone gets an idea, someone else thinks it's cool -- and then there is hour upon hour of modelling, graphing, layering, rendering, and whatever else they do. What's more, the folks at Pixar did this kind of stuff for about ten years before anyone even took notice. But they cared about what they were producing, and they were willing to put the hard work in no matter what.
I'm pretty sure this is a valuable lesson for anyone who wants to be creative and not just think about doing things, but actually do them.
PS. Sorry to have been all missing in action here at the blog. I have about a dozen posts in mind but I've been busy doing laundry, writing essays, making invitations, not forgetting to go to the events scribbled in my diary, and talking to my various family members who seem to live everywhere but here.