The latest Google Talks episode features Director Dan Scanlon and Producer Kori Rae as they discuss everything about Monsters University. The talk begins as moderator (and Google Doodler) Matthew Cruickshank tells a few “monster” jokes – though my favorite moment during this portion was when Cruickshank reveals that he wrote on his notecards when to pause for applause and laughter, it was endearing and a great way to start the Google Talk.
The video is just about 45 minutes and is packed full of great stories, behind-the-scenes information, and loads of laughs. The duo began the talk by discussing their background where Kori Rae discussed her journey at Pixar about 20 years ago when the company produced commercials. Rae began as an Assistant to the Executive Producer for the Commercial Group, then quickly started to work her way up to producing commercials.
When Toy Story was released the commercial group closed, and Rae began to work as the Animation Manager for A Bug’s Life, her first Pixar feature role. Monsters University is her first full producing role, however, she was the development producer on Up for the first year of production.
An area that stuck out to me during the Google Talk was when Dan Scanlon discussed the moment he decided to make the move out to California and how he applied to Pixar thinking it was a long shot — but thought it would be good to get his name out there. In the end, the only company that contacted Scanlon was Pixar. Dan explained:
“It was such a great example of just go for everything you want because you never know”
For me this is a very powerful statement, as everyone no matter what their dreams or aspirations are have been faced with “Do I just go for it?” or “Do I just stay with what I know?”
What we thought was neat to hear was when Scanlon again expressed the difficulty of simulating the backpacks for the monster students. We had discussed this with Scanlon during the Monsters University press days at Pixar.