John Lasseter Reminds Us To ‘Learn The Fundamentals’

John Lasseter

On Tuesday, May 12, John Lasseter delighted attendees of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences panel, “The New Audience: Moviegoing in a Connected World”. During John’s discussion, he not only touched on the ever-evolving topic of technology but he spoke of the passions, struggles, and importance of change in filmmaking. Remembering back to the roots of CG animation when the only venue to showcase new technology was at SIGGRAPH, Lasseter touched on his desire to want to entertain audiences with characters and stories – not just floating spheres hovering over checkerboards. However, Lasseter stated that when you attempt something new or different you’re often met with the “It’s not going to work” roadblock, or oftentimes the, “It’s not what people are used to” line

Springboarding into the technology of today and as filming options expand, Lasseter stated that the use of iPhones and GoPro cameras could be the next leap for filmmakers. While there will be skeptics, Lasseter reminds the audience “If you use technology correctly you can change opinions overnight”. The tenacity and passion that Lasseter exuded during the speech, as well as the relevant examples that he sites left the audience wanting more.

Moviegoing in a connected world

As the approximately 35 minutes speech came to a close, Lasseter shared a question (pertaining to animation) that he is often asked about from students, “What software should I use?

In your lifetime the technology will change drastically that it doesn’t matter. Learn the fundamentals. Learn the fundamentals of good storytelling, animation, film grammar, learn physics, basic color, basic design…The more you understand about the fundamentals then as you get into new technology you’ll know exactly what to do and your work will not be about the technology it will be about connecting and entertaining your audience.

To listen to the full speech as well as hear our insights on the discussion be sure to listen to the Pixar Post Podcast Episode 038.

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