Pete Docter Shares a Heartwarming Story from ‘Inside Out’ with The Daily Bruin

Pete Docter discusses Inside Out
Photo via Jennifer Hu/Daily Bruin

This past week, director Pete Docter was on hand at a UCLA film class where he spoke about the production process in animation. Students were given an ‘inside’ look into the making of his newest film, Inside Out. Following the lecture, Docter sat down with Rebecca Sarvady with The Daily Bruin for a quick Q&A – where he shared a heartwarming moment from one of the Inside Out technical directors.

Daily Bruin: How did you make a children’s movie with such a potentially serious and dark subject matter?

Pete Docter: Kids are way smarter than most people think. On this film we had to simplify things for the adults, but the kids got it. In fact, we had the crew bring their kids in just to test the film because we were concerned – abstract thought and all these things in the film are pretty complex. The kids got everything – in fact, they explained it back to us better than I almost did. The next day, this is sort of a bonus, one of our technical directors said, “I got to tell you this story: My son has been taking swimming lessons, and he’s been afraid to dive off the diving board. Yesterday, after watching the film, he finally did it and jumped off. I said, ‘Wow, how did you do it?’ and he said ‘Well, I just felt like Fear was driving, so I asked him to step aside.’”

Daily Bruin: Do you have any advice for any budding artists that want to enter this field?

Pete Docter: I’d say do it. There’s always a way to find some way to do it. It’s surprised me I know. The way I sort of visualized it was that some people were born talented and other people are not. The reality is that everybody needs practice. You’d never hand a kid a violin and say, “See ya at Carnegie Hall tonight for your big concert.” They need to practice for years and years. And I think that any of the arts are the same way. The more you do it, the better it’s going to get. The more you show other people and get up there in front of other people, as painful as that is, the more you’re going to understand how to communicate to people, which is what it’s all about.

As May continues to be a busy month for the Inside Out crew, with the press tour in full swing – there are a few special screenings that you can attend with guest appearances. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a month-long (April 24 – May 29, 2015) series of animation events/special presentations titled An Animation Showcase: From Celluloid to CGI. Taking place in New York, on May 29, director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera will be on-hand to discuss details from the production of the film following the screening.

On June 16, in hundreds of movie theaters across the U.S. an exclusive pre-screening of Inside Out will be presented by Disney and Fathom Events. This one-night event will feature 15-minutes of behind-the-scenes footage and a live stream Q&A with Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, and Amy Poehler.

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