Pixar Creates Experimental Shorts Division and Announces Their First Film Titled, ‘Smash and Grab’

Pixar creates new and exciting experimental shorts division, announcing their first film titled, Smash and Grab, directed by Brian Larsen.
Sparkshorts Siggraph

Did you know that SIGGRAPH is where Pixar premiered their first short film?

Back in 1984, the release of Andre and Wally B astounded the crowd with computer graphics, lighting rigs, and the use of digital squash and stretch — all set forth by director Alvy Ray Smith, John Lasseter (animator), and Bill Reeves (technical lead), to name a few.

With the annual SIGGRAPH conference set as the mecca of everything groundbreaking in the computer graphics and interactive techniques world, it’s no wonder that Pixar Animation Studios will host an exciting panel allowing an inside look at their new experimental shorts division.

The presentation titled, Smash and Grab: Off-The-Rails will showcase the new experimental storytelling initiative set to create short films within the studio without executive oversight — allowing filmmakers to explore their creative visions and increase studio opportunities.

The discussion will share Pixar’s six-month journey of creating seven-minute shorts, including the division’s first film titled, Smash and Grab directed by Brian Larsen (Head of Story on Piper and Director of The Legend of Mor’du). Director Brian Larsen will be on-hand (as well as, Vincent Serritella, Jason Kim, David Lally, Farhez Rayani, and Matthew Silas) to share how the film was created with limited resources while juggling multiple feature presentations.

Learning about this experimental shorts division within the studio reminded us of Pixar’s Co-op program (which is part of Pixar University). If you recall, the Academy Award Nominated short film, Borrowed Time was created by Pixar employees Andrew Coats (director), Lou Hamou-Lhadj (director), and Mark C. Harris (writer) — as well as their talented team on their own time. Could these two divisions coincide with one another?

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