Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pixar Canada Opens Home Base in Vancouver with Plans for Expansion

Pixar Canada, Pixar's new satellite studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, was officially opened yesterday. The studio's 7,000-square-foot space is located inside a historic building in Vancouver's Gastown district which may or may not be the studio's permanent home.

The studio's management team consists of general manager, a former vice-president of operations and finance for DisneyToon Studios; creative director, who's been with Pixar since 1995; and chief technical officer Darwyn Peachey, a 22-year Pixar employee. They have been working in Vancouver since last fall.

According to Nasrabadi Pixar hopes to expand its Canadian facilities to 20,000-25,000 sq. ft., perhaps moving to another location in the city at some point.

The Vancouver Sun reports the Canadian studio "will begin training new staff in late May, and start work on its first short film by early August". There are currently twenty people on the payroll; the plan is to hire several dozen employees within the next year and a half.

As previously announced, Pixar Canada will focus exclusively on the production of non-theatrical short films and other projects based on Pixar's "legacy characters", such as Cars Toons and the rumoured Toy Story Toons. Using a "pipeline system", work done in Vancouver will be seen immediately in Emeryville, where the final stages of production on the shorts will take place.

A video of the opening event (see below) has talking points from B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Nasrabadi plus some cool, blink-and-you'll-miss-them clips of WALL-E, Lightning McQueen, and Carl's house from Up in Vancouver.



Pixar, founded by animator John Lasseter, began as a small independent studio making short animations. Its first noteworthy film was Luxo Jr., a 1986 short about a desk lamp, which remains the company's iconic symbol.

It has since become known for feature films Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E and last year's Oscar® winner Up.

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Source: Pixar Blog, Vancouver Sun

2 comments:

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Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson said...

As we explain in our book Innovate the Pixar Way, Pixar was "born" before John Lasseter. In the early 1908s, Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith were working for LucasFilms and spent years developing the technologies to produce the first computer-generated animated feature film. They hired John Lasseter soon after he was fired by Disney Studios. John had the artistic genius that completed the team...and the rest is history. Toy Story (1995) was the dream realized.

Lynn Jackson, coauthor The Disney Way; Innovate the Pixar Way