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The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

David A. Price , David Drummond
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 July 2008
The roller-coaster rags-to-riches story behind the phenomenal success of Pixar Animation Studios: the first in-depth look at the company that forever changed the film industry and the “fraternity of geeks” who shaped it.

The Pixar Touch
is a story of technical innovation that revolutionized animation, transforming hand-drawn cel animation to computer-generated 3-D graphics. It’s a triumphant business story of a company that began with a dream, remained true to the ideals of its founders—antibureaucratic and artist driven—and ended up a multibillion-dollar success.

We meet Pixar’s technical genius and founding CEO, Ed Catmull, who dreamed of becoming an animator, inspired by Disney’s Peter Pan and Pinocchio, realized he would never be good enough, and instead enrolled in the then new field of computer science at the University of Utah. It was Catmull who founded the computer graphics lab at the New York Institute of Technology and who wound up at Lucasfilm during the first Star Wars trilogy, running the computer graphics department, and found a patron in Steve Jobs, just ousted from Apple Computer, who bought Pixar for five million dollars. Catmull went on to win four Academy Awards for his technical feats and helped to create some of the key computer-generated imagery software that animators rely on today.

Price also writes about John Lasseter, who catapulted himself from unemployed animator to one of the most powerful figures in American filmmaking; animation was the only thing he ever wanted to do (he was inspired by Disney’s The Sword in the Stone), and Price’s book shows how Lasseter transformed computer animation from a novelty into an art form. The author writes as well about Steve Jobs, as volatile a figure as a Shakespearean monarch . . .

Based on interviews with dozens of insiders, The Pixar Touch examines the early wildcat years when computer animation was thought of as the lunatic fringe of the medium.

We see the studio at work today; how its writers, directors, and animators make their astonishing, and astonishingly popular, films.

The book also delves into Pixar’s corporate feuds: between Lasseter and his former champion, Jeffrey Katzenberg (A Bug’s Life vs. Antz), and between Jobs and Michael Eisner. And finally it explores Pixar’s complex relationship with the Walt Disney Company as it transformed itself from a Disney satellite into the $7.4 billion jewel in the Disney crown.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (17 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400107652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400107650
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,058,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and fun 24 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mercifully doesn't beat you over the head with its business insights, but rather personality and story-led, providing a really compelling and fresh story of Pixar from its farthest off origins in academia to right through to Ratatouille and the (almost) present day.

No panegyric by any means, you learn of the bust-ups and controversy behind the scenes and between studios - as well as the mistakes, the anxieties and the lucky breaks. And then there's the sheer darn hard graft; the incredible commitment to narrative integrity and beauty; the spirit of filming excellence which is confined, almost exclusively, nowadays, to their offices in Emeryville.

When nine out of ten films being released are filled with crude perversions, sloppy characterisation, the filthy and tedious daydreams of lazy human beings; mistaking quirkiness for humour, and titillation for engagement - Pixar stand alone. Think back to 2009. Can anyone name any film but UP, that was worth seeing? (And seeing again, and again, and again.)

These folks have got *heart*. 'The Pixar Touch' is a great insight into just how, and why, they do.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing history of an extraordinary company 12 Oct 2009
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
This copiously researched, vivid account covers the rise of one of the world's most successful entertainment companies. Experienced journalist David A. Price fills Pixar's history with implied lessons about patience in management and running a creative company, but he doesn't seem much interested in writing a how-to business book, so he sticks to the historic narrative and draws few conclusions. Notably, Price, whose education is in computer science and law, writes more energetically about (and finds more drama in) the origins of computer graphics and the occasional lawsuits Pixar endured than in the harrowing high-wire act it goes through to make each movie - a struggle Pixar's Ed Catmull and others have discussed and written about often. getAbstract reports that the early parts of the story are the most colorful and dramatic, though the book is an entertaining read and a fascinating business case study all the way through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Pixar Handbook 30 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is for any Pixar fan. It talks about the history of the company and has information right up to Cars I would love to see an updated edition!
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5.0 out of 5 stars ANIMATION MOVES ON 5 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book holds your hand and guides you through the tortuous path taking hand-drawn animation into the ground-breaking computer and geek driven techniques developed primarily by Pixar from the late 1980's onwards. The team of 'brains' behind the incredibly involved and clever software and hardware required to make this revolutionary transition happen, was led by Ed Catmull, a brilliant computer graphics innovatory researcher, John Lasseter, a master of imagination and storytelling, and Steve Jobs, who provide the money, and drive to convert a cash-gobbling enterprise into a highly successful commercial concern.

'The Pixar Touch' gives a film buff plenty of detail on the development and making of most of the highly successful Pixar Feature Films such as 'Toy Story', 'A Bug's Life', 'Toy Story 2', 'Monsters Inc', 'Finding Nemo', 'The Incredibles', 'Cars', 'Ratatouille', and 'WALL-E'.

Not being a film adherent, more of a follower of recent North American economic history, I was looking for more of an insight into Steve Jobs mercurial management style particularly his battle for supremacy with one-time 'partner' Disney and it's equally bombastic, and egotistical leader Michael Eisner, but this was slightly side-lined by the authors most comprehensive and interesting revelations on the creative front.
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