To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History

“If I learned anything at Pixar, it is that story comes first. Pixar’s creative leader, John Lasseter, used to say, “Great graphics will keep us entertained for a couple of minutes; it is story that holds us in our seats.”
“It’s because people love these family films,” Steve said. “They don’t want to see them just once in the movie theater. They want to see them over and over again. They love those characters. And parents would rather their children watch Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast than a lot of garbage.”
“This was all new to us. Disney and the other studios were spreading money across a slate of films, hoping that some would break out and become hits, to make up for the ones that didn’t.”
“It’s about the way the films are made,” Ed said. “In animation there is much more control. We iterate on the story over and over again, through storyboards, character modeling, animation tests, and other processes. If the story or character isn’t working, we can change it. Live action doesn’t offer that flexibility. Once the film has been shot, you’re locked into using the footage you have.”
“In animation we still have the chance to iterate on a story even when we’re into production of a film. That’s a lot harder in live action when all the sets have been dismantled and the cast and crew have moved on.”
“Life for a public company was life in a fishbowl.”
“Technology is a huge driver in entertainment,” Hal explained. “Companies that combine great story, technology breakthroughs, and seasoned management will lead the way into the future.”
“Steve once told me that the gestation of great products takes much longer than it appears. What seems to emerge from nowhere belies a long process of development, trials and missteps.”
“Creative vision does not spring forth fully formed. It evolves, meanders, and all but stumbles its way to fruition.”
“Leverage means bargaining power. It is the muscle you have to bring about change in your favor. The more leverage, the better you chances to get what you want. In poker, leverage would be the equivalent of the actual strength of your hand.”
“Iger came through immediately. He said that not only did he want to preserve Pixar’s way of doing things, he wanted the way of doing things to infect the culture of Disney Animation so that Disney would become more like Pixar. This was a vision we could all get behind.”
“The Middle Way is a dance between order and freedom, bureaucracy and spirit, efficiency and artistry. Every film that Pixar made struggled with this tension and ended up better for it.”