Going Inside Out with Jonas Rivera

Jonas Rivera, who’s been at Pixar since 1994, beginning as a production office assistant on Toy Story, has found a real kindred spirit in Pete Docter. He’s just as sweet and soft spoken, too. They first collaborated on Up in 2009 and now they await the release of the even more ambitious Inside Out, which drew raves in Cannes.  During my recent Pixar visit, we discussed the tough journey and what it’s like protecting Docter’s vision.

Bill Desowitz: What was it like working with Pete the second time around?

Jonas Rivera: We were up at Skywalker Ranch having our first sound meeting, and I pulled out my satchel and took out my laptop to take notes, and Pete pulls out this one-pound bag of Brach’s jelly beans. It’s like a Chris Farley movie, right? He said, “You want some?” Who is this guy? That’s him. And that’s pretty cool and pretty rare.

BD: Like Jimmy Stewart. And he hasn’t changed a bit over the years. So what was it like early on?

JR: When he pitched it to me, it did feel like it had a little bit of Toy Story in that it’s an ensemble cast and that it could be the same kind of no brainer if we personified these emotions right: Of course, that’s what Anger looks like and how memories work!

BD: It’s another challenging story but they always seem to come at the right time when you can handle it technologically. In this case, with RenderMan coming up with geometric lighting for Joy.

JR: I know: the workforce and the technological force and the creative force since the time that I’ve been here have always managed to deliver what the directors want. They’ve been limited but it’s pretty remarkable. One of the interesting things about this movie is the way Pete directed even early on. He’d say, “I want them to feel like this” or “I want the tone like this, I hope it has this texture.” So it was challenging to get art and technical to harmonize to figure out what he was after. It does look otherworldly to me but hopefully believable.

Read the rest at Animation Scoop/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Crafts, Movies, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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