***Disclosure: I attended The #MonstersUEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney. All opinions are 100% mine. Some pictures provided by Disney.***
My day at Monsters University was chock full of classes which included: English 101, Sociology 203, Anthropology 152, Dramatic Arts, and Psychics 250. So let me tell you all about them.
How to tell a great story…..you’d think it would be a simple process, but it’s really not. It’s simple enough to get started throw a bunch of smart people in a room and see what happens. Then people out there pitching ideas and expanding on those ideas. Sometimes you really fight for your idea even if it does sound crazy at first, but slowly the best ideas rise to the top. Which makes sense. We all get to that point where we go ok this works or it doesn’t.
Then the funnest part of this class came up. A drawing session. I’ll admit I’m not going to animator school anytime soon…I’ll stick to blogging, but it’s not every day you get a drawing lesson from someone at Pixar. So here’s my Mike Wazowski. At least you can tell who it is. 😉
Sociology 203: Deconstruction of a Character with Ricky Nierva, Jason Deamer, and Daniela Strijleva
This class I learned quite a bit. Think about it. Aging a character seems easier. Make them a little bigger, maybe add glasses, gray hair, etc. What about de-aging a character? What are some ways they could de-age Mike and Sully? With Sully it was easier. They made him slimmer and added a faux hawk. I mean come one it’s college so of course he needed some style. With Mike, however, it was a bit harder. Essentially he’s an eyeball. How do you make an eyeball younger? With him they had to do more “visual clues” such as the retainer, but if you also notice his horns are a tad smaller and his skin is a bit more translucent.
Another fun fact is one of the main characters Dean Hardscrabble started out as a male character. Yep, male. So with only six weeks left they went back to the drawing board literally and came up with who we now know as Dean Scrabble. They took a venomous centipede and Helen Mirren’s voice and wa-la. Instant scariness. I will say she is the scariest part of MU, but the scenes we saw were mainly he being the “dean”, so of course the head of the Monster school has to be intimidating, but no more scary than the monster who ran Monsters Inc. Henry J. Waternoose.
Anthropology 152: Monsterizing the World with Dice Tsutsumi & Robert Kondo
In my opinion this would be fun. Think about every day things in our world and add a monster spin on it. In fact, many college campuses were visited to get the look and feel of them….then they were monsterized. Lots of monsters fly so they needed places throughout the campus to land. Come to think of it there are underwater monsters as well. So they need their own space as well. (Watch out for that small clip it’s pretty cool) You’ll see many scream pipes connected everywhere. Remember they use scream technology after all.
My favorite building of course is the school of scaring. Second favorite would have to be the houses of the fraternities and sororities. Check out these 2 images and you’ll get the “feel”.
Dramatic Arts: Bringing The Character To Life with Scott Clarke
This class was more of us watching a demonstration…..and maybe a bit of Scott’s dancing, but that’s another story. 😉 He showed us how certain scenes were brought together to make Sully dance. Apparently Sully wasn’t a dancer, but our pal Squishy is. It’s a very cute scene and one to keep an eye out for. Again I want to stress just how much it takes to make a movie. A quick clip like this which is maybe 5 seconds long can take up to 2-3 weeks to make. which blows my mind every time.
Psychics 250: Global Illumination with Jean Claude Kalache, Sanjay Bakshi, and Christine Waggoner
I’ll admit Psychics wasn’t my best class in school. A bit of it was over my head, but basically they talked about technical the challenges and achievements of the film. Simulation comes in a lot in this film. Take for instance hair. Sully has 3.5 million hairs. That’s a lot of hair! In Monsters Inc. they had a rule of 1 hairy character in a scene and in Monsters Inc. where as they upped this to 25% of the characters in a scene in Monsters University hair simulated hair. This also meant that Pixar had To DOUBLE their rendering farm. (Bank of computers to do the rendering) Pretty crazy, but it just goes to show how committed Pixar is to making each film better and better.
Overall I had a fun day of classes and learned a lot of behind the scenes stuff about Monsters University and as a Disney Fan I love that. So thanks again Disney and Pixar for having me out.
Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart, Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters University” is directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”), produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and features music from future Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame–inductee and award winning composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3”). The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
To follow all the action check out the #MonstersUEvent hashtag Want to keep up with all Monsters University updates? Check out the Monsters University website then Make sure your following Disney Pixar on Twitter and you “Like” the Pixar Monsters University Fan Page.