In Review: Journeying into the World of Pixar
Posted 11/09/2018 10:21AM
On November 5th, Keystone’s Education Salon welcomed Art Director of Pixar Animation Studios, Anthony Christov to campus. He is an internationally renowned, highly acclaimed animation technologist and director extraordinaire who shared his life experiences in the world of animation design and technology with the audience.
Mr. Christov and Head of School Malcolm McKenzie
Students eagerly waltzed into the Performing Arts Centre, buzzing with anticipation to meet with Mr. Christov, the Art Director responsible for leading creative design teams and production studios on several highly acclaimed films such as Finding Nemo (2004), Cars (2006), The Incredibles (2004, 2018), and WALL.E(2008). For nearly twenty years, Mr. Christov has guided Pixar Animation studios with brilliant artistic vision, uniting his talents as a creative with superb visual craftsmanship, and utilizing technology to in order to create powerful universal narratives.
Throughout the evening, his dialogue with a lower division school student and Director of Marketing and Communications Sabrina Liu were interspersed with short video montages highlighting the creative spirit of Pixar Animation Studios. The audience watched in awe as the Performing Arts Centre stage screen overflowed with quirky scenes from beloved animations, and as Mr. Christov spoke on the appearance of recurring images in numerous Pixar films endearingly coined as “eggs”.
Students queued impatiently in the auditorium, curious to learn about the creative process of the director behind their favorite films. One student asked, “What inspired you to make cartoons and study art?”. Mr. Christov furrowed his brows a bit, before gazing towards the audience with his response. “You know, when you discover that you’re not too bad at something, and you’re okay with whatever it is you’re doing, it inspires you to get better and better…what I love about every film is that it’s a new challenge…it’s never the same,” he remarked. “That’s what I love the most about creating animations!”
The director concluded the night by indulging in an energetic ‘Question and Answer’ session with students keen to interact with him. Mr. Christov’s wise words to students who are discouraged at their current creative skill were, “I think it’s just a matter of attitude…I just don’t take it seriously. It’s really important not to dwell on problems and not to get obsessed with things that we deal with. If you do something and you don’t do it right and you fail the important thing is to just let it go,” he stated. The audience honed in on his words, and upper division students especially listened carefully to his advice.
“Tomorrow is a new day, you will create something better the next day…it’s important not to attach your sense of self-esteem to failure. You should learn to love yourself and if you fail, it’s just a bad day. You’re still a wonderful person with a lot to give!” he finished.
After several joyous rounds of applause from the audience, students and their families filtered out to the main lobby of the Performing Arts Centre to take photos with the creative director and browse through the official behind-the-scenes book of Pixar Animation Studios and their favorite classic films. Both students and parents left the education salon with exuberant bursts of energy, and a seemingly renewed sense of purpose as they too realized, much like Mr. Christov, there are no limits to what the human imagination can achieve.