During the Finding Dory event in Monterey, California we had the opportunity to sit down with Co-Director Angus Maclane and Story Supervisor Max Brace. We learned about how they dove into Finding Dory from concept to the Big Screen.
They are responsible for translating words on a piece of paper to a visual scene in the movie. It was fascinating to learn the process that goes into creating a Disney/Pixar movie. So many years, hours, and moments to create the movie that we see in theaters.
One thing I found interesting is that story artists pitch ideas to the directors for feedback and updates. A story artist could craft an entire scene, make it look amazing and then have it completely cut from the movie because the directors don’t feel it fits with where they are going.
A scene includes composition, acting, lighting and editing.
Did you know that when a movie is being created they will record what they call “scratch” voices? They use temporary voices instead of the main actors and actresses to see how the story flows.
Since the story is continually evolving they use these scratch voices to make sure it flows without having to try and get the main actors or actresses in the studio during the work in progress.
For Finding Dory, more than 103,000 storyboards were delivered during the creation of the movie. It was a three and a half year process to create Finding Dory!
Once the directors have approved a scene of storyboards they are then moved to full production.
The goal of the story team is to make sure the movie was always focused on Dory. That the movie didn’t shift to other characters and situations and pull away from the heart of the story of Dory.
The story team helps find the balance of emotions that are needed to create an amazing movie.
ANGUS MACLANE (Co-Director) joined Pixar Animation Studios as an animator in June 1997. MacLane has since worked on a number of Pixar’s features, including “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and the Academy Award®-winning films “The Incredibles,” “WALL•E” and “Toy Story 3.” For his work on “The Incredibles,” MacLane was awarded an Annie Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for outstanding achievement in character animation.
In addition to his work on features, MacLane has contributed his talents to a number of short films, including the Academy Award®-winning shorts “Geri’s Game” and “For the Birds.” He also acted as the supervising animator for the Oscar®-nominated short “One Man Band.” MacLane made his directorial debut with the direct-to-DVD short film “BURN•E,” released with the “WALL•E” DVD, followed by the Toy Story Toon entitled “Small Fry,” which screened in theaters with Disney’s “The Muppets.” MacLane directed Pixar’s first ever television special, “Toy Story OF TERROR!”—he won an Annie Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for outstanding achievement in direction.
MacLane grew up in Portland, Ore., and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. He resides in Berkeley with his wife and their two children
MAX BRACE (Story Supervisor) joined Pixar Animation Studios in July 1996 directly out of college as a story artist on the feature film “A Bug’s Life.” He went on to work as a story artist on more than 10 Pixar feature and short films. His credits include “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” and the Academy Award®-winning features “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “WALL•E” and “Brave.” Brace also contributed to the short films “Lifted,” “Cars Toons: Radiator Springs” and the studio’s Fall 2015 short “Sanjay’s Super Team.”
As a story supervisor, Brace leads the story team and helps directors realize their vision for the story. In addition, he casts story artists for specific sequences, reviews artists’ work, both individually and with the director, and guides the artists to understand and execute the director’s vision.
Born in Oakville, Ontario, Canada near Toronto, Brace moved to Wheaton, Ill., when was 10. He attended the College at Hamilton College and spent two years at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Brace resides in Oakland, Calif.
Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” welcomes back to the big screen everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), who’s living happily in the reef with Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Nemo (voice of Hayden Rolence). When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, the trio takes off on a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium. In an effort to find her mom (voice of Diane Keaton) and dad (voice of Eugene Levy), Dory enlists the help of three of the MLI’s most intriguing residents: Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill), a cantankerous octopus who frequently gives employees the slip; Bailey (voice of Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz; and Destiny (voice of Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark. Deftly navigating the complex inner workings of the MLI, Dory and her friends discover the magic within their flaws, friendships and family. Directed by Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”), co-directed by Angus MacLane (“Toy Story OF TERROR!”), and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”), Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016. For more information, like us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/PixarFindingDory, and follow us on Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingdory and Instagram, https://instagram.com/DisneyPixar
I attended the Finding Dory Event as a member of the press. All opinions expressed are my own.