Not long after Alice went viral, I had the tremendous honor of producing music and videos for Disney Pixar, starting with a Pogoism of ‘Up’ to promote the DVD and Blu-ray release.
After a few e-mails, I was pulled out to Emeryville in California where I met the executives of music and marketing at Pixar. The flight in was on a beautiful afternoon and I was amazed to see so many buildings exactly like the ones I saw in ‘Up’. It was obvious that the folks at Pixar had a love for their hometown. I also got to see a real American school bus for the first time in my life!
The vibe in the Pixar campus was different to what I expected. Far from cold and corporate, it was amazingly bright and colorful. I was shown around the building on one of the infamous Pixar scooters. One wall was totally covered with “color boards” for The Incredibles, which was like a storyboard but aimed at conveying the use of colors in every scene. Soon after, I met with DigiSynd founder Oliver Luckett and Disney Vice President of Music Tom MacDougall. We discussed the possibilities of working together over a slice of pie at the Luxo Junior Cafe, and decided that a Pogoism of ‘Up’ would be a good place to start.
Pixar founders John Lasseter and Ed Catmull came down to shake hands and offer their support. I remember watching Toy Story in the cinema when it first came out, and to now be complimented in person by its writer and director was an experience I still can’t believe actually happened. What an incredible honor!
We took a tour of the upper level at Pixar, including John’s office which was literally coated with Pixar toys and statues. Ed Catmull hadn’t seen my work yet so I gulped and opened my laptop for him outside of John’s office.
We were also treated to a private screening of a scene from ‘Up’ inside Pixar’s private theater. The ceiling was full of stars that lit up as the lights went down!
After some coffee, we parted ways with a copy of ‘Up’ on Blu-ray in hand and a generous bag of Pixar memorabilia.
After ‘Upular’ went online and was a great success, I went on to create similar videos for Toy Story, The Little Mermaid and Pirates Of The Caribbean, only one of which was released unfortunately. Apparently Disney had presented Swashbuckle to Bruckheimer Films but we had just missed a marketing window. As for Ariel, I still have no idea what happened!
I’m so incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity because it helped launch my career, and I’m still amazed that it all began with a little upload to YouTube. My biggest thanks to everybody who has helped me make Pogo what it is today!