001 Ed Catmull (Pixar) on creativity & innovation at  Lucas Films, Pixar & Disney.

1h 31m ·

001 Ed Catmull (Pixar) on creativity & innovation at Lucas Films, Pixar & Disney.

Ed Catmul (@edcatmull) was the president of both Pixar and Disney studios up until 2019, and was a co-founder of Pixar with Steve Jobs, before that he ran Industrial Light and Magic for George Lucas at LucasFilm. Ed is a real-life Renaissance man, Ed got his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Utah, while still at university he made some pioneering discoveries in computer animation and texture mapping. He then ran the computer graphics lab at the New York Institute of Technology. In 1979 George Lucas approached Ed and asked him to head up a group to bring computer graphics into the film industry – Industrial Light and magic at Lucasfilm. In 1986 Steve Jobs bought this digital division from Lucasfilm and Pixar was founded, where Ed became CTO and co-founder.

In 2006 Disney bought Pixar and Ed became president of both Pixar and Disney studios. In July 2019 Ed retired from Pixar and Disney Animation. So Ed is a computer engineer with a PhD, a leader and manager and an Academy award winner. Ed is also an author of the bestseller Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.

In this episode we discuss;

  • Art vs technology as a driver and passion
  • Ed's love of animation, moving into computer graphics and how art and tech belong together
  • How badly art and math are taught at school
  • The fundamental floor that people don't think of creativity in their daily lives - creativity exists in all types of work
  • Corporate governance and creativity
  • Career risk as impediments to creativity
  • Clear, practical steps to create a company culture of creativity and innovation
  • Pixar’s strong stance on Publishing everything they do (Steve Jobs was ok with this at Pixar, but not at Apple)
  • Displacing your own products
  • Mindsets against change and heuristics that destroy companies
  • Shielding the creative process from the need to feed the hungry beast
  • George Lucas' early vision for the potential of what tech could do for film
  • Aphantasia and mental imagery - how to be creative with animations and images without images in your mind
  • How Steve Jobs designed the Pixar building to boost interactions between people.

Please Enjoy!

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