Ed Catmull on Creativity at Pixar

This is pretty much everything I could ever say about the industry I work in, but said more effectively than I could ever say it:

“If I look at the range, you’ve got one [constraint] that is art school, I’m doing this for arts sake, Ratatouille and WALL-E clearly fall more on that side,  the other is the purely commercial side, where you’ve got a lot of films that are made purely for following a trend, if you go entirely for the art side then eventually you fail economically. if you go purely commercially then I think you fail from a soul point of view… we’ve got these elements pulling on both sides, the art side and the commercial side… and the the trick is not to let one side win.  That fundamentally successful companies are unstable. And where we have to operate is in that unstable place. And the forces of conservatism which are very strong and they want to go to a safe place. I want to go to the same place for money, I want to go and be wild and creative, or I want to have enough time for this, and each one of those guys are pulling, and if any one of them wins, we lose. And i just want to stay right there in the middle.”

Ed Catmull, founder of Pixar.
From Scott Berkun’s Blog

There’s a reason Pixar is the most admired and consistently brilliant creative company in the world right now. Its because Ed Catmull runs it.


  1. Dan Monceaux

    I feel this tension in my business danimations and couldn’t live any other way. I love risk, but the necessity to return financially keeps me and my team in check. End result: We’re as radical as we can afford to be, as much of the time as possible. Thanks for sharing this, Matt.

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