At Xarpie Labs we solve problems through visualization and simulation. While creating any experience here, we make sure that it’s best suited for the use case.
As a creative + tech studio, we believe that nothing comes from nothing and that learning never stops. We do not shy away from admitting that we do in fact take inspiration from accomplished creators. Today we will share our understanding of one of the most distinguished and successful studios worldwide, Pixar Animation Studios, and how their constant innovation inspires us here at Xarpie Labs.
Pixar Animation Studios is an American animation studio based in Emeryville, California. It is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios. Pixar began in 1979 as the Graphics Group, part of the Lucasfilm computer division, before its spin-out as a corporation in 1986, with funding by Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, who became the majority shareholder.
Pixar has produced 35 short films & 21 feature films, beginning with Toy Story (1995), which was the first-ever computer-animated feature film; its most recent one being Toy Story 4 (2019). As of July 2019, Pixar’s feature films have earned approximately $14 billion at the worldwide box office. The studio has earned 19 Academy Awards, 8 Golden Globe Awards, and 11 Grammy Awards, among many other awards and acknowledgments.
What sets them apart?
- Pixar is a creativity-driven studio. It doesn’t seek or accept ‘external’ story ideas. If the director doesn’t feel passionate enough about a story to want to spend five or six years (in hell) bringing it to the screen, it doesn’t get done. Here at Xarpie Labs, we appreciate the need to be inspired, and the constant strive for innovation and originality in storytelling.
- Pixar’s movies all suck, and the studio knows it. At some point in production, every single Pixar film runs ground. The trick is not stopping there. From Pixar, we learnt that perseverance is what actually distinguishes between good and great creators.
- Pixar only hires the best and it understands that the only meaningful assets it has are the people who make the movies happen and people who enable those who do. When we hire people at Xarpie Labs, we look for Attitude, Aptitude and Experience in the exact same order. Once they become part of the team, we make sure that the demanding environment here also stays a rewarding one.
What makes Pixar movies so exceptional?
Simply put, ‘Story’ really is king. It’s not just a slogan. At the studio, ‘Story’ drives everything creative: technology, art, and even the layout of the buildings. This attitude is foundational. As the Creative Head of Xarpie Labs, I have to say, we couldn’t agree more.
Social media circulated Pixar’s 22 tips for storytelling. Let’s go over some of them and see how it’s a formula to success and also our inspiration at Xarpie Labs.
#1: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.
Why? The first question we ask ourselves. Why must we create an experience? If we have the answer to this question, we know that the project in discussion is worth pursuing.
`#2: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle.
What is it that we are trying to achieve from This experience? We make sure that this is clear from the beginning itself… and, that the narrative is filled with building blocks for us to get there.
#3: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer/creator. They can be very different.
For every experience we create, we make sure that it is always relevant to the end consumer/user.
#4: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.
After we are clear of the clients’ requirements, we initiate brainstorming sessions and storyboard our experiences before we delve into development. This helps us evaluate the feasibility of ideas flowing in early, and we can analyse which of them work and which don’t.
#5: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
Often times during the development phase, we reach crossroads where we’re unsure of how the story/experience would proceed. At that point of time, it’s best to know what we wouldn’t want to happen next. This helps us to see the way forward much clearer.
#6: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.
We do not completely discard any ideas or prototypes created. Yet, it is completely true that we do not force ideas into our experiences; if it’s not helping solve the purpose we make sure we don’t use it. At the same time, we appreciate the effort and reconsider newer, shelved ideas on other projects.
I could go on, but we must create…
Hope this inspires you and leaves you in a good place to start creating your story, just like us. We are a confident, young and innovative team. And, we are sure we would be inspiring other creators the way Pixar Studios inspires us.