87 minutes | Oct 29, 2019

Podcast #068 - Remastering Pixar's Films in Ultra High-Definition 4K – our Discussion with Dir of Studio Operations, Cynthia Slavens

In Episode 68 of the Pixar Post Podcast, we dive into and discuss Pixar's seven films in development, we inquire about Brad Bird's upcoming film, we dive into Awards season chatter about Toy Story 4 and we wonder – is Pixar looking for production support outside the United States?  As if that wasn't a full episode in itself, we also share our interview with Director of Studio Mastering & Operations, Cynthia Slavens as we dive into a background of her team, how they tackle re-rendering a Pixar film into Ultra High-Definition 4K format and learn if every version of the film is cataloged in the Pixar Archives. The episode (of course) kicks off with T.J. putting Julie to the test with two Pixar-themed trivia questions. What percent of Monsters in Monsters, Inc. have Mike Wazowski’s same tongue in their character rig? During the production of Up, the average animator produced how much animation in a week. At 3:48 into the show, we discuss Toy Story 4 producer, Mark Nielsen's discussion with Digital Spy in which he noted that there were seven Pixar films in development currently. We talk about who we already know is working on a film (of with two of those films are Onward and Soul) and explore Mark Andrews and Brad Bird's upcoming films (not necessarily Pixar films). Heck, is Mark still employed at the studio and what is Brad's connection to the book 1906? Starting at 20:41 we chat about a group of Pixar employees heading to the View Conference (October 21-25, 2019 in Turin, Italy) and SIGGRAPH Asia (November 17-20, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia) Of course, nothing is confirmed by any means, but a pair of recent articles got us thinking, "Is Pixar looking for production support from outside the United States for additional Disney+ projects?" We chat about a recent interview with Pixar President, Jim Morris in which he expresses interest working with India and Katherine Sarafian's meeting with the Armenian President who noted he's interested in "cooperation with Pixar." This is discussed starting at 30:30 into the show). At 40:27, we dive into Disney+ discussions as well and how this may relate to Pixar needing additional support outside of the United States and what is this "different type of storytelling" that they want to do which would involve threading together a number of shows? Awards chatter has begun and at 44:18 into the show, we chat about Toy Story 4 being included in the "For Your Consideration" push for Best Animated Feature as well as all three of the original SparkShorts being included as well (Smash and Grab, Purl, and Kitbull). Toy Story 4 is up against 32 films (to be whittled down to 5 before the Oscar's air on Feb 9, 2020) and there are an astounding 85 short films included in the list of eligible short films. At 52:34 into the episode, we get into our discussion with the Director of Studio Mastering & Operations, Cynthia Slavens. We chat all remastering Pixar's films into Ultra High-Definition and how the team balances remastering legacy films while supporting current production as well. We talk about how long it takes to remaster a film from scratch (yes, they go back to the original Toy Story masters and start fresh), and even explore Cynthia's journey to Pixar. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.
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