Getting over embarrassment in order to get things done

The process that Pixar adopted for Toy Story, as explained by Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation Studios, is very similar to the process of “share early, share often” that we advocate for prototyping with ProtoShare:

In the process of making the film, we reviewed the material every day. Now this is counter-intuitive for a lot of people. Most people—imagine this: you can’t draw very well, but even if you can draw very well, suppose you come in and you’ve got to put together animation or drawings and show it to a world-class, famous animator. Well, you don’t want to show something that is weak, or poor, so you want to hold off until you get it right. And the trick is to actually stop that behavior. We show it every day, when it’s incomplete. If everybody does it, every day, then you get over the embarrassment. And when you get over the embarrassment, you’re more creative.

As I say, that’s not obvious to people, but starting down that path helped everything we did. Show it in its incomplete form. There’s another advantage and that is, when you’re done, you’re done. That might seem silly, except a lot of people work on something and they want to hold it  and want to show it, say two weeks later, to get done. Only it’s never right. So they’re not done. So you need to go through this iterative process, and the trick was to do it more frequently to change the dynamics.

Source video (quoted section starts at 6:10):

 

Video link found at Hypercritical episode 12, 5by5.tv.

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12 Comments

  1. Pingback: Design in the Open | Well Rounded Gent – Notebook

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  7. Mohan Arun says:

    The same scenario, from the point of view of a manager: How do you deal with subordinates/juniors who may be hesitant to show off incomplete work or who may be making assumptions?
    http://glenc.info/2011/05/05/its-not-all-about-the-code/

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  10. Pingback: “And when you get over the embarrassment, you’re more creative.” – Ed Catmull, Pixar • Intense Minimalism

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  12. It is nice to know that Pixar adopted the process of “share early, share often.” In that way, they will ensure the quality of the animation that they are making and they will definitely detect what kind of improvement or adjustment they are willing to do. I still think that the Toy story is great and I hope that Pixar will continue producing more animated films in the near future.

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