Local film and video producers Kieran Chauhan and Bipin Anand (co-founders of Leicester independent production company ImageNova ), flew out to San Francisco to visit Pixar’s headquarters to film exclusive content on the making of Disney Pixar’s latest production Onward (2020) and gain an insight into how they craft of our favourite animated films.
ImageNova are working with Leicester-based Oscar winning lens manufacturer Cooke Optics to produce a web channel that contains interviews with the best craftspeople in the film industry. The pair have gone to create content about the history of cinematography/animation at Pixar, and how they have modelled the look of some of their animated films (Inside Out, Toy Story 4, Onward) on some of Cooke’s lenses that are handcrafted in Leicester.
Kieran and Bipin met with and interviewed a number of Pixar’s cinematographers, animators and the Head of Studio and producer of Wall-E Jim Morris. Over the following weeks, ImageNova will produce a series of short videos that gives us a special insight into why Pixar’s films master the magic of storytelling and visuals.
These videos will be released on Cooke Optics TV, a YouTube channel that ImageNova successfully created and pitched to Cooke in 2014. COTV features over 180 videos featuring exclusive interviews with some of the biggest cinematographers, camera operators and producers in the world, who discuss their films that include Joker, 12 Years a Slave, The Avengers, Gandhi and much more. Since its inception with around 180 subscribers, the channel now serves the 81,000 subscribers who mostly consist of film enthusiasts and filmmakers and has established itself as one of the biggest cinematography filmmaking channels.
A Dream Come True
Leicester-born Kieran Chauhan has been incredibly excited ever since ImageNova received the go ahead from Disney Pixar’s director of Worldwide Publicity. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ve always wanted to visit Pixar and get access to their animation studio and meet their team. To be able to collaborate with them on a project is a dream come true” Bipin Anand, co-owner of ImageNova says their hard work has paid off. “We’ve been building our company for over 10 years now, and this is by far the most exciting project we have been involved with. By building our channel over the years, Cooke Optics TV has opened the doors to the best filmmakers in the world, some of our heroes. Getting access to Pixar’s studio is no easy feat since their studio is not open to the public!”.
An insight into Pixar’s storytellers
The technology behind Pixar’s animation and stories continue to advance as they consistently produce our favourite animated films. ImageNova spoke to Adam Habib, Patrick Lin, Sharon Calahan and Kim White (the cinematographers behind Toy Story 3/4, The Incredibles, Cars, Up, Inside Out and Onward). Pixar are influenced by real life camera and lighting techniques that are used in live action films and model these characteristics (such as cameras and lenses) in a virtual world to be used in their animations.