Animation Skeptic

Job Titles of the Future

Who: Jeff Pidgeon jeff@pixar.com

Company: Pixar (www.pixar.com)

Age: 32

Has Held Title: For 6 years

Previous Job: Character Layout Artist

Degree: BFA, Character Animation

Ask anyone in Hollywood where the action is these days and chances are they'll point to the animation industry -- and to Pixar's "Toy Story", the first completely computer-animated feature film. Ask Jeff Pidgeon, a veteran animator and member of the "Toy Story" team, what it's like to be in one of the hottest industries in the world, and he'll probably grumble. As Pixar's Animation Skeptic, he considers his "unwillingness to take things on faith" as important to his skill set as basic drawing. But don't take our word for it.

Why does Pixar keep a skeptic within the ranks?

People think of animation as very fun and magical. The reality is it's a business requiring a lot of hard work.

What makes you a good skeptic?

It's my nature to be one of those people in the peanut gallery who always talk back.

What are you skeptical about?

The technology -- people in this industry think it can do anything.

Didn't anyone ever tell you to look on the bright side?

My skepticism isn't necessarily negative -- it's healthy.

What makes you a believer?

A project like "Toy Story" -- it was such a daunting challenge. Most important, we made people forget the technology -- kids talk about Buzz and Woody, not computer-generated puppets.

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