We’ve always had ups and downs at Pixar, starting with the high we felt doing something we’d never done–Toy Story–and the low we felt right after when we realized we’d messed a bunch of things up along the way. The swings continue to this day.
People ask, “Can’t we just figure out the story before we start? Wouldn’t the movie be much easier to make?” They really believe that there is a problem if you haven’t figured things out ahead of time.
I tell them, “Well, it’s true that it would have been easier. But our goal wasn’t to get the process easily or to get everything right the first time. Our goal was to make the best movie we could at the time.” People say they want to be in risky environments and do all kinds of exciting stuff. But they don’t actually know what risk means, that risk actually does bring failure and mistakes.
Part of being the successful Pixar is that we will take risks on teams and ideas, and some of them won’t work out. We only lose from this if we don’t respond to the failures. If we respond, and we think it through and figure out how to move ahead, then we’re learning from it. That’s what Pixar is.