Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Animator: John Lassester ( 1957-)

John Lassester is an American animator, Director and chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney. He is the name behind the well-known and innovative computer graphics Animation Company Pixar.

At a young age, he embarked into the world of animation, when he enrolled in an animation course at California Isntitute of the Arts. Where he was taught by 3 of the famous Disney's nine old men- Eric Larson, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, also he had as classmates other famous names of animation today, such as Brad Bird, John Musker, Henry Selick and Tim Burton.

After graduating, Lasseter joined the Walt Disney Studios as an animator, although his stay at Disney, He felt that the "magic" has faded after the release of 101 Dalmatians, repeating ideas and not being innovative enough. So in 1980, he firstly saw some footage from a computer-graphics conference, which showed the very first steps into the digital world. But it wasn't until later, when he was invited by some friends who were working at the film Tron, to see the first publication of computer graphics animation in a film.

After stepping into this new area of animation, Lasseter was so excited that him and his colleague Glen Keane went on with the project at Disney Studios, in which they would use computer generated environments with hand-drawn characters. Although, Disney firstly agreed with the project, soon they had to cancelled due to lack of support, this event also led to termination of John Lasseter's contract at the Disney Studios.

After leaving Disney, Lasseter joined Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Group, where he and a group colleagues continued the cancelled project,and this was the start of computer animation, with his 1st computer animated short: The Adventures of Andre and Wally B. Lasseter achieved much more of what he had expected. Not only he created 3D environments, but also the characters were 3D.
While creating some more CG short films, Lasseter had an idea to create a full- feature film, this was the beginning of the so-loved Pixar's Computer Generated films. From beautiful and close story of Toy Story, and Finding Nemo, to the touching stories of Wall-E and Up!. Although Lasseter didnt direct all of them, his touch can be perceived in all of Pixar's Films, a man that knows what is story-telling, and believes that a good story overcomes beautiful graphics.

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