Creativity, Inc.

Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand In the Way of True Inspiration

Edward Catmull, Amy Wallace

Publisher: Bantam, 2014, 340 pages

ISBN: 978-0-59307-009-3

Keywords: Biography, Creativity

Last modified: May 4, 2019, 8:42 p.m.

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the world's first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream first as a Ph.D. student at the Universiyu of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged an early partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later and against all ods, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever.

Since then, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as Monsters, Inc., Finding Newmo, The Incredibles, Up and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner twenty-seven Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity — in some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Now, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideas and techniques, honed over the years, that have made Pixar so widely admired — and so profitable.

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first ever all-access trip into the nerve-centre of Pixar Animation Studios — into the story meetings, the post mortems and the 'Braintrust' sessions, where art is born. It is, at heart, a book about how to build and sustain a creative culture — but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, 'an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible'.

    • Introduction: Lost and Found
  • Part I: Getting Started
    1. Animated
    2. Pixar Is Born
    3. A Defining Goal
    4. Establishing Pixar's Identity
  • Part II: Protecting the New
    1. Honesty and Candor
    2. Fear and Failure
    3. The Hungry Beast and the Ugly Baby
    4. Change and Randomness
    5. The Hidden
  • Part III: Building and Sustaining
    1. Broadening Our View
    2. The Unmade Future
  • Part IV: Testing What We Know
    1. A New Challenge
    2. Notes Day
  • Afterword: The Steve We Knew
  • Starting Points: Thoughts for Managing a Creative Culture