Creativity, Inc. Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
74,203 ratings, 4.20 average rating, 4,517 reviews
Open Preview
Creativity, Inc. Quotes Showing 151-180 of 901
“The definition of superb animation is that each character on the screen makes you believe it is a thinking being. Whether it’s a T-Rex or a slinky dog or a desk lamp, if viewers sense not just movement but intention—or, put another way, emotion—then the animator has done his or her job. It’s not just lines on paper anymore; it’s a living, feeling entity. This is what I experienced that night, for the first time, as I watched Donald leap off the page. The transformation from a static line drawing to a fully dimensional, animated image was sleight of hand, nothing more, but the mystery of how it was done—not just the technical process but the way the art was imbued with such emotion—was the most interesting problem I’d ever considered. I wanted to climb through the TV screen and be part of this world.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Unlike some theoretical ideas, Occam’s Razor accords easily with human nature. In general, we seek what we think are simple explanations for events in our lives because we believe the simpler something is, the more fundamental—the more true—it is.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Yet randomness remains stubbornly difficult to understand. The problem is that our brains aren’t wired to think about it. Instead, we are built to look for patterns in sights, sounds, interactions, and events in the world. This mechanism is so ingrained that we see patterns even when they aren’t there. There is a subtle reason for this: We can store patterns and conclusions in our heads, but we cannot store randomness itself. Randomness is a concept that defies categorization; by definition, it comes out of nowhere and can’t be anticipated. While we intellectually accept that it exists, our brains can’t completely grasp it, so it has less impact on our consciousness than things we can see, measure, and categorize.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“To understand this first event, you need to know that we rely on Unix and Linux machines to store the thousands of computer files that comprise all the shots of any given film. And on those machines, there is a command—/bin/rm -r -f *—that removes everything on the file system as fast as it can. Hearing that, you can probably anticipate what’s coming: Somehow, by accident, someone used this command on the drives where the Toy Story 2 files were kept. Not just some of the files, either. All of the data that made up the pictures, from objects to backgrounds, from lighting to shading, was dumped out of the system. First, Woody’s hat disappeared. Then his boots. Then he disappeared entirely. One by one, the other characters began to vanish, too: Buzz, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex. Whole sequences—poof!—were deleted from the drive. Oren”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Every morning, as I walk into Pixar Animation Studios—past the twenty-foot-high sculpture of Luxo Jr., our friendly desk lamp mascot, through the double doors and into a spectacular glass-ceilinged atrium where a man-sized Buzz Lightyear and Woody, made entirely of Lego bricks, stand at attention, up the stairs past sketches and paintings of the characters that have populated our fourteen films—I am struck by the unique culture that defines this place. Although I’ve made this walk thousands of times, it never gets old.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“While Toyota was a hierarchical organization, to be sure, it was guided by a democratic central tenet: You don’t have to ask permission to take responsibility.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“We are meaning-making creatures”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“People want decisiveness, but they also want honesty about when you’ve effed up,”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Many of the rules that people find onerous and bureaucratic were put in place to deal with real abuses, problems, or inconsistencies or as a way of managing complex environments. But while each rule may have been instituted for good reason, after a while a thicket of rules develops that may not make sense in the aggregate. The danger is that your company becomes overwhelmed by well-intended rules that only accomplish one thing: draining the creative impulse.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“To ensure that it succeeded, I needed to attract the sharpest minds; to attract the sharpest minds, I needed to put my own insecurities away.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“If you’re sailing across the ocean and your goal is to avoid weather and waves, then why the hell are you sailing?”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Only when we admit what we don’t know can we ever hope to learn it.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“I often say that managers of creative enterprises must hold lightly to goals and firmly to intentions. What does that mean? It means that we must be open to having our goals change as we learn new information or are surprised by things we thought we knew but didn’t. As long as our intentions—our values—remain constant, our goals can shift as needed.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“A lively debate in a Braintrust meeting is not being waged in the hopes of any one person winning the day. To the extent there is “argument,” it seeks only to excavate the truth.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Rather than trying to prevent all errors, we should assume, as is almost always the case, that our people’s intentions are good and that they want to solve problems. Give them responsibility, let the mistakes happen, and let people fix them. If there is fear, there is a reason—our job is to find the reason and to remedy it. Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the ability to recover. CHAPTER 7 THE HUNGRY BEAST AND THE UGLY BABY During the late 1980s and early 1990s, as an ascendant Disney Animation was enjoying a remarkable string of hit films—The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King—I began to hear a phrase being used again and again in the executive suites of its Burbank headquarters: “You’ve got to feed the”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“When experimentation is seen as necessary and productive, not as a frustrating waste of time, people will enjoy their work—even when it is confounding them.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Better to have train wrecks with miniature trains than with real ones.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Because your rational mind knows that tunnels have two ends, your emotional mind can be kept in check when pitch blackness descends in the confusing middle. Instead of collapsing into a nervous mess, the director who has a clear internal model of what creativity is—and the discomfort it requires—finds it easier to trust that light will shine again. The key is to never stop moving forward.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“To Whom it May Inspire,” Austin wrote. “I, like many of you artists out there, constantly shift between two states. The first (and far more preferable of the two) is white-hot, ‘in the zone’ seat-of-the-pants, firing on all cylinders creative mode. This is when you lay your pen down and the ideas pour out like wine from a royal chalice! This happens about 3% of the time. The other 97% of the time I am in the frustrated, struggling, office-corner-full-of-crumpled-up-paper mode. The important thing is to slog diligently through this quagmire of discouragement and despair. Put on some audio commentary and listen to the stories of professionals who have been making films for decades going through the same slings and arrows of outrageous production problems. In a word: PERSIST. PERSIST on telling your story. PERSIST on reaching your audience. PERSIST on staying true to your vision.…”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Do not fall for the illusion that by preventing errors, you won’t have errors to fix. The truth is, the cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Similarly, it is not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It is the manager’s job to make it safe to take them. • Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new. • Trust doesn’t mean that you trust that someone won’t screw up—it means you trust them even when they do screw up.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“To ensure quality, I believed, any person on any team needed to be able to identify a problem and, in effect, pull the cord to stop the line. To create a culture in which this was possible, you needed more than a cord within easy reach. You needed to show your people that you meant it when you said that while efficiency was a goal, quality was the goal. More and more, I saw that by putting people first—not just saying that we did, but proving that we did by the actions we took—we were protecting that culture. On”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy,” Ego says. “We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Sometimes in meetings, I sense people seizing up, not wanting to even talk about changes,” he says. “So I try to trick them. I’ll say, ‘This would be a big change if we were really going to do it, but just as a thought exercise, what if …”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Candor isn’t cruel. It does not destroy. On the contrary, any successful feedback system is built on empathy, on the idea that we are all in this together, that we understand your pain because we’ve experienced it ourselves. The need to stroke one’s own ego, to get the credit we feel we deserve—we strive to check those impulses at the door. The Braintrust is fueled by the idea that every note we give is in the service of a common goal: supporting and helping each other as we try to make better movies.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Brad Bird remembers a meeting during the making of The Incredibles, soon after he joined the studio, when Steve hurt his feelings by saying that some of the Incredibles artwork looked "kind of Saturday morning"––a reference to the low-budget cartoons that Hanna-Barbera and others produced. "In my world, that's kind of like saying, 'Your mama sleeps around,'" Brad recalls. "I was seething. When the meeting ended, I went over to Andrew and said, 'Man, Steve just said something that really pissed me off.' And Andrew, without even asking what it was, said, 'Only one thing?'" Brad came to understand that Steve was speaking not as a critic but as the ultimate advocate. Too often, animated superheroes had been made on the cheap and looked that way, too––on that Steve and Brad could agree. The Incredibles, he was implying, had to reach higher.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“candor could not be more crucial to our creative process.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“I think the person who can't change his or her mind is dangerous.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“Companies, like individuals, do not become exceptional by believing they are exceptional but by understanding the ways in which they aren't exceptional.”
Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration