Ed Catmull: Inside the Pixar Braintrust

Interesting piece over at Fast Company by Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, on creativity.

You may be thinking, How is the Braintrust different from any other feedback mechanism?

There are two key differences, as I see it. The ?rst is that the Braintrust is made up of people with a deep understanding of storytelling, who usually have been through the process themselves. While the directors welcome critiques from many sources, they particularly prize feedback from fellow storytellers. The second difference is that the Braintrust has no authority. The director does not have to follow any of the speci?c suggestions. After a Braintrust meeting, it is up to him or her to ?gure out how to address the feedback. Giving the Braintrust no power to mandate solutions affects the dynamics of the group in ways I believe are essential.

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