The best way to learn to do something is… to do it. Better, when you’re engaged to give a result, you gotta stop making theory about problems and find solution, making it while you’re asking yourself how the heck.
This is how a Crash Test Crew works.
At the end of a class, we propose to the students to join one of the current projects. While this working/learning period, they will be part of a real production project that will be more interesting than a classic essay or thesis for the recruiters and as well will give to the juniors a real preview of the professional workflow.
Juniors’ deal: make one or more good animated shots, working on a real production with true pro animators.
Seniors’ deal: share their knowledge and experience in exchange of free time (much more than what they would have in a traditional production) to develop personal projects, get experience or know-how… or simply enjoy their lives.
Pixar invented a revolutionary creative process about story, based on a group of people, selected on a non hierarchical way among Pixar employees of any section.
This group is called Braintrust and regularly meets to develop all the stories entering Pixar’s creative pipe. Some of them will never become feature films nor short movies, others will not be on the screen before ten years or more, then others will completely change due to commercial/cultural trend reasons. All of them will be systematically questioned by the Braintrust. Indeed, directors and screenwriters of each project work on it full time, between the Braintrust meetings, but then, let’s say each two or three months, their work is put inside out and they have to explain their choices to the group.
This helps with two fundamental things:
This is a so effective concept that Disney itself adopted it to find back the way to some good storytelling after the crisis. Disney’s group is named Story Trust.
Story Greenhouse is Singin’Flower’s Story Trust (or Braintrust). It periodically meets to develop stories, from animated pictures to feature films and series. Juniors can join the Story Greenhouse as well, provided they engage regularly attend the meetings.