The Process of the Story Brave with Artist Louis Gonzales
I’ve been with Pixar since 2000 and I joined BRAVE in 2006. I left for a year and came back the last year to work on the story, to help finish it up.
Storyboard scenes are where we start to develop the story and we actually make it look cinematic., so it’s more like a movie. Then the editorial is where it really becomes a movie, that’s where the sound effects, you know, dialogue and all that kind of stuff like that starts to take life. And that is all in service of getting to the progression reel which is our end milestone, that’s what we show, that’s what gets critiqued. That’s what gets us to make the movies and to tell the stories that we tell.
The outline is something that after the director’s idea has initially been thumbed up like that story about the mom and daughter who are having problems.
Once that’s given, they’re like great, we want you to now develop it. Development is very important. We keep building, we keep refining until we give everyone the story that we feel most proud of.
The Outline of Brave Process:
Basically the story’s about a mother and daughter who don’t see eye to eye. The daughter’s really rambunctious and athletic. She likes to be outdoors.Even though she lives in a kingdom, a castle in Scotland. Then we create some art.. This is all art generated to give a sense of the look could be. We don’t want the Cinderella castle, we want a very earthy castle. You know, the forest could be very ancient trees, very overgrown. And feel very old world. A lot of moss growth, you know, something that feels not primitive but, very, very lush. We know we want to have a sense of magic of some sort in this world because it’s, it’s a story, set back in 900 A.D., there’s going to be a little bit of that.
We pitch that and we get the thumbs up from the creative board to keep moving on. Now we go from an outline to a full fleshed story. They give us the budget to start to research. Buy books, buy movies. To talk to people. And sometimes even go on trips. For UP we went to Venezuela. For TOY STORY 3 we got to go to the Oakland dump
We got to go to Scotland because Brave is set in Scotland. And we spent ten days trying to soak up as much as we could of Scotland. Culture, people, places, locations, bugs, animals. clothing. Water, whatever you can thank of. Everything that was there that Scotland had to offer, we took in. And here are some pictures that I took. So we would look at, you know, traditional castles, we’d look at old castles, we looked at scenic landscapes, we looked at landscapes that looked like they were out of, you know, some sort of mythical fairy tale.
The one above is actually called the Fairy Citadel. You know, people believe that fairies at one point lived in this, earthen castle, it’s actually just not man made, it’s a natural structure. We would look at architectural stuff, Scottish architecture of black houses, because we wanted a sense of how a castle’s made. How houses were made. And so on and so forth, again, we’re soaking up stuff for our story. We’re not sure what we’re going to need yet. But we know that we want it to feel Scottish.
So we take pictures, of the loch, to get a sense of the feel of the environment, weather, animals and people. We met a group of local folk singing. And they weren’t a band they’re not famous in Scotland. They are just a group of people that like to play folk music. So they met us sang us songs and told us stories and answered all of our questions about everything that we had to ask. They were very gracious. We also got to go to see the Highland Games, we wanted to see how tossing, archery, anything that was Scottish, you know, as far as the games go. We wanted to experience it, We met this farmer who takes care of Clydesdale horses. And we knew that we were going to have horses in our film obviously, right ‘cause the movie is set in 900 A.D.
We want these very, very strong Clydesdale horses, and so we got to this farm and feed them apples and watch them work. We take pictures and draw. We’re really trying to soak up the land. We’re looking at everything that Scotland has to offer and my job is to draw and take pictures. I think as a group total we must have taken at least 10,000 pictures in Scotland.
I had never left the country up until this point. Ok, so I’m born and raised in L.A., yeah, so it was huge for me.