Transportation to the event was covered by Disney/Pixar.
Monsters University: Being in Class with Producer Kori Rae
You know? I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I visit Pixar and this last time I visited they made me go to school. Not just any school, I attended Monster’s University and had a class with the Producer Kori Rae. She taught a class on following your dream and learning to take what you get in life and you’ll be surprised where your dream takes you and it’s amazing how Monsters University follows this theme!
Because sometimes you think you’re meant to do something, and then you discover that, well, that wasn’t really the thing. You find another route. That part of the story is really meaningful to me, and I love that. And I’m super happy that, that we’re telling that story. That we’re telling a different version of the story that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything. Sometimes that is true, and sometimes you hit that brick wall, and you have to figure out where to go from there.
After learning more about the movie Monsters University, we interviewed the professor/Producer of Monsters University. And it was interesting to learn that she was also a teacher at one time (really, in real life). Check out the interview with Monsters University Kori Rae to learn more about her and Monsters University.
Q: Now were you approached to be the producer for this or did you want to be a part of it?
KORI RAE: Yeah. The latter. As soon as I knew that it, they were thinking about it. I said I really want to work on that movie if I can. So, luckily that worked out.
Q: What made you change directions?
KORI RAE: You know, I wanted to go explore a little bit. I had been an athlete all my life. I’d been involved in, in sports and everything, and I wanted to go. I wanted to travel a little bit, and then I just wanted to, to explore other things. I did editing for a while, and, journalism and stuff like that.There was a period where I just did a whole bunch of things, and it was fantastic, ‘cause I just, I, [STAMMERS] everything. I just wanted to, to discover more. I wanted to see what else was out there. So. And then ended up here, so that worked out…
Questions Tell us about casting:
KORI RAE: So we cast the film even when it’s just in story reel form. That’s when we start thinking about casting the characters, and as soon as we cast them and record them, we cut it in, and, and we start working, and that’s usually in the [STAMMERS] Sometimes it’s still in the storyboard phase, and sometimes it’s in the layout stage, which is where we’re just laying out the camera. Then we have to get it all in, and locked before it goes to animation. So all of the voices are in and final, and edited in before animation. They use that to animate to. They have to have those voices in there to animate to.
Q: So they can add facial features?
KORI RAE: Yeah, and kind of just get the emotion, and get the character through the animation. The intonations that they use. It’s amazing how much you can see coming through, not even just in the facial expressions, but even in their body and their movements are all comes through the voice. Kind of what the emotion of the character is for a certain scene.
Q: What do you like working with more?
KORI RAE: Not necessarily more? The good thing is that, because our process is fairly linear, you get to spend a good amount of time in each department, and so it’s totally satisfying in that way. For this film, we were in story a lot, and I think because the, the challenges of doing a prequel were so intense. I really loved being in story on this film, and we had an incredible team dealing with the really challenging problems.
It was also a little bit new for me. As a first time producer it was the first time that I had really been in the story room every single day all day. So I really loved that part of the film. But I always love animation.My first gig on A Bug’s Life was managing the animation department. And, uh, so I, my heart is always with the animators. I love that department, and it’s where the film really comes to life, so it’s always great to go to dailies and see what people are doing when they animate a scene, and how much they, they plus it, and, make it its own thing. So that’s always great.
Q: When asked what she would attribute to Pixar producing consistently high quality movies Kori had this to say… ”You have to be willing to let go. You have to be willing to throw stuff away, and not get too attached to it. And you have to do that over and over again in order to get to the right, right place.”
Q: Anymore sequels coming?
KORI RAE: We’re so focused on getting this one done. Not a whole lot of thought has been given to anything else.
Q: Did you work on the original Monsters, Inc.?
KORI RAE: I did. I was the associate producer on that.
When asked about the crew size on Monsters University:
KORI RAE: At our peak, the crew size ramps that start small, then it ramps up, and then it ramps back down. At our peak, we’re about 260, 270. Working on the movie, just on the movie here.
So departments kind of come in and out. It’s kind of a linear process. So you have story and editorial and art up front when you’re designing and, and creating the film, and then all of the other departments come online. So, at a point probably about five months ago, we were at our peak at about 270 or so. And then it kind of ramps down.
Q: So how close are you to having the movie ready?
KORI RAE: Very, very close. We’re working on the mix right now. We have a little bit of score left to do. We have a couple of score days the end of this month. The picture will be done this week, and then all of the assembly of those bits and pieces happen, and it will have a finished product by mid mid-May.
The truth is, we back into our release date, so we’re actually right on schedule. We were scheduled to finish picture this week. Everything’s on, on schedule.
update….. I think the movie is about 99% done.
Questions about Kori’s background in education:
KORI RAE: Yeah. I majored in secondary education, in English, and I taught and coached right out of school, for a little bit. Then decided to change directions and do other things, and that led mehere to Pixar eventually after a few years. Producing is definitely a lot like teaching and coaching, I think.
Q: What did you teach?
KORI RAE: It was eighth grade English.Then I coached volleyball, softball, and basketball. All three.
To follow all the action check out the #MonstersUEvent hashtag Want to keep up with all Monsters University updates? Check out the Monsters University website then Make sure your following Disney Pixar on Twitter and you “Like” the Pixar Monsters University Fan Page. Monsters University comes out in theaters June 21st.