Ratatouille Wrap Party Highlights

Well, we wrapped up Ratatouille production (well, almost) with a wrap party on Saturday at the Masonic auditorium in San Francisco. Carmen had a lovely dress (REALLY lovely), I had a tux, and we had a screening followed by eating, drinking and dancing. I’ll try to get some pictures up sometime, but off the top of my head, here are some highlights:

  1. The Pixar singers did a lovely job again performing a piece composed and conducted by Brian Rosen. These bits get better every year.
  2. There were some nice speeches by the big three: Catmull, Jobs and Lasseter. Producer Brad Lewis was his usual erudite self in thanking those associated with the production, and Brad Bird was his usual, self-effacing self, seeming almost shy as he introduced the picture.
  3. A terrific little featurette about how motion capture was used in Ratatouille. I hope and pray this makes it on the DVD.
  4. The screening began with the Gary Rydstrom directed short Lifted, and the trailer for the upcoming feature Wall E (not sure if I’m typing that right). You should be seeing both soon.
  5. The screening itself, from the front balcony with some of my peeps in Rendering. Yaz, Don, Kate, Kim, Paul, Domenic, Matt, Jay (we missed you, man), Pam, Eric, Sandy: you’re all the best. Susan and Julian: saw you as I walked in, but didn’t find you again. Looking forward to working with you on Wall E.
  6. Tom’s fancy sneakers: glimpsed only from afar, I didn’t run into you either, and I obviously missed out.
  7. Snacks, libations and dancing: yes, Carmen got me to dance for a bit.
  8. A short walk back to the Mark Hopkins. The bed? Oh, so very soft.
  9. Bumping into a tired looking Brad Bird in the lobby the next morning. Initially, he just walked by as I said hi, but then stopped, tapped me on the shoulder, and shook my hand and thanked me. Brad: you’re the best. I’m just a geek with degrees in computer science, but when i watch you work in reviews, it’s obvious that I am in the presence of greatness. It’s always a pleasure.
  10. Brunch at the Top of the Mark. Best, breakfast, buffet, ever.

It is kind of tough when you work in rendering: you see every single shot in the film at least a half a dozen times, and have worked on lots of them. You’ve seen the gags, you’ve watched it all play out dozens of times, and yet, when you see it for the first time all cut together with sound and music, you know that it’s good, but you can’t really see it with the same eyes that the public will see it with. Still, I bumped into a number of people who hadn’t seen it, and they all seemed to really like it. I hope that come June 29th, some of you will go out and see it too, and enjoy it as much as I did in playing my very small part in bringing it to you.

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Well, if that didn’t entice you into wanting to go see it, check out Brad in this clip from YouTube: