I listen to audiobooks on my commute to and from work every day. It’s how I keep reading when life is busy and crazy and I don’t have the time or the energy to stop and open a book.
Which, unfortunately, is all the time right now.
So, my commute is my saving grace. An hour and a half every day, five days a week, will plow you through a lot of audiobooks.
This week I’ve been listening to Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. It’s the origin story, you might say, of Pixar animation studios, written by one of the original creators.
It’s absolutely fascinating.
Pixar is and always has been one of my absolute favorite movie studios. Up, The Incredibles, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo are all established classics in my mind, and ones that I will watch again and again over the years.
The writer of Creativity, Inc. is an amazing blend of scientist and storyteller, and hearing him talk about the years they spent developing the animation necessary for these kinds of movies, the ups and downs they’ve had, and the disasters they’ve faced and walked through, was incredible. Creativity is one of those things that is very, very hard to push into a box and establish in a nine-to-five, and most big businesses manage it by grinding their workers to dust and replacing them every few months.
Pixar, thankfully, has set a different standard, and their model revolutionized the storytelling industry.
As a person who also tells stories for a living, it has been an incredibly eye-opening book to read. (Or listen to.) The more I learn about the story industry—whether that be books, movies, TV, or radio—the more I want to learn and the more determined I am to continue working in my field. No, it’s not perfect, and yes, it has its issues, but there is nothing else I would rather be doing. Stories are a magic and a science all of their own, and I am slowly, with many fumbles, starting to understand and appreciate them for more than just the face value and box office reviews.
Creativity, Inc. gives a captivating inside glimpse into the life and business of some of the best storytellers on the market. Writers, I would highly, highly recommend it to you, whatever sort of writing you do. The very driven, pressurized atmosphere that he describes in his books may not appeal to you, but the principles that they’ve built their company on continue to be some of the best in the industry.
No wonder Up has the single best love story in animation in its first eight minutes.
(Okay, that last part is only my opinion.)
Have you ever read Creativity, Inc. or a similar book that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about it!