When it was announced that Brad Bird would be directing a live action adaptation of 1906, a co-production of Pixar and Warner Bros, many assumed that the Emeryville animation studio would be providing the visual effects. Well now Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull told attendees of the SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference that Pixar will not be entering the special effects business.
“We’ve got two projects coming where there’s a live action element. But our view is not that we’re trying to diversify; it’s more that we’ve got a creative vision to try something different, and we want to support that vision,” Catmull said. “Whether or not it goes beyond that we don’t know, but we don’t want to turn Pixar into a live action studio. In fact, the intent is that the special effects will not be done at Pixar… We are not trying to become a special effects company.”
Catmull’s comments are the first public admission from senior Pixar staff that Andrew Stanton‘s John Carter of Mars will involve “live action elements”. But am I the only person completely confused? I’ve heard that Pixar has already been hard at work creating a computer scale model of a 1906 San Francisco. If that isn’t going to be used as part of the visual effects for Bird’s upcoming film, than what exactly is Pixar’s role in the project. Anyone at Pixar care to elaborate or clear this up?