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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:28 pm 
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During a lunchtime discussion this afternoon, Brenda Chapman broke the news that as of the end of July, she no longer works at Pixar. She is now working as a consultant for Lucasfilm Animation, but wasn't able to share any details about the project with me. She started work at Pixar when Cars was in production, and lent a hand to many of the Pixar films that have come since then, while developing Brave in the meantime. Brenda was the source for the original story behind Brave and was its first director before passing the baton to Mark Andrews for the last leg of production.
Source: http://www.pixarportal.com/blog.php?id= ... -lucasfilm

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Brenda left Pixar after the movie was released in the summer. She immediately started working for one of the other giants of the movie world, George Lucas’s company Lucasfilm, after being invited by movie producer Kathleen Kennedy.

Based at Skywalker Ranch, they have now been bought out by her old bosses at Disney. While she can’t reveal the secret work she has been doing, the movie world has been awash with rumours that she is working on the upcoming Star Wars sequels – episodes seven, eight and nine.

Brenda said: “There are lots of rumours but I just can’t talk about it. The main reason I wanted to work with Lucasfilm was that Kathleen asked me to come. I had never worked for her and I was stunned that someone of her caliber would call me after what had happened on Brave. It was a wonderful moment to have this show of support.

It’s only been a consulting job and I’m starting work with Dreamworks again in January. They've been very clear they want me back, which is great. I didn't think I would want to direct for a while but now I think I’m ready to get back on that horse.”
Source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainm ... ny-1480955

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Ok, I am not really sure what to make of this.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Wait... she was still there?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:18 pm 
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PatrickvD wrote:
Wait... she was still there?

Yeah, I'm officially confused. I thought she's been doin other things since she got kicked off Brave.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:18 pm 
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SWillie! wrote:
PatrickvD wrote:
Wait... she was still there?

Yeah, I'm officially confused. I thought she's been doin other things since she got kicked off Brave.


Yeah... clearly they had no intention of letting her direct anything ever again. I mean, if you're taken off a project, you're done and that's pretty much implied in the Lasseter regime.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:40 pm 
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SWillie! wrote:
Yeah, I'm officially confused. I thought she's been doing other things since she got kicked off Brave.

Here is the chronicle of Chapman's status at Pixar.


October 20, 2010

Quote:
Contrary to blog reports, Ms. Chapman remains on staff at Pixar.
Source: The New York Times


October 31, 2010

Quote:
The New York Times is wrong. Brenda has left Pixar but is still technically on payroll because of squabbles over her contract. Once those are resolved, she will be officially out of the company.
Source: Big Screen Animation


December 08, 2011

Quote:
Q: Could you clarify the confusion over what your current role is at Pixar?

Brenda Chapman: I'm currently not on Brave right now. I do get to see screenings of it occasionally and I'm still employed by Pixar, but I'm developing some projects apart from Brave.

Q: What does the future hold for Brenda Chapman?

Brenda Chapman: I'm not sure. Like I said, I'm developing some projects. Whether they'll be picked up or not, I'm not sure. I'm also looking to try my hand at writing a few stories. Whether that takes book form, script form, or both I'm not sure. If I stay at Pixar, hopefully something will happen there.
Source: Pixar Portal


January 2012

Quote:
Q: Are you scheduled on another Pixar project in the future, be it as a screenwriter or as a director?

Brenda Chapman: I am not currently scheduled for another project, however I am developing some ideas.
Source: Pixar Planet


March 05, 2012

Quote:
Chapman, who still works at Pixar and watches occasional reels of Brave, seems leery of some of the changes.
Source: Time Magazine


July 25, 2012

Quote:
Q: And what’s your next project?

Brenda Chapman: I am writing a book and working on a children’s book at the moment. I am looking into consulting on a couple of projects and talking to a couple of studios. I’m taking my time. If I bring an idea to the table again, it will be on my terms next time.
Source: Ms. Magazine


August 13, 2012

Quote:
Q: What do we have to look forward to from you in the coming year--anything you can share?

Brenda Chapman: I am developing some of my own projects right now, and considering whether to pitch them to a studio or try a more independent approach. I’m also considering offers to develop and direct at a couple of studios. I’m taking it slow--I’ve been enjoying my down time with my family.
Source: Omnivoracious

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Meanwhile, over at DreamWorks...

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:15 am 
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Source: http://twitter.com/brenda_chapman

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:40 am 
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Brenda Chapman is a class act and I wish her nothing but the best in her new post. I've had nothing but positive experiences with her on Twitter, which is more then I can say for many other Pixar or Disney animators on there.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Brenda seems disappointed about a few things that happened at Pixar during the making of Brave.

Quote:
Q: How much did Brave change, from concept to the final film?

Brenda Chapman: Every animated film worth its salt goes through a lot of changes from concept to end. Brave is no exception. My original concept had a double mother daughter story--the witch had a daughter that had infiltrated the castle. But it was way too complicated and I ditched the extra characters and subplot very early on. But once I landed on the structure that is now what we know as Brave, we just reworked the details a lot.

As a story artist for many years, we called it sto-reboarding, rather than storyboarding. The same goes for writing--it’s rewriting . . . again and again and again.

It does get difficult when a project goes on too long. Brave’s release date kept getting pushed back after Disney bought Pixar to accommodate sequels of other Pixar films and other Disney animated films. Ideas that were once thought brilliant or funny started to feel tired and not so funny--not because they had changed, but because people got bored with seeing them so often. It’s heartbreaking some of the ideas that we lost just because people couldn’t remember their initial good reaction to them.
Source: http://www.omnivoracious.com/2012/08/br ... brave.html

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Sotiris wrote:
Ideas that were once thought brilliant or funny started to feel tired and not so funny--not because they had changed, but because people got bored with seeing them so often. It’s heartbreaking some of the ideas that we lost just because people couldn’t remember their initial good reaction to them.


Source: http://www.omnivoracious.com/2012/08/br ... brave.html[/quote]

Does this mean that Brave is "overcooked"? (I haven't seen it yet)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Overcooked is the perfect term for this. On the Finding Nemo documentary, they made it clear to write down initial feelings for scenes and jokes.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Brenda Chapman speaks out about being removed from Brave.

Brenda Chapman wrote:
It has been a heartbreakingly hard road for me over the last year and a half. When Pixar took me off of "Brave" – a story that came from my heart, inspired by my relationship with my daughter – it was devastating.

Animation directors are not protected like live-action directors, who have the Directors Guild to go to battle for them. We are replaced on a regular basis – and that was a real issue for me. This was a story that I created, which came from a very personal place, as a woman and a mother. To have it taken away and given to someone else, and a man at that, was truly distressing on so many levels.

But in the end, my vision came through in the film. It simply wouldn’t have worked without it (and didn't at one point), and I knew this at my core. So I kept my head held high, stayed committed to my principles, and was supported by some strong women (and men!). In the end, it worked out, and I’m very proud of the movie, and that I ultimately stood up for myself, just like Merida, the protagonist in "Brave."

Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced. Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen.
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/20 ... tor-others

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Surprised to hear she was happy with the end result. Last we heard she did not like it in its current (at the time) state. So unless she's just telling us what we wanting to hear, the end result is more or less the same. All this hypothetical stuff about how much better it could have been had she stayed on just went out the window.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:26 am 
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I am going to be honest with you all... I don't believe a word Brenda is saying about her being pleased with the story as it stands right now. I swear she seems to be zig zagging between maintaining her public appearances and her passion of the project.

You can't be pleased with the output with comments like this...

"Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced. Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen."

Girl be pissed.

The way I see it is that she IS very heartbroken about what happened to Brave during its production. It was HER story, inspired by HER life. But I too wonder if there is more to the story than what any party is letting out. Could Brenda's passion for her story may have created conflicts with the studio? Could they have seen that Brave wasn't as strong as it could have been under Chapman's direction? Not defending Pixar or anything, but it seems that the Brave issue could have been far deeper than what we know.

The one thing that is certain is that Brenda is more than heartbroken, but is keeping a lot of it inside for the sake of her own public persona and the movie (which is still out there and still making money).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:59 am 
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pap64 wrote:
You can't be pleased with the output with comments like this...

"Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced. Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen."

Girl be pissed.

The way I see it is that she IS very heartbroken about what happened to Brave during its production. It was HER story, inspired by HER life. But I too wonder if there is more to the story than what any party is letting out. Could Brenda's passion for her story may have created conflicts with the studio?


Agreed 100%.

While Lasseter seems like a nice guy, he also seems like that guy who has NO clue how a woman's brain works. The Hawaiian shirts, the nerdy car models and toys... clearly this guy is oblivious to a woman's intuition and sensitivity in terms of movie making.

And no offense, but 'emotions' in PIXAR movies are about as subtle as getting slapped in the face with a baseball bat. They're always BIG and demanding us to cry. While that's fine, I cannot help but feel that Lasseter was simply unable to connect with what Brenda was trying to do: make something that was far more intimate and personal.

Though I'm just guessing here, I think most of the slapstick and over the top comedy in Brave was NOT Brenda's idea. The 'feast your eyes' gag? Cringeworthy indeed.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:08 am 
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PatrickvD wrote:
pap64 wrote:
You can't be pleased with the output with comments like this...

"Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced. Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen."

Girl be pissed.

The way I see it is that she IS very heartbroken about what happened to Brave during its production. It was HER story, inspired by HER life. But I too wonder if there is more to the story than what any party is letting out. Could Brenda's passion for her story may have created conflicts with the studio?


Agreed 100%.

While Lasseter seems like a nice guy, he also seems like that guy who has NO clue how a woman's brain works. The Hawaiian shirts, the nerdy car models and toys... clearly this guy is oblivious to a woman's intuition and sensitivity in terms of movie making.

And no offense, but 'emotions' in PIXAR movies are about as subtle as getting slapped in the face with a baseball bat. They're always BIG and demanding us to cry. While that's fine, I cannot help but feel that Lasseter was simply unable to connect with what Brenda was trying to do: make something that was far more intimate and personal.

Though I'm just guessing here, I think most of the slapstick and over the top comedy in Brave was NOT Brenda's idea. The 'feast your eyes' gag? Cringeworthy indeed.


Though I loved the movie as it is right now, even I could feel that some things didn't really belong in the original concept, like the gags as you mentioned (the lords in particular didn't do much except be angry and fight).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:26 am 
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Why would she need to suppress anything now though? the movie is out, she's been paid and credited for it. She's has a new job already. What could possibly be on the line now? I'm not ruling it out, I could see it both ways. I just don't see whats unprofessional about expressing disappointment over a project that has already been ripped out from you. It shows that she was passionate and confident in her vision. Who would fault her for that? Its not like pixar is considering doing another movie with her. (that we know of)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:04 am 
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Kyle wrote:
Why would she need to suppress anything now though? the movie is out, she's been paid and credited for it. She's has a new job already. What could possibly be on the line now? I'm not ruling it out, I could see it both ways. I just don't see whats unprofessional about expressing disappointment over a project that has already been ripped out from you. It shows that she was passionate and confident in her vision. Who would fault her for that? Its not like pixar is considering doing another movie with her. (that we know of)


Her reputation in her field still on the line. No one wants to be known as the person who will air a studios dirty laundry when they leave. Plus I doubt she wants to hurt her friends at Pixar who still ended up working very hard on Brave.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:29 am 
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Sotiris wrote:
Brenda Chapman speaks out about being removed from Brave.

Brenda Chapman wrote:
It has been a heartbreakingly hard road for me over the last year and a half. When Pixar took me off of "Brave" – a story that came from my heart, inspired by my relationship with my daughter – it was devastating.

Animation directors are not protected like live-action directors, who have the Directors Guild to go to battle for them. We are replaced on a regular basis – and that was a real issue for me. This was a story that I created, which came from a very personal place, as a woman and a mother. To have it taken away and given to someone else, and a man at that, was truly distressing on so many levels.

But in the end, my vision came through in the film. It simply wouldn’t have worked without it (and didn't at one point), and I knew this at my core. So I kept my head held high, stayed committed to my principles, and was supported by some strong women (and men!). In the end, it worked out, and I’m very proud of the movie, and that I ultimately stood up for myself, just like Merida, the protagonist in "Brave."

Sometimes women express an idea and are shot down, only to have a man express essentially the same idea and have it broadly embraced. Until there is a sufficient number of women executives in high places, this will continue to happen.


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/20 ... tor-others


Maybe there was some validity to the "boys' club" claim after all. What exactly were the film's "weaknesses" that resulted in her removal?

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