INSIDE OUT is an unusual film for a big studio to make; it is very ambitious and abstract. I worked on the story team from 2010 to late 2012, and everyone was excited about the idea, but dramatising that idea was at times quite challenging. I finally saw the film at a crew Wrap Party screening last month, and I'm very pleased to say that it has come out wonderfully well.
While enjoying the screening of INSIDE OUT, many conflicting and complicated feelings bubbled to the surface for me. Not long after wrestling with the challenges of dramatising the inner workings of the human mind, as part of the INSIDE OUT story team, a blood vessel burst in my head, and I was trapped inside my own mind for quite some time, as my body dealt with the effects of a swollen and ruptured brain. I've had a very rocky few years, and seeing the film reminded me of my own struggles; locked inside my own mind and struggling like crazy to get out.
So understandably, this film will always have personal significance for me, and perhaps I'm unable to be unbiased when I watch it. Even under less dramatic circumstances, working on these things means that it's hard to know how other people will respond. Sometimes the general public likes a film more than me, sometimes less. Will my own feelings about this film be typical?
But for whatever my biased (and emotionally charged) opinion is worth, I feel that this is one of the great Pixar movies, and Pete Docter and his team have once again made a film to make people sit up and take notice. It is deep, and heartfelt, but funny and imaginative, and takes you to places that only an animated film can go. It's a real return to form for the studio.
I hope with all my heart that this isn't my last film as a pro story artist (I'm currently pushing hard on physical therapy and left-handed drawing practise to get back in the game) but if it is to be my career epitaph, at least I'll be ending on a very high note and a movie to be proud of.
INSIDE OUT opens across the USA next week, on June 19th. Please go see it. I think you'll like it.