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Local film producers visit California’s Pixar HQ

Two local film and video producers, Kieran Chauhan and Bipin Anand of ImageNova, recently visited the Pixar Headquarters in San Francisco. The two co-founders of the Leicester-based indie production company undertook the long journey to West coast USA to shoot some behind-the-scenes footage on the making of Disney Pixar’s latest production Onward (2020).

Working with the Oscar-winning lens manufacturer Cooke Optics, the team at ImageNova visited this world-class animation studio to gain insight into how Pixar craft some of the planet’s most popular animated movies. The pair were specifically interested in the history of cinematography and animation at this Hollywood giant and how they have modelled the look of some of their animated films, such as Inside Out and the Toy Story franchise, on some of Cooke’s lenses which are hand-crafted in Leicester. 

Bipin Anand filming the Bo Peep canvas inside one of Pixar’s buildings – Image: courtesy ImageNova

Speaking about their response to getting the go ahead for the film from Disney Pixar, Kieran Chauhan said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ve always wanted to visit Pixar and get access to their animation studio and meet their team. To be able to collaborate with them on a project is a dream come true.” 

Cooke Optics TV, a YouTube channel that ImageNova created and pitched to Cooke in 2014, features over 180 videos of exclusive interviews with some of the best cinematographers, camera operators, and producers in the world. It is on this channel that ImageNova will release a selection of short videos that provide special insight into why Pixar’s films “master the magic of storytelling and visuals”.

ImageNova spoke to many interesting figures from Pixar, such as Jim Morris–Head of Studio and producer of the quirky, apocalyptic robo-romcom, Wall-EAlongside Morris, ImageNova also spoke to Adam Habib, Patrick Lin, Sharon Calahan and Kim White, who are the cinematographers behind Toy Story 3 and 4, The Incredibles, Cars, Up, Inside Out and the soon-to-be-released Onward.

Bipin Anand reflected on all of the hard work they have invested into the project. He said: “We’ve been building our company for over 10 years now, and this is by far the most exciting project we have been involved with. By building our channel over the years, Cooke Optics TV has opened the doors to the best filmmakers in the world, some of our heroes. Getting access to Pixar’s studio is no easy feat since their studio is not open to the public!”


The first of these videos will be released on 6th March on Cooke Optics TV, coinciding with the cinema release of Pixar’s Onward.


By Sam Ellison

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