Turning Red Creative Team
Friday, March 18th, 2022
VIEW Conference presented, in partnership with OGR, a free virtual panel discussion with director, producer, and creative leads behind Pixar's new "Turning Red" animated feature. Moderator Ramin Zahed, Editor in Chief of Animation Magazine, speaks with:
- Domee Shi, Director
- Lindsey Collins, Producer
- Danielle Feinberg, Visual Effects Supervisor
- Rona Liu, Production Designer
- Mahyar Abousaeedi, Director of Photography, Camera
- Aaron Hartline, Animation Supervisor
- Jonathan Pytko, Director of Photography, Lighting
Domee Shi, Director
Domee Shi began as a story intern at Pixar Animation Studios in June 2011, and was soon hired as a story artist on the Academy Award®-winning feature film “Inside Out.” Since then, she has worked on the feature films “The Good Dinosaur,” “Incredibles 2” and the Academy Award®-winning “Toy Story 4.” In 2015 she began pitching ideas for short films, and soon was green lit to write and direct “Bao” which won the Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film. In her role as a Creative VP, Shi is involved in key creative decision-making at the studio and consults on films in both development and production. Shi is currently making her feature film directorial debut on “Turning Red,” which is set to release on Disney+ March 11, 2022.
Shi graduated from the animation program at Sheridan College where she was fueled by her love of anime/manga, Disney, and Asian cinema influences that can be seen in her work to this day.
Shi was born in Chongqing, China and resided in Toronto, Canada most of her life. She currently lives in Oakland, California and notes that her love of animation is only rivaled by her love of cats.
Lindsey Collins, Producer
Lindsey Collins joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 1997. She has since worked in various capacities on a number of Pixar’s feature films. Collins’ film credits include “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and the Academy Award®-winning “Finding Nemo,” and “Ratatouille.” Collins also provided the voice of the character Mia in Pixar’s 2006 release, “Cars.”
Collins co-produced the Golden Globe® and Oscar® winning feature “WALL•E” with producer Jim Morris and director Andrew Stanton and was a producer, on the Walt Disney Studios feature “John Carter of Mars.” Collins was the producer of Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” in 2016 after which she assumed the role of Pixar’s Vice President of Development. In her development role, Collins pioneered Pixar’s SparkShorts program, created to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows. Currently, Collins is the producer of “Turning Red,” Pixar’s upcoming feature film set to release on Disney+ March 11, 2022.
Prior to joining Pixar, Collins worked at Disney Feature Animation for three years, managing creative teams on the films “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “Hercules.”
Collins earned a Bachelor of Arts in Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She currently resides in Piedmont, California, with her husband and three children.
Danielle Feinberg, Visual Effects Supervisor
Danielle Feinberg began her career at Pixar Animation Studios in February 1997, and since then, she has worked on 14 of Pixar’s feature films. She cut her teeth on early films like “A Bug’s Life, “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and the Academy Award®-winning “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles.” Feinberg was the director of photography-lighting for the Academy Award®- winning features “WALL•E,” “Brave,” and “Coco.” She just completed her work as the visual effects supervisor on “Turning Red,” set to release on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.
At the age of 23, Feinberg’s first role at Pixar was as lead render technical director on “A Bug’s Life.” She also got her first taste of lighting on this film and quickly found it to be her happy place because of the unique combination of technology and art.
Feinberg went on to work as a lighting artist on many of Pixar’s feature films, where she quickly moved up in the ranks – from master lighting artist on “Toy Story 2,” and “Monsters, Inc.” to lead lighting artist on the “The Incredibles.” On “Finding Nemo,” Feinberg took on the role of ocean unit CG supervisor, where she was responsible for the teams creating the scenes in the depths of the ocean, the field of pink jellyfish and the rollercoaster ride with the turtles.
For “WALL•E,” she rose to the position of director of photography, lighting. In that role she led a team of lighting artists to achieve the photo-real “filmic” look envisioned by the film’s director. Her next film as director of photography for lighting was on “Brave,” which starred Pixar’s first female protagonist as well as a host of exciting lighting opportunities in the moody Scottish forests. On Coco, Feinberg designed and directed the lighting, which helped to bring the epic and colorful worlds of the film to life.
Pixar’s March 2022 release “Turning Red” saw Feinberg take on the position of Visual Effects Supervisor, the first woman in 20 years to hold that role at Pixar. With her combination of strong visual and technical skills, Feinberg was uniquely positioned to join this film that had goals of finding a new style of its own.
A native of Boulder, CO, Feinberg’s love of combining computers and art began when she was eight years old, and first programmed a Logo turtle to create images. This eventually led her to a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Harvard University. Now, in addition to her Pixar work, she works with teenage girls, encouraging them to pursue math and science by demonstrating to them the same beautiful simplicity she found with the programmed art of the Logo turtle. In 2016, she was able to bring that message to a broader audience with her TED Talk that was part of the PBS “Science and Wonder” presentation for TED Talks Live. It was named one of the top TED Talks of 2016.
Rona Liu, Production Designer
Rona Liu began at Pixar Animation Studios in June of 2011 as a sketch and shading artist in the Art department, responsible for designing the colors and textures that go on characters, environments and props in a film. Since joining the studio, Liu has worked on “The Good Dinosaur” and “Finding Dory.” She was the production designer for the short film “BAO,” which won the Academy Award® for “Best Animated Short.” Liu is currently the production designer on Pixar’s upcoming feature film “Turning Red,” which is set to release on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.
Ever since she was a young girl, Liu has always been a fan of Disney films and art, and remembers fondly pausing her copy of “The Little Mermaid” to draw her favorite character, Ariel. Pursuing her passions, after graduating from Los Gatos High School, Liu attended the Art Center College of Design and first got a job in Disney Consumer Products as a character intern before joining Pixar.
Born in China, Liu moved to the Bay Area at the age of 10, and currently lives in Moraga, California where she happily cares for three pet chickens.
Mahyar Abousaeedi, Director of Photography, Camera
Mahyar Abousaeedi joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2005 as a layout artist on Academy Award©-winning “Ratatouille.” He continued as a layout artist on the Academy Award©-winning feature films “Up” and “Toy Story 3,” and as a layout lead on “Cars 2.” Abousaeedi was the director of photography for camera for “The Good Dinosaur,” and continued that role for “Incredibles 2.” Abousaeedi’s latest project is as director of photography on “Turning Red”, releasing on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.
As a director of photography for camera, Abousaeedi supervises a team of layout artist who work off storyboards to explore camera composition and character staging decisions for the film. He works closely with the director in establishing a visual camera language, and helps the crew maintain that aesthetic while shooting sequences.
Raised in Denver, CO, Abousaeedi worked in architecture before joining the studio. He attended University of Colorado, Boulder, and went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts in Cinema from the University of Southern California. Abousaeedi currently resides in Oakland, CA.
Aaron Hartline, Supervising Animator
Aaron Hartline joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 2008 as an animator, and worked on a number of Academy Award®-winning feature films including “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Brave,” and “Inside Out” before becoming a directing animator on “Toy Story 4.” He also worked on the short films “Sanjay’s Super Team,” “Lou,” and “LAVA.” In addition to his feature film and shorts work, Hartline also has worked on a number of special projects including the Toy Story characters for the Apple Watch, and Buzz & Woody presenting at the 88th annual Academy Awards show. Most recently, Hartline was a supervising animator on Pixar’s upcoming feature film “Turning Red,” which is set to release on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.
As a supervising animator, Hartline is responsible for overseeing the team of animators and their work for the film. Alongside the other supervising animator on “Turning Red,” Hartline works closely with the Director and Producer to ensure they are getting the performances they need for any given scene, while also hitting production deadlines in a timely manner.
Hartline grew up in Chicago, IL and attended high school in four different states before attending Columbia College of Chicago where he studied Film. Prior to Pixar, Hartline worked at Game Refuge Inc. for the videogame “Rampage World Tour,” and Big Idea Productions on “VeggieTales” and “321 Penguins.” At Blue Sky Studios, Hartline was a lead animator on Scrat the Squirrel (“Ice Age”) and became the supervising animator on “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who.”
Hartline currently resides in Berkeley, CA.
Jonathan Pytko, Director of Photography, Lighting
Jonathan Pytko joined Pixar Animation Studios in January 2004. He started as a lighting artist on “The Incredibles” and “Cars.” He worked in the lighting department on several Academy Award -winning feature films “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” “Up,” “Brave,” and “Coco.” Pytko was recently the lighting supervisor on Pixar’s feature film “Onward,” and he served as director of photography on “Turning Red” which will release on Disney+ on March 11.
As director of photography, Pytko’s job is to lead the lighting team to help realize the director’s vision of the film, with the support of the story and art departments. Additionally, he helps guide the lighters to craft their shots while working closely with surrounding departments to put the world onscreen.
Pytko grew up in Wilbraham, MA. He attended Minnechaug Regional High School before moving to Florida to attend the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Prior to Pixar, Pytko worked as a Generalist Technical Director at Fathom Studios in Atlanta, GA.
Pytko currently resides in Albany, CA.