Pixar is opening a satellite studio in Vancouver which will be dedicated to producing short subjects. According to a story in The Vancouver Sun, the new studio will not work on Pixar’s feature films, but will make shorts which, general manager Amir Nasrabadi hints, could include TV series.
“First and foremost for us is to concentrate on Pixar legacy characters,” said Nasrabadi, citing Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, and Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars as four of its legacy characters. “We want to keep these well-known and well-liked characters alive without creating a distraction to those working on the full-length motion pictures in California.
“The types of products we produce will be niche products, such as short films, whether they are standalone or episodic in nature,” said Nasrabadi, a 12-year veteran of the digital entertainment business. “They will be helpful to all of Disney’s ancillary businesses, such as television, compilations on DVD, Internet broadcasting, as well as theatres.”
It sounds like the new studio will be producing DVD bonus materials, at least to start with. After that… who knows?
UPDATE: Canadian animation director and historian Mark Mayerson offers his take on Pixar’s new studio. Historically, he writes, “[S]atellite studios tend to stay satellites. Rather than regard the satellites as minor league teams, where talent is developed and then moved up to the majors, the satellites are walled-off as facilities for lower budget work.”