Pixar's 'Braintrust' model producing high-quality films

Pixar produces some of the most high-quality animation films in Hollywood. Pixar president Ed Catmull attributes this success to the "Braintrust" model, a set of four rules Pixar teams should follow that aims to "remove ego" for the ultimate creative success. Very briefly, these rules include

1. Removing power structure from the group
2. Only lateral, peer-peer interactions (no subordinates)
3. All success shared between team members
4. Honesty from peers on ideas proposed

How is this seemingly simple Braintrust model the key to Pixar’s success? Further, can this model be applied to other forms of entertainment (such as anime, film, literature) to unleash the potential to create quality, well-received work?

  • I think this is an interesting topic to analyze, but does require some knowledge of business I would assume, as well as some research into Disney's success as compared to other studios, as well as the knowledge that Disney is probably the largest media corporation in the entire world. A look into Pixar's history and the success of movies produced after this model was introduced in comparison to movies before would be a good contrast to have in this article as well. – Nayr1230 4 years ago
  • This sounds like a fascinating topic. Disney has also put into practice certain leadership ideals and their workshops available for business executives are legendary. I mean does anyone actually need anything from Disney, a cap with mouse ears? No of course not, but we all buy Disney. Their marketing strategies combined with corporate leadership has set the bar high. – Munjeera 4 years ago
  • Wow, this is a really interesting topic. I didn't know that Pixar teams followed those rules, but obviously it's working for them. As for if that model could be applied to other forms of entertainment, I think it would be quite difficult for film production companies to employ because everyone's roles have their own set of rules (i.e. directors, editors, producers etc.) – shaniaclarke 4 years ago

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