Last week I was invited up to Pixar Studios in Emeryville , CA to interview the animation team behind Cars 2. Upon leaving the confines of the studio, one journalist said to another: “You know that Jay Shuster – he’s a cartoon character in and of himself”. With long sideburns and a trademark grey cap, Shuster is an (ahem) animated conversationalist. He may be the only person I’ve met who gesticulates more often than I do. It’s really not much of a stretch to picture Shuster in cartoon form. More importantly though, Shuster is one of the main character-designers for Pixar – specializing in (as I would learn) robotic and environmental designs. He’s the guy responsible for Wall-E and Lightening McQueen – which makes him just about the most talented cartoon-character-come-to-life I’ve yet encountered.
In the first of five interviews conducted in conjunction with the Blu-ray/DVD release of Cars 2 (which gets released Tuesday), Shuster discusses when he first comes into the animation/development process, characters that didn’t make the final cut of Cars 2 and the very first thing he ever designed as a boy. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Jay Shuster Interview Index
- When does Shuster come into the animation/development process?
- What is the process for designing a Cars character?
- What is it about robotics that interests him?
- Shuster discusses cut characters from Cars 2 that he designed.
- How did Cars 2 change from its inception to final cut?
- What is Shuster’s favorite character that he designed for the film?
- What is Shuster’s background with cars?
- What was the first thing Shuster designed?
- What is Shuster designing now for Pixar?