In 1975, Ed Catmull put together a team of people who formed the basis of what Pixar has become today. The group was hired in 1979 by Hollywood director George W. Lucas and developed as a graphics division for LucasFilms (Shamsie, 2001). This continued until 1985, when Catmull finally turned to Steve Jobs with the view to making full length feature films using computer animation. After more than a year of negotiations, Steve Jobs then purchased the graphics division and renamed it Pixar Animation Studios (Shamsie, 2001). A three year film contract with Disney was negotiated in 1991 which resulted in the movie Toy Story being released in 1995 (Shamsie, 2001). Toy Story became the top grossing movie of the year and won an Oscar, after
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In addition, the brand and reputation are really strong, the current software is leading edge, the corporate leadership is excellent and the employee culture is one that works well and is being improved through initiatives such as Pixar University (Rafi, 2011). In contrast, the company’s weaknesses revolve around the slow production time and development process (Rafi, 2011). There is currently a limited amount a talent that they have to work with and therefore production times are held back by this (Shamsie, 2001).
• Alternative 1: Continued Innovation of Technology to decrease time to produce films.
The current situation at Pixar means that the hold up in the production process lies in the development area, where the stories are created. As an alterative option for increasing production pace, Pixar can continue to update the technology used to develop the films. By increasing the development time, the overall time to produce a film will be increased without having to increase the talent. Advantages to this method is that it is easier then finding more talent, is more innovative then just hiring new staff and will allow the production time to increase without sacrificing quality. However, the downfall of this option is that it can only increase production pace to a certain degree as it will only address one half of the process.
• Alternative 2: Horizontal Business Structure. By changing the