Inspiring creativity

Ed Catmull in HackBerry Lab

Zane Cochran, clinical instructor of creative technologies, discusses a project with Ed Catmull during his visit to HackBerry Lab.

Berry’s 2019 Gloria Shatto Lecture took place just three days prior to the Academy Awards, so it was only fitting that the speaker was someone whose work is synonymous with Hollywood’s ultimate honor – Ed Catmull, Pixar co-founder and former president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Addressing a near-capacity crowd of students and other guests gathered in the Cage Center arena, Catmull stressed the importance of fostering an environment where creativity can flourish. Ideas are fragile, he noted, and need proper care to grow.

“Everyone has the potential to be creative,” he said. “It is our job to unlock that potential.”

Catmull related that ideas often begin badly – even at Pixar – citing as an example the 2009 blockbuster Up, the original storyline for which was completely different from what wound up on screen. In fact, the only thing that survived the first rewrite was the name.

“Failure is a necessary consequence to trying something new,” he said. “Our goal is not to prevent mistakes but to fix them when they occur.”

While on campus, Catmull also took time to interact with students in HackBerry Lab, home to the college’s innovative creative technologies program.

This was the 10th Shatto Lecture, the endowment for which was funded by gifts to Berry’s Century Campaign to celebrate the life of the first woman to hold the title of college or university president in Georgia. Dr. Shatto served Berry with distinction from 1980 to 1998.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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