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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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Ed Catmull PortraitIf you’ve ever chuckled at the homespun humor of a certain animated tow truck or been moved to tears by the inhabitants of Andy’s toy box, you don’t want to miss Berry’s 2019 Gloria Shatto Lecture, to be delivered by Pixar Co-Founder Ed Catmull.

Catmull, whose company has spawned such animated blockbusters as Toy Story, The Incredibles and Cars, will address the Berry community Feb. 21. This highly respected figure in the business and creative worlds speaks with great experience and thought about leading creative organizations. He is also the author of Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.

Admission to Catmull’s lecture – “What Makes Creative People Tick?” – is free, but space will be limited and tickets must be picked up in advance and are required for entry. Keep an eye on the Berry website and social media channels for more information on ticket distribution, which is scheduled to begin in mid-January.

The Shatto Lecture Series was funded through gifts to Berry’s Century Campaign to honor the memory of Georgia’s first female college president. Shatto, who served Berry from 1980 to 1998, believed strongly that there is more to a college education than what can be learned in the classroom. The lecture series honors her vision by bringing to Berry speakers of international renown. Past speakers have ranged from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy to, most recently, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg.

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