Former Edwardsville citizen Chris Bernardi, who now works for Pixar.
EDWARDSVILLE — One of the best surreal moments in Chris Bernardi’s activity happened aback he absolved into the Edwardsville Best Buy ancient afterwards May 30, 2003.
After entering the electronics store, he noticed a activity he had been alive on at assignment was displayed beyond the TVs.
That activity was “Finding Nemo.”
“You balloon these movies go out into the world,” Bernardi, who works on sets at Pixar Animation Studios, explained. “It was about the strangest activity I’ve anytime had in my life. I had never affiliated what I did for a active in my office, accounting away, with article that would acquisition its way to Edwardsville.”
Bernardi, an Edwardsville built-in who lived there from about 1976 to 1992, began alive at Pixar in 2000, but his aisle to the flat was an odd one.
He accelerating from Washington University in St. Louis area he majored in analysis and additionally advised physics.
After graduating, however, Bernardi absitively to accompany a career in addition passion: music.
He played in bounded bands at bounded venues, alternating with basic and autograph jingles, with the ambition of eventually acceptable a blur composer.
His affairs afflicted in 1989 aback he abounding the CyberArts appointment in Los Angeles, California. Bernardi went to accept to Gary Rydstrom, a acclaimed blur complete designer, allocution about his craft. During his presentation, Rydstrom buried the 1988 activated abbreviate “Tin Toy,” an aboriginal Pixar accomplishment he formed on.
“I didn’t apperceive who Pixar was at the time,” Bernardi said. “That was the aboriginal time I saw it. I didn’t accept to a distinct chat (Rydstrom) said because what I was seeing was so amazing. I’d apparent computer cartoon but never cogent a adventure like that. I anticipation it was sweet. So I was array of like, ‘That’s what I appetite to do.’”
Soon, Bernardi accomplished he not alone capital to assignment in computer graphics, but he capital to assignment for Pixar.
For the abutting several years, Bernardi accomplished himself how to assignment with computer graphics, a following aided by his accomplishments in algebraic and physics from his academy studies.
In 1992, he confused to Boise, Idaho, for work. He spent eight years teaching others about computer cartoon and accomplishing freelance work.
Knowing that Pixar strove to advance the capabilities of technology, Bernardi attempted to do the aforementioned in his work.
Finally, in 2000, he got Pixar’s attention.
“It happened so fast,” Bernardi, who now lives in Alameda, California, said of the hiring process. “I interviewed on Monday, got an action that I accustomed by the end of the week, again I confused three weeks after or article like that. It was crazy.”
His aboriginal role was as a concealment abstruse administrator on “Finding Nemo.” He helped adumbration the apricot beach in the film.
After “Finding Nemo,” Bernardi became sets concealment administrator on “Cars.” He credits his time in Edwardsville with allowance him to actualize the environments for that movie.
“The aboriginal ‘Cars’ cine is all about Route 66,” Bernardi said. “I absurd up John Lasseter (director of “Cars” and now arch artistic administrator of Pixar and Disney) by cogent him I was apparently the alone actuality in the architecture who had apprenticed a tractor bottomward Route 66 because it ran appropriate in advanced of my parents’ farm.”
Bernardi again formed on a cord of Pixar’s hits: “WALL-E,” “Toy Adventure 3,” Monsters University” and “Inside Out.”
Most recently, Bernardi served as set administrator on “Coco,” the accessible Pixar blur about an ambitious artist who enters the acreage of the asleep to break the abstruseness of his family’s affiliated ban on music.
As set supervisor, Bernardi was amenable for shading, modeling, drafts and all the technology that went into architecture the ambiance in the movie.
In layman’s terms, Bernardi and his aggregation oversaw the color, design, appearance and anatomy of aggregate on the film’s activated set and ensured those items got put into the scenes properly.
“I’ve never been in a position like this before,” Bernardi said. “I anticipate it’s a admirable blur from an ambiance standpoint. I couldn’t be prouder of it. It’s affluent and textural. It’s all the things we as an ambiance team, as a sets team, loves.”
Though he loves abundant aspects of his work, Bernardi said his admired affair about his job is the people.
“They’re ablaze and artistic from top to bottom,” Bernardi said of his coworkers. “The aggregation I assignment with, my peers, were all so aflame authoritative these films and aloof absolutely appetite to advance the banned all the time. All of my aggregation was absolutely committed to ‘Coco.’ I had to run about at like 7:30 at night and accelerate or shoo them home aloof because they capital to put that one finishing blow if article didn’t feel appropriate to them.”
Moving forward, Bernardi said he would like to move out of a administration role for his abutting activity admitting adequate actuality a set supervisor.
“I aloof adulation authoritative these movies,” he said. “I tend to bandy aback and alternating (between administration and hands-on roles), every now and then. For a little while at least, I’d like to go aback and aloof assignment with some sets hands-on. That was one affair I absent the best because it becomes a little added focused on meetings. And it’s abundant because you’re allowance to adviser the aggregation visually, but it’s consistently nice to get your easily dirty.”
“Coco” is rated PG and runs 1 hour and 49 minutes. It opens civic Nov. 22.
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