Sunday, June 28, 2015


With 'INSIDE OUT' taking over the world I'm dredging the memory bank for some of the multitude of ideas that didn't get into the final version of the story. For every idea in the movie there must be a hundred that remained on the story room floor. These are a fraction of the visual thoughts generated not only by the Story team but the Art Dept. would follow up with countless designs and suggestions.

This is a VERY early visualization of 'Headquarters' (late 2010) where I was playing with the Emotions literally plugged into Riley's Mind as they monitor her physical state. That purple figure was Pride who was the fifth emotion before Disgust came into the picture instead.

 More early Headquarters beat boards where I was trying out the physiological controls and a control room similar to the bridge of the Enterprise in Star Trek.

This next one I called 'Emote Control'. You can see Anger was a blocky, little square from day one and Joy was always more humanoid with a wisp of hair like a flame. Sadness was much bigger, like a large, lumbering mattress. She gradually shrunk over the production and gained hair and glasses (and clothing!). Fear was always a slender, worm-like form. Hope kind of merged with Sadness while Pride was dropped altogether.

What would a 'flood of emotion' look like?

How does 'memory recall' work?

In the early days of story development we had Short Term memory and Long Term memory. Below I envisioned all 6 emotions encountering a clerk or librarian who organized memories and sends them up a vacuum shoot.
 Short Term was for sorting and Long Term was for storage. Long Term memory held deep, important memories from Riley's life. Here I was playing with floating memory 'boxes' or display cabinets.

In an early version of the story Joy and BingBong originally entered the film-set or 'Dream Productions' through a back door and passed through a warehouse where all the props that made Riley's dreams were stored.

 Joy and Bing Bong enter the 'Center for Boy Research' - my attempt to incorporate some Freudian symbolism.

 This must have been a riff on BingBong's 'bottomless' backpack. 'Core memories' started out in the film as 'golden memories' and BB was hiding them . . . somewhere . . .

In his earliest incarnation BingBong was more of a fugitive, on the run from 'Mind-Police'. I imagined his arrest photos.

Existential angst . . . 

Joy and BingBong being chased by the 'Mind' police.

Joy and Bing Bong disguise themselves to evade capture or sneak into different parts of the Mind.

Having retrieved all the golden memories Joy climbs out of the Memory Pit like Robert DeNiro in 'The Mission'!

The structure of 'The Mind' was constantly re-thought; should it be vertical, horizontal? Should Joy's journey be down or up? At one point it was depicted as a fantastic city.

Here I was thinking of multiple 'Trains of Thought' that might converge in a cerebral cortex 'Grand Central Station'.

There was some exploration of areas in the Mind that were more like natural environments; the Frozen Forest of Amnesia, the swamp of Inner Demons etc.

We considered musical instruments as a way of expressing emotion. Sadness would obviously have a harp or violin but I imagined Anger dwarfed by a giant percussive/organ instrument - like a one man band!

If I remember correctly this was an assignment to see if we could give the memory balls some of the attributes of the characters; big, HEAVY sad memories; skittish little fear memories, disgusting memories etc.

The Mind's Eye -a kind of mobile CCTV - 'always watching. . .'

Below: Doodles of Blue Sky Thinking, a Train of Thought and a Brainstorm.

I found Joy rather hard to draw, especially that elven hairstyle that was brushed down and up. She was more humanoid than the basic shapes of the other Emotions (even Disgust was a triangle in an early incarnation). The others artists like Domee naturally had great appeal in their drawings of Joy but I struggled. In an effort to capture her spirit better I once had one of our Gesture models assume poses that were relevant to the story and drew her (or him, I can't remember) as Joy.


MeetAliceRyl said...

This is great. When I heard the movie was gonna be about the mind. I was so excited, cause neuroscience & psychology has been interesting to me. I even thought that there'll be migraines, lapses, absent minded or even nerves that serves as connectors to the whole body in the movie. But it was still good enough, maybe I was just overthinking of all the minds things I know.
i wish there were more of your ideas in the movie, like the memory boxes/cabinets, the frozen memory of amnesia. So I remembered that this movie was supposed to be appreciated by kids so complex and indepth ideas won't be aloud. But MIND CITY IS A GREAT IDEA!

Toni Reyna said...

This is great!thanks for sharing.
I loved the movie but I missed more visual development in the different "worlds of mind" that I am seeing here.
Great job!!!

Kevin Reed said...

Bing Bong's snouts aint right at the "disguised as officious inspectors"