Danielle Feinberg began her career at Pixar Animation Studios in February 1997 and has worked on films such as Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., the Academy Award®-winning Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Feinberg was the director of photography-lighting for the Academy Award®- winning features WALL•E and Brave. She is currently hard at work on Pixar’s 2017 fall film Coco.
At the age of 23, Feinberg’s first role at Pixar was the lead render technical director on A Bug’s Life, where she in charge of a team of nine men, eight of whom were older than herself. She got her first taste of lighting on this film and quickly discovered her love that unique combination of technology and art.
Feinberg went on to work as a lighting artist on many of Pixar’s feature films, where she moved up the ranks – from master lighting artist on Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. to lead lighting artist on The Incredibles. On Finding Nemo, Feinberg took on the role of CG Supervisor of the Ocean Unit, where she was responsible for the team creating the scenes in the depths of the ocean, the field of pink jellyfish and the rollercoaster ride with the turtles.
For WALL•E, she returned to her passion for lighting as the director of photography-lighting. In that role, she led a team of over 35 lighting artists to design and execute the “filmic” look envisioned by the film’s director.
Feinberg was once again in a lead creative role as director of photography-lighting for Brave, which stars Pixar’s first female protagonist. While working on Brave, Marie Claire Magazine named her the “top film techie” in their 2011 Women on Top Awards.
A native of Boulder, Colorado, Feinberg’s love of combining computers and art began when she was eight years old and first programmed a Logo turtle to create images. This eventually led her to a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Harvard University. Now, in addition to her Pixar work, she works with teenage girls, encouraging them to pursue math, science, and code by demonstrating to them the same beautiful simplicity she found with the programmed art of the Logo turtle.
Creating stories with Heart and Soul Using the Wonder of Math, Science and Code
In this insightful talk, Pixar Director of Photography Danielle Feinberg will show how the crews breath life into worlds and characters to create their beloved films. With examples from movies like Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Brave and the latest film Coco, she will deliver a behind-the-scenes look at how math, science and code have solved some of the biggest challenges Pixar has faced in bringing these imagined worlds to the big screen. Feinberg will show how one guiding principle allows the complex process of creating a computer film to be boiled down to its essence, to focus on the best story, while harnessing the powerful combination of art and technology.
Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
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