Next month, Cars 3 will be rolling into theaters and during my most recent media trip with Disney, we attended the Press Junket with Mike Rich, Bob Peterson, Kiel Murray and Scott Morse who presented us with “The Story Of Our Story”.  Honestly, so much goes into making a movie and so much goes on behind the scenes that I can never get enough information from the talented creatives who help put everything together and make a movie like Cars 3.  Learning from the the talented experts was one of the many highlights of this trip!

Mike Rich

Mike Rich is a screenwriter who is best known for sports related films, he has worked I the industry for over 15 years and has worked on movies such as The Rookie, The Nativity Story and his first Pixar Movie, Cars 3!

Bob Peterson

Bob Peterson is an animator, screenwriter and voice actor who had worked at Pixar for over 20 years. He was he co-director for one of my favorite Pixar movies – Up, an animator on Toy Story and he also voiced the characters Dug and Alpha!

Kiel Murray

Kiel Murray wrote the screenplay for Cars and she is also working on Cars 3!

Scott Morse

Scott Morse is an animator, filmmaker, and comic book artist/writer. He has worked at Pixar for over 12 years and worked on movies such as Morse Ratatouille and the Pixar short film Your Friend the Rat.

The “Cars 3” Long Lead Press Days, held at Sonoma Raceway, including presentations by the “Cars 3” writers (left to right) Mike Rich, Bob Peterson and Kiel Murray and Story Supervisor Scott Morse, held on March 28, 2017 in Sonoma, Calif. (Photo by Marc Flores)

Lightning McQueen

One of the greatest challenges faced was to crack the story and it wasn’t an easy story to crack.  Lightning McQueen is Iconic there is no doubt about it, but he one thing he didn’t have was a problem or a dilemma.

“We talked about Kobe Bryant as he aged, his Achilles injury and other injuries and Michael Jordan. These guys are on top of the world just as McQueen is but then they have to figure out when they start to become obsolete what do you do. We found that a very interesting way to go with this story. In all these films we look for a universal truth that everyone can sort of identify with whether its toys or fish or whatever as long as there is something we can all learn from, a parable that is being told about life in a universal way. – Bob Peterson”

” When Kobe Bryant injured his Achilles late in his career, he had this famous 3 am post on Facebook where he basically was saying What do I do now. You could tell this larger than life athlete was at a loss. He asked do I crawl under a rock, do I quit, do I rise. He was wrestling with all the things that we realized would be interesting for McQueen. – Mike Rich”

Jackson Storm

Jackson Storm was a great opportunity for the creators to make a kid who was kind of a mirror image of Lightning McQueen but had more of an edge and can show how technology and the sport has changed.
For McQueen, Jackson Storm really represents a generation that can take from McQueen and McQueen’s career and the sport that he loves more than anything in the world and has grown to love. It’s an example of who he was. – Mike Rich

It’s interesting because it’s a mirror but his generation is colder. You see these older guys and they are having fun together and there’s camaraderie. Up come these new guys and it’s more about technique and winning and you sense kind of a warmth sliding out of the sport and that’s why you feel a little unnerved when all these rookies start replacing him. – Bob Peterson<

That in a nutshell is how we approached the initial writing phase on these things. You get the movie up and running, you get the emotional on the page but atthe end of the day you’re making a movie, you have to make it visual and use that film language that is going to live in your hearts and your minds. That’s really tricky with human characters let alone talking cars let alone sequences like Cruz’s dream sequence. That was a real hard nugget for us to crack. And we have a sizeable story team that we work with, an amazing group, all ages, all different backgrounds.

We try different artists on different sequences throughout the movie and try to challenge them with action scene or a comedy scene to make everybody grow. We had a lot of different people on Cruz at certain points. Mechanically it was serving its purpose in the movie, it would get us through like duct tape but it wasn’t emotional, it wasn’t an experience yet. We knew that we couldn’t push forward into production into animation until we really ended that. Talking with Kiel and we had a newer board artist Louise Smyth that came on. Louise is so much fun to work with mostly because of her personality and because she’s new, she brings a lot of enthusiasm. But she secretly told us that she suffers from imposter syndrome at Pixar, where she is like the small fish in a big pond. She finally got her dream at working at Pixar in her mind and would she measure up, does she have the goods can she do what everyone else can. – Scott Morse

New CARS 3 Trailer!

Whilst we are on the topic of Pixar, don’t forget, CARS 3 arrives in theaters everywhere on June 16th!!!

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