'Inside Out' Screenwriter Talks About Collaborative Pixar Filmmaking Process

"You begin to shadow artists, which I think is incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly dangerous for the writer because you shouldn't be trying to even unconsciously write through them."

Inside Out's Meg LeFauve describes the major collaboration that was involved in writing the film during The Hollywood Reporter's Writer Roundtable.

"At Pixar, you’re also screening the movie many, many times and storyboards, so you’re getting 300 sets of notes. There’s just tons and tons of voices coming in,” she says.

"Collaboration doesn't even … what is a word bigger than collaboration? I'm working with 12 storyboard artists. They can change the scene if they want to. They are storytellers, so they are working more like in television, I guess, where there's a lot of storytellers at the table."

It took LeFauve some time to get going in her career as a writer. "I came out to L.A. to be a writer and then immediately bailed, immediately thought it was too hard, there’s no way, and all that talk in your head. And I immediately became an assistant, and then I got to be an executive." She calls this trajectory "dangerous" because she "shadowed artists."

"I think [it's] incredibly dangerous for you, it’s incredibly dangerous for the writer because you shouldn’t be trying to even unconsciously write through them, but I can't say I regret it because I learned so much about writing, about the process. I got an incredible mentor in that process. I don’t see any of that as a mistake." Her one regret: "There was a lot of time spent not writing. I could have just written."

THR's Roundtables air on Sundance TV. The shows air Sunday at 8 a.m. PT on channel 557 on DirecTV, 126 on Dish nationwide and at 11 a.m. ET/PT on cable (channel 625 on TWC in L.A., 94 in NYC).

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