The film Toy Story has been a staple in the film world since 1995. The story was one that seemed to resonate with adults and children alike.
For this installment, two new filmmakers now take the reigns for this iconic story and were on hand at the 2019 American Black Film Festival. Filmmaker Michael Yates and Apthon Corbin speak about their experience now working at Pixar.
Michael Yates and Apthon Corbin, story artists for Pixar - Photo Credit: Jovanna Reyes
MICHAEL YATES is a Story Artist who joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2015 as a story artist on Pixar’s 2017 feature, “Cars 3.” As a story artist, Yates helps craft the story, drawing storyboards that depict characters, action and setting. Storyboards are edited together into sequences which provide early visualizations of the film that help demonstrate what’s working and what’s not. In addition to “Cars 3” and “Toy Story 4,” Yates has worked on two future, currently unannounced, Pixar projects.
Prior to Pixar, Yates interned at Walt Disney Animation Studios before working at Cartoon Network and on Guillermo del Toro's “Trollhunters” at DreamWorks Animation. Yates also co-directed the award-winning short “Legend of the Flying Tomato.”
Yates grew up outside of Chicago in Northwest Indiana and attended Ringling College of Art and Design. He resides in Oakland, Calif.
APHTON CORBIN is also a Story Artist and she began at Pixar Animation Studios in 2016 as a story artist on “Toy Story 4,” taking the filmmakers’ vision for a sequence to create storyboards – a rough visualization of that sequence. Storyboards are the first visual representation of the movie and help determine if story elements are working well.
She was raised in Richmond and Sacramento, Calif., Corbin attended Pleasant Grove High School and graduated from California College of the Arts. She resides in Berkeley, Calif.
In the 4th installment of TOY STORY, Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), and produced by Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”) and Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”), Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.
These two additional filmmakers fit in perfectly to the film and we expect to see much more them in the future.