The Commonwealth Club of California will present its prestigious 2010 Distinguished Citizen Award to Oscar-winning director and writer Brad Bird of Emeryville-based Pixar Animation Studios.
Bird is perhaps best known for his work as director of the animated films Ratatouille and The Incredibles, for which he also holds the sole writing credit. His films have consistently utilized the most cutting-edge animation technologies. They have additionally benefited from Bird’s proven ability to foster creativity among his production team by tapping into the potential of what he calls the studio’s “black sheep” animators.
Even before joining Pixar, Bird’s work in movies and television had garnered attention for its stunning originality and its emphasis on technological innovation. Bird also holds directorial and writing credits for the 1999 animated feature, The Iron Giant, which won the International Animated Film Society’s Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Feature. Along with Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood, Bird once directed an episode of Steven Spielberg’s 1980’s television show Amazing Stories. Bird’s contribution, however, was unique in featuring the first digitally recorded soundtrack on network television. Bird completed his first animated short at the age of 14. This feat would help him land a job at Walt Disney Studios in Southern California, where he would receive mentoring from famed animators Milt Kahl and Eric Larson.
Also being honored at the annual celebration are Jack O'Neill, founder and chairman of the board of O’Neill Wetsuits; the Honorable George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, and his wife, California and San Francisco Chief of Protocol Charlotte Mailliard Shultz; and Dr. Bill Rutter, chairman and CEO of Synergenics. As leaders and innovators, these distinguished citizens embody “The Spirit of California” in creative, technological, civic, entrepreneurial, environmental, and, increasingly, global contexts.
Visit our web site for more information on The Commonwealth Club's 107th Anniversary and 22nd Annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner.
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