Danielle Feinberg

Danielle Feinberg

Director of Photography


Pixar Animation Studios

Emeryville, CA USA


You can get a lot of things by working hard...You don’t have to have some sort of genius; you just have to work hard.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Danielle Feinberg

Highlight
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Danielle Feinberg HighlightInterview Highlight
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07:55
InterviewThe Interview
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01:56
Your Own Worst EnemyWeb Exclusive
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02:10
Day In The Life Of A Director Of PhotographyWeb Exclusive
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Personal LifeWeb Exclusive
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Women In TechInterview Excerpt
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01:20
The FutureInterview Excerpt
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00:58
Last AdviceInterview Excerpt
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What Is A Director Of Photography?Interview Excerpt
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01:32
Working for PixarInterview Excerpt
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01:45
Lighting Finding NemoInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
She went to Harvard University and studied computer science.
She was especially taken with her computer animation and graphics classes, and decided that’s what she wanted to do for a living.
She’s been at Pixar for over 20 years; she started in an entry-level technical position working on A Bug’s Life.
She realized that lighting animation was really where the films came together, and that lighting brought together coding, problem-solving, and art in a way that felt magical to her.
One of her favorite moments working at Pixar was getting to light the jellyfish in Finding Nemo.
She’d fought to be able to light that scene, so when she got it, she stayed late for several days trying to make it look perfect.
When she finally screened the scene with the director, the whole room started clapping; that payoff taught her that putting the extra time into her work would always be worth it.
Says that women in art and technology have the power to change society faster than anyone, and encourages young women to use STEM to help change social issues they care about.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Computer Science
Harvard University
Career

Career

Director of Photography

I am a digital animator of lighting at Pixar having worked on films such as Wall-E and Brave.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Art
Art
Technology
Technology
Being Creative
Being Creative

Day to Day

I work on the same film for roughly about 3 years. The first year, I do a lot of conceptual work thinking about what the look of the film is going to be and sourcing the technology we are going to need to pull it off. The second year is when more people start joining the team and we start to create things for the film. This stage is a lot of reviews, budget meetings, etc. The third year, I spend a lot of time in front of a computer helping solve technical and artistic problems with my team.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Work hard. In my experience, you can get a lot of things just by putting in the hard work. Enjoy doing both right and left brain activities. Be comfortable in a fast-paced environment.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Put in the time and work it takes in order to do what you love.

Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I don't know how to do that. "

I think the biggest challenge to overcome is when you are in a new situation and trying to find a way to push through until you get to the place where you have enough experience to know what you are doing. There is always something new or something not yet invented in my job that I have to figure out for the first time. I've had to learn to get used to the uncertainty and accept the challenge.

Challenges I Overcame

Self-Esteem Issues
Self-Esteem Issues

As a woman in tech, I never felt like I had to fight my way to the top, but I have consistently wrestled with self-doubt. I tend to assume I don't know something or someone else knows more than me. I am often my own worse enemy.