Angus MacLane – Pixar
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
Well, the first thought I had was maybe, like, the wheel? If you think about it, we use the wheel all the time, so I use that more than any other piece of technology. But probably functionally, I use the Wacom Cintiq tablet, which is an input device for Macintosh or PC, for Photoshop. [As an animator] I do a lot of drawings in the computer, and I can input them directly.
How has it improved your life?
Well, it gets the drawings into the computer faster, and that is huge. As far as how the wheel has improved my life, it gets me to a lot of places a lot faster than the alternative.
What additional features would you add if you could?
I think, actually, the additional features and the things that it needs [it] already has. I have an older version of the Cintiq, [but] the new one is fabulous. As far as the wheel goes, I would definitely have spikes — just in case you were nearby other cars that were dangerous.
When was the last time you used the Cintiq, and what for?
Probably about a week ago, and it was to do some storyboards for a future project. The last time I used the wheel? Yesterday — I was in a taxi.
Do you think the Cintiq will be obsolete in 10 years’ time?
Well, the one I have will be obsolete, but no, I think that it’s only going to get better. And certainly, the wheel’s going to be around for a while.
What one tip would you give to non-Cintiq users?
I would get one, if you draw at all. It takes a long time to get used to the input device of it, and drawing on the piece of plastic. But once you get over that hump, it’s really a terrific piece of work.
I’m kind of a “nerdite” in the sense that I have cutting-edge technology, but it’s always a little bit old. I have the same Nokia phone I’ve had for years. It doesn’t do anything except for make phone calls. So I’ll get maybe an iPhone two years from now or something. I’m always right behind the times, but I’m not unwilling to try new technology.
What’s the most expensive piece of technology you’ve ever owned?
It would have to be my car — the Volvo 850 T5 from 1997, which is the best automobile that Volvo ever made. It has a computer, so I think it still counts as technology — the computer tells you what the temperature is outside and what kind of crappy gas mileage you’re getting.
Mac or PC?
Mac. As an artist, there’s really no debate. I think the Mac has always produced a superior-looking product and I’m happy that the operating system now matches.
Will robots rule the world?
I don’t know. I think this is a bigger issue in the UK. Apparently, the Dalek Cult of Skaro tried to take over one time by bringing the Genesis Arc and creating a whole host of new Daleks to take over all of London. But then I think that they reversed the Time Lords’ Genesis Arc so that it sucked them all back in. And then there was that Cyberman thing. But I think a bigger thing to worry about is dragons.
What piece of technology would you most like to own?
I think a new CD player for my Volvo. They’re kind of expensive, and mine broke, and I feel kind of stupid buying a new CD player on eBay for it. But it says “don’t steal me” — it’s gigantic, and it fits right in there, and there really is no other use for it.