“Inside Out” Director Pete Docter on the Importance of Getting Out of Your Own Head

Do you dwell on the negative and let moments of joy just pass you by? In this podcast, discover how the Academy Award-winning director of Inside Out got out of his head and savored the good in his life.

Illustration by Mike Jones

Episode 5 of the Science of Happiness Podcast by the Greater Good Science Center, featuring Pete Docter, director of Inside Out, in conversation with Dacher Keltner. 

  Science of Happiness

Pete Docter: For a good three years we went on a different track of Inside Out. We had Joy paired with Fear.

(audio clip) I’m Joy. That’s Fear.

And we had found a lot of fun stuff. We had you know the Dream Production, we had the Subconscious, we had all these cool set pieces. And then we developed the film and you’re writing it up to the point where Joy now goes back and does something she could have never done at the beginning of the film thanks to fear. And it is….What?

I had no idea. And this was right at about the time when we had to go into production. So the pressure was on and I was sitting the weekend before going, We don’t have a movie. What are we going to do? I don’t have a movie here because I don’t know what Joy does at the end of the movie.

I mean we have a concept we have characters and stuff but what is…