Top Film Techie
Danielle Feinberg, 37, director of photography lighting, Pixar
Résumé: Feinberg fell in love with computer programming in fifth grade; in high school, she was the only girl on the math team. She started at Pixar in 1997, just 22, in the rendering department, where animation is converted into a 2-D image; she was soon leading a team of nine men. Now, as a rare female director of photography, she's heading the 50-person lighting team for Brave featuring Pixar's first female protagonist out next summer.
Background Check: "In college, I took a class where we watched old Pixar animated shorts. I was starry-eyed realizing computer graphics could be a career and vowed that no matter what, I would do it."
Big Break: "In 2002, I worked for weeks lighting Finding Nemo's famous jellyfish scene. At the director's screening, 50 people crowded into a dark room to watch. Suddenly the director, Andrew Stanton, started clapping; then everyone was clapping. It was the highest compliment! In 2005, Andrew asked me to lead lighting on WALLÂ·E. I was terrified, but there was no way I was saying no."
Charge!: "I relate to Princess Merida, Brave's protagonist. She's a tomboy who loves horseback riding, archery, and sword-fighting, and is carving her own path."