Spark & Fire: Fuel Your Creativity

Oscar winner Pixar's Kemp Powers on Soul: The best person for the project

Jan. 4, 2021

How do you create an authentic character? Start with your authentic self. When Kemp Powers joined the writers' room at Pixar, he found a story waiting to be told ... anchored within his own story. Spark & Fire follows Kemp on his own hero's journey of co-writing and co-directing Soul, Pixar's first film with a Black protagonist, from his first trip to the Pixar campus to his development of the main character – and his passionate pitch for the beloved barbershop scene that nearly got cut from the film. Hear Kemp tell the story in his own frank and funny words, with creative insights for anyone trying to choose the projects that will matter most.

Kemp Powers is a screenwriter, playwright (One Night in Miami), director and veteran journalist. Follow him on Twitter at @Powerkeni

Follow along (with transcript and photos) at

Subscribe to the Spark & Fire weekly newsletter for images, stories and creative prompts:

This episode was shortlisted for a 2021 Webby for Best Individual Episode, Diversity & Inclusion category!

See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.