Friday, March 21, 2008
All Photographs taken by Debbie Coleman
This past week has been such a hard week for so many of us. We lost an amazing friend and a wonderful animation talent. I met Justin almost 6 years ago when we were both freshmen at Cal Arts. Before I even knew his name I knew of him as "The Pixar Guy." He had the shirts, the hats, the posters, he had everything. He had been a PA at the studio before he came to school and it seemed like his only goal in life was to return to the studio, only as a story artist not a PA. He had such a vibrant and contagious personality, if you weren't laughing with him about something stupid, you were probably arguing with him over something far more stupid. We went through animation school together, and than after school we both ended up at Pixar working together. When I look back at my time with Justin there are all sorts of memories that stand out.
One in particular was getting to work together on the end credits sequence for Ratatouille. We needed people to animate on the credits, but because animation was so slamed, we couldn't have hardly any help from the animators at the studio who had 2-D expirience with the exception of a few. So Teddy and I had to recruit some other people who we new had animation experience. Since I had a bunch of my friends from Cal Arts who were working at the studio at the time, I had plenty of guys I knew could animate and would have a blast doing so. One of those animators was a story intern at the time, my friend from school Justin Wright. Since we had gone to school together and been in the trenches together during film time at Cal Arts, I knew the guy could animate and he did a great job. It was so fun to share the experience of doing 2-D at Pixar with him. It felt like Cal Arts all over again, crazy deadlines, too much animation to do, only now the stakes were too high to really understand at the time, so we all just enjoyed the hell out of that time. In the credits, Justin animated the Rat doing the cannon ball into the ranch dressing, and all the lovely rats at the food hair saloon. I've included abouve some photos of him working on the credits that were taken by the amazing Debbie Coleman ( the in house amazing photographer here at the studio.)
The other great memory that I have of Justin came about 2 and a half years ago. Everyone who knew him knew that his biggest dream and goal in life was to work at Pixar. And when I left before my last year at school to come up here and work, Justin was one of the first people to call me and congratulate me on getting the dream job. I just thought that said so much about his character, that he could see someone else get what he had always wanted, but that he was such an amazing person, that he could put his dreams aside to put someone else before him. That type of attitude will stay with me forever and I have Justin to thank for teaching me to have that type of positive, caring , and inspirational attitude towards everyone I come across. Even though we know you are close by, we will miss you so much.