Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coming to you live, From the studios!

So, uh...yeah.  I'm totally sitting inside the Luxo Cafe at Pixar studios RIGHT NOW as I am WRITING THIS.  THIS IS SUPER REAL PEOPLE. :D

I feel so many emotions right now.  Like, I’m overwhelmed, happy, excited, scared, in awe, jkdalfjdklafjdalksfjda.  Also completely cracked out, because once again, I only got about 3 to 4 hours of sleep. 

Before I came here, I was constantly reminding myself that whatever outcome came out of this trip, I am incredibly blessed to get a chance to get a tour of this place.  I tried very very very hard to come here with no expectations, to prepare myself to be thrown out after seeing the bathrooms, and IF the guy takes a look at my portfolio – and says, “This is crap” -  I would still smile and nod and gleam with happiness and say “You are absolutely right! Give me two weeks, and I’ll give you less crappier crap!”

So, with that mindset prepped and a can of redbull consumed, I headed on out to Pixar studios. 

I’ve been here before – but only to the front gates.  I took a silly tourist picture in the middle of the road and was bouncing off the walls from just doing that.  When I got to drive through, I was smiling.  Like a maniac. 

I met up with Frank inside, and we were absolutely freaking out in the parking lot.  We were dancing in circles and hugging and giggling and saying “HOLY CRAP! WE’RE HERE!” 

Let me remind you that this was the parking lot, people.

So, we got there two hours ahead of schedule.  We checked in, sat obediently in the waiting area, and tried to secretly take photos of stuff around us.  Meanwhile, a certain director of La Luna walked by, and it took every ounce of will power I had to not jump him from the seats while I was 30 feet away.  He looked twice, and it’s probably because I was staring so intensely, haha.

An hour later, we meet up with Paul.  He comes over and asks if we were waiting too long.  I was surprised – we were there two hours ahead of schedule on his busy time, and he was concerned if we were waiting too long.  Like, wow.

So while I was gushing with emotion about how considerate he was (unlike some of the treatment I have receive at different studio visits), he then asks,

“Hey, do you guys want some coffee? Some cappuccino or a latte or something?” 

I confessed that I did, since I was super tired.  Frank just nonchalantly agreed. 

“Can I have it black?”

Paul paused, then said, “Wow, black?  Well, I can make a really mean cappuccino.”

I nearly stopped walking.  Did he just say that he can make us a cappuccino?

“I used to be a barista.  Here, I’ll make you one!”


So, after getting knocked down several times from the sheer awesomeness of this whole situation, I recovered my composure when we walked towards the entrance area to get our portfolios reviewed. 


So we get to the seating area and just start the informal portfolio session.  Frank goes first, and he clearly spent the time and energy looking through our work and really made us feel like we were his priority.  Again, wow. 

So, after Frank got his feedback, it was my turn.

After reminding myself to breathe, I handed him my portfolio. 


His response?

“Wow, these are really strong.  Really nice work – I would actually consider adding more.  I wouldn’t take anything out.”

My brain: GAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! My face: “Why, thank you.”

So, we reviewed some potential aspects I could add to my portfolio to make it stronger, and I talked about my movie, and I said, “Well, if you have time – I have my laptop here.  I can show you my reel.”

Paul: “Sure!  Of course.”

My brain again: GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!  My face: “Okay sweet.”

So, I pull up Chasing Clouds.  He watches it intensely.  And then…he plays it again. 
I never felt so focused on holding my breath before.  After which, he said, “I really like the story – it’s nice.  I’m really pulled into it, it feels French!” 

My brain: ajfidoajfdkladjsfaklfj.  My face: “Thanks!”

There are some rough spots, and we had a nice long discussion about what I could do to improve and clarify the story.  I was super grateful for his feedback, because I knew something wasn’t working – and he helped me see it specifically.

So, after our portfolio review, we get a grand ol’ studio tour.  Pixar is a beautiful location – it really feels like a city in itself.  They have several buildings that are built with incredible scale, and it feels like a college campus mixed with a modern rustic interior.  Anyhow, we got to see the art section, the story section, THE RENDER FARM, several pieces of art for Cars 2 (Brave art will be posted in two days.  Darn, haha).  We also got to go to the newer building – and Christy Yamaguchi was visiting to promote her book.


Paul takes us to the café and says, “Well, I have to get back to work, but what would you guys like to eat?  They have salads or soups here.” 

I was already super shocked at how nice this guy is, but now I am a fan of his for life.  He buys us lunch, and tells us we can hang out here – just act natural and cool (which I was obviously having a really hard time doing).  And Frank and I get out all of our excited freaked out energy, we eat our meal, and wait in line to see Christy Yamaguchi.

And, lo and behold, while waiting in line, Enrico Casarosa walks by AGAIN – and I decided that it was a sign to go and say hello.

And so I did.

I went over to him when he didn’t look too busy, and said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I follow you on your twitter account and blog.  My name is Sarah, I just wanted to say I’m a big fan of your work.”

We shook hands.  He looked surprised and said, “Oh, why thank you.  Do you work here?”

I almost said, “I want to!” but what came out “Oh no, I’m just a visitor.  It was nice meeting you.” 

And then I left.

Pixar is really making all of my dreams come true, haha.

So now, I’m wrapping up this post, I’ve wiped my wallet with Pixar goodies, and am going to book it back to Modesto to work on my portfolio once again.  Because guys, no matter how many long hours I pull, sleep I lose, and desperation I feel – it is completely worth it.  Think of every good and exciting thing about this place, and know that it is true.  Trust me on this one – Pixar is the place to be.

I hope that someday, I can make that happen.  


  1. I got excited reading this. hahaha lucky ho! buy me a souvenir. hahahahaha =]

  2. you will!! I'm so excited for you, Sarah! I can't wait to see the work you come up with after hearing his feedback! :D

  3. Your insatiable hunger and drive to make your dreams happen is infectious! I am so proud of you! And inspired, too!