Thursday, March 20, 2008
On March 18th, Pixar story comrade Justin Wright passed away due to heart complications at the age of 27. I saw first hand Justin's dedication to his craft as he worked his way through a summer internship to become a full fledged story artist at Pixar; a goal he had had for a long time and through hard work and tremendous spirit, achieved.
Last summer, we worked closely together on the short film PRESTO, for which there were just three members of our story squad. It's a surprise we got any work done, because most of the time we were howling with laughter at each other's gag drawings, each one topping the next, flowing like water. In one of those sessions, Justin humorously declared he had drawn the "worst drawing ever". We debated him, but Justin insisted on bestowing the honor to himself. Much to his chagrin (and amusement), director Doug Sweetland framed the drawing and presented it at our next meeting, where it presided for all our future sessions. Justin's attitude combined professionalism with an eagerness to please and brought tremendous spirit and humor to the productions he was a part of.
In a few months he will be credited for his work on "WALL•E" and "PRESTO", the short that preceeds it. A mighty achievement.
My thoughts go out to all his family and friends.
You can see Justin's work on his blog.