During the Summer of 2007 I returned to college to work towards my degree in Radio/TV/Film at San Jose State University. I realized pretty early on that I would require an internship at some point prior to graduation, and Pixar was on my brain (along with a few bazillion other applicants). The camera/layout internship position was of great interest to me, considering my background in camera/editing, so I came up with an idea for a project. The story was that of a rebellious marble in a family of marbles (you know how it is). My goal was audacious; a 5-minute computer animated short film to be completed within 2.5 months. At the time I had only one year of amateur 3d experience under my belt, nevertheless, I pressed forward. I wanted the design to be simple for practical reasons, however I was adamant about telling an engaging visual story. The goal was to demonstrate that I could design camera shots in context with, and in service of, a story. I did not want to create a collection of random CG camera shots.
I reverse engineered what I imagined to be the final product and then calculated, to the day, the pace required for me to complete the project on time. If I missed a day or two, I knew that I would have to make up the work on subsequent days. Along with strong support from my wife, family, and friends I finished the project and mailed the DVD off to Pixar about 5 minutes before the overnight shipping deadline at the post office! (I felt AND LOOKED like Tom Hanks finally getting rescued in the movie Cast Away)
I did not get the internship.
Something better happened; a life lesson. This project was proof to me that a goal could be accomplished with the proper vision, focus, and hustle. In retrospect, I had plenty of focus and hustle, but my vision was misguided. I was living out MY vision, trying to accomplish MY objective. My intentions were noble but short-sided. I believe that God allowed me to complete that project in order to give me a glimpse of what was possible. Over the last few years I have learned a key lesson about visions and dreams. They are not about me. They are about what God wants to accomplish through me. Modern culture has taught me to go after whatever I want, and that wishing upon stars will make my dreams come true. I have had to unlearn that (but still enjoy watching Pinocchio every now and then).
I look forward to the visions and dreams that lie ahead. To God be the glory!