Having reached Justin's birthday, March 8, and brinking on the anniversary of his passing,March 18, I thought it would be nice to put up some things I learned from him. 8 is my magic number, and another factoid of it is that Justin and I were born exactly 5 months apart, on the 8th. Here are my 8 Storyboard/Life Tips from Justin Wright:
1.) "Draw Everything!"
And he meant, everything. "That lamp. That desk..." He would say to practice drawing all types of objects, and if I'm not mistaken, added in drawing things in different perspectives. Cause, yea, you are going to be doing some rather quick and difficult perspectives regularly.
2.) Learn to draw hands. Well, this is just something he was helping me with specifically, and he made some worksheets for me. See them attached.
3.) Comp layers. Okay, so HE used these in Photoshop, I never do, but he found them extremely useful when doing pans or tracking shots. In fact, I SHOULD get in the habit of them to make smoother boards that move. Justin was super adept at Photoshop tricks.. he picked a lot of them up working fixes on Wall-e
4.) Be friendly. Justin knew so many people! He had worked doing so many odd jobs I think at Pixar. He was a P.A. first, back when they were at Point Richmond. And he had a LOT of respect for people in all types of jobs at the studio, knowing first hand, the demands of different jobs. Plus, he was just a fun guy to talk to.
5.) Having an opinion without being a Jerk. Anybody who knew Justin knew he had very strong opinions, and while he might have come off TOO strong to some, you'd have to figure out that he just had a lot of passion, and was one of the most open-minded people. Having an opinion in Story and backing it up with ideas, explanation is good. But also being a listener and taking in what others say is equally as pivotal in order to come to the best possible solution.
6.) Brainstorm with a like-minded friend. Now, I'd have to say that Justin and Matthew had more of this going on then even me and Justin, but when having to come up with story and gag ideas, there is nothing like having a like-minded friend to bounce things off of. That magic connection between friends gains the snowball momentum and the next thing you know you have some brilliant solutions. The absolute BEST DAY I have ever had at Pixar thus far was the first story day on PRESTO, with Justin, Ted and Doug. I never laughed so hard, consistently for so long. A whole day! They were hilarious. Can you imagine, your job, for a whole day is to make up jokes about a rabbit, a magician and two magic hats? The drawings were ridiculous and the memory fantastic.
7.)Let yourself be excited. This, I feel, was just a great thing about being around Justin. He never lost enthusiasm for working at Pixar. I'm serious, if he complained, which of course he did often as we all do, it seemed to revolve more around things that might affect the culture or creativity in a negative way, and ridding them. So.. that might sound like a conundrum: to complain about complaining or something...but there you have it. The ends of the complaint was to a positive.
8.)Working on relationships is just as important as working on work. The last time I spoke to Justin, he had come by to ask me if I wanted to go over and watch some of the Wall-e scoring in the main theater. He stepped in my cube, clapped his hands loud next to me and I jumped out of my chair terrified. (He did this to me a lot.) He laughed hysterically then gave me the thumb up, arm movement saying "Come on, lets go." I declined cause I had a lot of fixes to get done that day. It had passed through my thoughts that I had missed a moment there, but then thought back of how many lunches, coffee runs and games of pool, I had with Justin. We hungout a lot at work and still managed to always get our work done anyway. There are a few times I regret not having spent the opportunities with him and Ashlee, on a double date though. Times when we could have, but we were too tired or had work. I feel very blessed to have had the time I did with him though. He had a strong impact on a lot of people, including myself, with skills and with less tangible improvements. So, remember folks, working on relationships is as important as working on work.
PS: I am still working on a
'Justin' book. But yea,
this one is going to be a lot longer coming than even "Mermaids in the Desert"... WHICH, that one is being printed!! HURRAY!!!
Yea!!! Ashlee actually found a new photo with me and Justin in it: