This year I was given the rare opportunity to visit Pixar Animation Studios, a company I have loved for quite some time now. At Pixar this year, I got to meet Joe Ranft at lunch in the Luxo Cafe. I remember he was very tall and he said, "Hi," after I was introduced to him. I couldn't say a proper sentence, but managed to squeak a "Hi," back. I looked at him, awestruck that he was standing in front of me. I was sitting down, so to me he looked like a giant. I had known about Joe for more than a year. When I first began researching the career of storyboarding I found an online interview with Joe. I printed it out and pinned it on my wall.
Today I watched The Lion King with my friend. During the credits I saw his name as a story guy. I said "I met him," and she said "Proove it in a song." So I sang a short song about meeting him.
Tragically, Joe died last night in an automobile accident. The news was unbelievable when I read it, and I still can't really believe it. My condolences go out to his family and friends, who got the chance to say more than "Hi" to such a great person.
The interview is still pinned to my wall.