A year ago, I interviewed with Pixar Animation. I had no experience other than I loved the company and had a few internships from the previous summer. I don’t even have a background in animation - just a blind instinct for writing and a passion for film. I saw an opening that I could possibly pass to apply for - knowing it was the longest shot in all the long shots.
I spent days writing my application. I never worked on anything harder and I never wanted a job more. I still haven’t ever felt that feeling applying for something. I knew I had to think outside the box and I wrote the most creative cover letter of my life - something I don’t think has ever been done before in a cover letter. I won’t reveal what I did - not because I’m trying to protect what I did or save from the copy-cats, but all I can say is that I used my strengths as a writer and went with it. It paid off.
Pixar called me.
They noticed me and not only that - they praised me. I was being complimented by people who work at Pixar Animation. I mean, I still hold that as one of my favorite moments of my life. They interviewed me - I was nervous - tried my best to be prepared and at least I can say, was genuine.
I didn’t get hired. I was devastated, but not surprised. Not because I thought I had a bad interview - but everything felt too good to be true to begin with. And ultimately, I just felt lucky to have that moment. I feel like my experience wasn’t enough and I would’ve been in shock to actually be there - working, even temporary.
A year later, what am I thinking? Still intense gratitude. In some ways, I have a sadness feeling because I constantly question: “What if that was my only shot with my dream company?” In that respect, you can’t help but think - well at least I even got that close, but at the same time, you don’t want to settle for giving up or knowing that that was it.
A year later and I’ve had more experience under my belt. If I had the interview again today, I would be much better candidate with impressive experience and knowledgable. Now I feel ready for the job, but I don’t have the opportunity.
Still, I feel good about it.
In some ways, I’m back to unemployment for the time being and I’m not exactly sure what to chase. Pixar was the big dream. The influential company. The perfect filmmaking philosophy. The impressive story-telling techniques. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? To make something that caliber and affecting.
I chased my dream and even though it didn’t happen and I felt as if I fell short - I found a million little new things to love along the way. Mostly, people and moments and ideas. I’ve been chasing those ever since.
Even though a small part of me wonders what I missed out on, the biggest piece of me knows I’m on the right track.
Who knows what I could be doing at Pixar or who I could’ve met or what my life would be - probably what I imagined but let me tell you something - I’m also doing things in Los Angeles I didn’t think would happen and isn’t that the best? Not knowing what’s to come. I’d hate to think I’d be missing out on this. I wouldn’t even know about it.
I’ve made incredible friends, connections, been involved in non-profits, worked at film festivals, gotten real experience, completed another feature screenplay, started a pilot and had a job working with writers and producers as a Script Coordinator. I’m not gonna be sad about that for one second. If anything, I’m bummed for Pixar. ;)
I say, chase your dreams. If they come true or you get to them - then that’s incredible! If you touch them, but it doesn’t fully happen the way you expected - don’t be turned off - just turn away for the time being and be diligent else where. You never know what will come around and perhaps, you’ll experience something profound elsewhere.
Dreams are called dreams for a reason - when you’re actually asleep you have no control over what happens when you’re in them. All you get to do is ride through it. And when you awake and it’s over and all you wanna do is go back and recreate them - you can’t. However, you can lie in bed thinking about it every night and who knows, maybe if you do that along enough - you’ll get back to it somehow. In the meantime, enjoy the other nights.