Tuesday, January 24, 2006

disney bastards stole my lunch

The clownfish is out of the bag: Disney has bought Pixar for a gazillion dollars, and swear they're not going to touch a hair on the head of their precious. There's much talk flying around about shares, corporate culture, and Steve Jobs.


I can tell you exactly where some of Pixar's animators were when they found out, because I was there too. Naked and working hard. I had just begun the third and final series of narrative gesture poses, this one entitled "Model Waking Up And Getting Dressed" (the first two had been "Watching The Superbowl" and "Diving Off The High Board"), I was having an awesome time, the artists were making great drawings, and then someone's cell rang. He took it outside and then came back in, paler than he'd been to start. We all have to be in the atrium in ten minutes, he said, and people started grumbling and packing up their pads.

At least we'll always remember where we were when it happened, someone said. I wasn't sure what to do, so I kept my legs where they were, raised and half-in and half-out of my jeans. I hope you guys aren't in trouble, I tendered, having completely forgotten that I read about rumors of a sale just the day before. We've been sold, said the instructor. Do I still get to have lunch? I asked, rather piteously, for the free lunch is the best of many good things about modeling at Pixar.

Yes, you can still have lunch. Next to him, a guy in black-framed glasses snorted. Make them give you lunch and dinner.

Perhaps I should put my legs down now? I continued, but the instructor had turned away to gather up some handouts about emotionality in drawing (sticking eyes on a toaster is not animation, I'd heard a tour guide explaining to a crowd of teenagers earlier. Knowing what an object is thinking and feeling is animation.)

My last drawing as a Pixar animator, said one guy. The guy I wanted to buttonhole, hoping to wheedle the drawing of me as a mermaid out of his pad, was long gone. So I finished putting my clothes on, covering my visitor badge with my scarf, and headed over to the atrium hoping to a) snag that lunch and b) listen in on the announcement.

Needless to say, I got busted, proving once again how poorly suited I am to investigative journalism. First the cafeteria ladies wouldn't let me buy so much as a juice to sustain me (we're closed until the meeting's over, one shrilled, slapping my hand away from the cooler). Then a woman standing nearby recognized me; she'd been in the group of dancers we just auditioned last weekend to try to bulk the company back up. We talked for a minute, and then I said, I probably shouldn't be here, should I? and she responded no, you shouldn't. I'm surprised your host didn't make sure you were safely out of here before this starts. On stage, someone was starting to speak; well, the press release that's going out... So I squeezed between a couple of guys who were wearing sandals with socks, fingers in my ears and la-la-laing all the way, and headed for the main doors where a security guy all but tossed my lunchless ass onto the pavement.

I want my lunch, damnit. Grilled mouse will do just fine. Grr.