Many of you have been wondering why I left my blogging post for so long. The answer is easy: I've been busy.
Aside from a short vacation with my family and traveling to some High School Band marching competitions (my son's school just won the state championship), I've been working at Big Idea (still) and on my own stuff.
Recently, I was out in L.A. for the Screenwriter's Expo 5. I attended lots of great lectures by the likes of Dov Simons:
And an all day series with writers,directors and story artists from Pixar (Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, Ronnie del Carmen and more).
The trip was great. I ran into many old friends, like Marc Vulcano, Ron Smith, Dan Wawrszezek, Jeff Croke, Chen-Yi Chang, Chuck Williams, Byron Howard, Everett Downing, Paul Briggs, Eddie Pittman and more. I stayed with my old pal T. Dan Hofstedt, so after full days of lectures and pitching ideas, we stayed up late playing guitar, ukulele & harmonica.
One highlight of the Expo was the chance to meet with some studios and pitch ideas (for a price, naturally). Attendants were able to sign up for 5 minutes with studio reps from many of the major, mini-major and minor studios. So I pitched a couple of scripts I've been working on. So far, two companies asked for treatments. Hope it pans out to something.
All in all, the trip was very, very educational. I came home, looked at my scripts and started re-writing.
It reminded me when I first started at Disney, inbetweening Roger Rabbit on "Trail Mix-Up". I thought I had done a decent job, then I took my work over to Ruben Procopio. As soon as my drawing was on his board, all my mistakes became glaring. Even before he started pointing them out. There's something about putting your work in a new spotlight that really brings out the weaknesses.
Surround yourself with people smarter and more accomplished than you are. That way you will be pushed to improve and you will continue to grow.