Making Mistakes

Here’s an idea that was eventually abandoned. I shared my Disney career in “Animated Life” and my goal was to pass on my fifty plus years of experience at the Walt Disney Studios. Since my book was somewhat educational, reviewing high points of each chapter might be a good idea. Each chapter would conclude with this yellow legal pad highlighting the key points discussed.

I created a number of book pages featuring notes, sketches and photographs. The goal was to come up with something graphic and interesting. Even though it was a cool idea I became concerned this technique might interrupt the narrative. Even as a first time author I wanted to create a book that would be a page turner. I finally moved the “teaching” part of the book to the final pages where I provided a series of tips, techniques and insights for the young animation students.

I still look back on the process of writing this book with fond memories. I began by working at home but soon realized writing a book about the Walt Disney Studios required a Disney vibe. I found an empty office in 1201 Flower Street in Glendale and moved in. For a year, I edited non-stop with the help of my editorial director, Katy Spencer and technical editor, Tom Sito. By the end of the year I had a manuscript ready to deliver to my publisher and the satisfaction of knowing I had proved my high school English teachers wrong. How many of you smug instructors have written and published a book?


Anyway, that’s the reason for this rather odd looking page. It was a nifty idea eventually abandoned for hopefully a much better idea. That’s the way it goes when you’re the author of a book. In many ways it’s like making an animated motion picture. Good ideas routinely scrapped for a better one. And, as always, making mistakes is the way we learn.

The review page in my book, Animated Life. It was an idea eventually abandoned.

The review page in my book, Animated Life. It was an idea eventually abandoned.