Thursday, August 17, 2006

In Memory of Joe Ranft 1960-2005

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Joe's death. I wanted to post something that remembered not only a great story artist but also a great person. I've met Joe a couple of times and even interviewed with him at Pixar but didn't have the pleasure of actually working with him. But fortunately for me I work with and know alot of people that have and through them I've feel like I know him. This video is of Joe doing a an impromptu magic trick while he was working at Disney in the mid 80's. Joe you are missed. (Sorry there's no audio. It's my first attempt at uploading to YouTube.)

If you don't know who Joe is here's a few links:

Pixar's Artist Corner
Joe's IMDB
Ronnie Del Carmen's blog

Also, if you have any Joe memories, please share them in the comments section.


RoboTaeKwon-Z said...

I met Joe twice. The first time was the best. I was 25 years old, and I'd been working at Disney for 2, maybe months as a Story trainee. I was walking around the Royce building grooving on all of the cool artwork (one of my habits in those days) when I see this big guy pinning storyboards in one of the storyrooms. It was Joe Ranft. The room was open, and I was very outgoing so I just kind of wandered in and started looking at the drawings, which were really cool. It was a sequence from "Toy Story", the one where Buzz and Woody meet. As he was pinning, Joe started talking to me. Now, he was preparing for a Jeffery Pitch, anyone else would have been a nervous wreck and would not have time for some dopey trainee. Not Joe. He not only answered all of my questions, but asked me a few as well. He talked to me like he would have talked to anyone else, friendly, jovial, and respectful. I never forgot that. I just wish I could have worked with him.
Here's to Joe.

Anonymous said...

Joe was a great story guy but he was also a great father, brother and friend. August 16th was a hard day for those of us who knew him outside the story war room...could it already have been a year? We'll all continue to miss his story skills as new animated features come to life but more than anything we miss our friend, Big Joe. The world is a very different place without him.

countfunkula1 said...

I will always feel from now on there will be two kinds of story people. Those who got to work with Joe Ranft and those who didn't. I wish I was the former and not the latter. But to those who got to work with the man, good. Good that his influence will live on. I can only hope that his generosity as a person will live on too. I met him once, he wouldn't probably remember were he alive today, but even then I felt his genuine warmth. I got the feeling he was the kind of guy who made anyone feel like they were a friend, even if he barely knew them. That's a rare gift, and one to be treasured. I hope that legacy will be passed on as well. All the best to those who miss him most, his family. Your loss is felt by all. I can only hope any work I do as a story artist would have met with a thumbs-up from him. And that I have half the generosity of spirit. We would all do well to have that.

Gerald said...

Wow, thanks for posting that. Is that from the first Pixar building here in Point Richmond? I still can't believe you guys used to work here.

I have not had a chance to meet Joe, but his work is forever inspirational.

Skribbl said...

Thanks guys for posting your memories.

Gerald-This video is actually from the mid-80's when Joe was working on "Oliver and Company" at Disney. This was shot in the old animation building on Flower street in Glendale. BTW we've never worked at Pixar but know alot of the guys there.

Jenny said...

Now you've gone & done it--made me bawl at work!
Damn, that's fun to watch...I didn't know you'd posted this until reading Kennedy's blog just now; funny--I wrote a bit about Joe--watching him do magic--over on my blog. I have a lot of memories of him, but the night he did some magic for us was a very special one. Nassos Vakalis took video too, of Joe performing that night; he says his footage is in Greece, but I'm begging him to get it and bring it over here. I would love to hear Joe's voice and see him tilt his head over and smile again...the sweetest, among the very smartest, always the most generous man who ever worked in our business--or in any business. He leaves the world a much better place--the only thing anyone can hope to achieve.
Thanks so much for posting this.

potato farm girl said...

I've never met him, but the world lost someone truly great and special that day. The video was super sweet. (Try uploading it as an .avi file, I noticed quicktime files don't load with sound on Youtube sometimes.)

Skribbl said...

Thanks for the video tech support. I will try with my limited brain cells! Hope to see you at the Martha Benefit.

Anonymous said...

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