During a family vacation to Yellowstone the Catmull family (Ed Catmull was 12 years old at the time) narrowly escaped a tragic accident. A minor fender bender on a narrow canyon road almost sent the family and their new 1957 Ford station wagon off the road and down a cliff. The space between life and tragedy for the Catmull family was two inches.
"Two more inches, no Pixar. I have no way of conceiving the number of two-inch events in the lives of people at Pixar. When I describe those events to people, they say, 'You dodged a bullet,'" said Ed Catmull. "Whatever instinct you have for controlling the future, you have no way of accounting for all the two-inch events."
Wow! I was completely moved by Ed Catmull's story and I wasn't even there to hear it in person. Reading the quote above really made me think of some of the "two-inch" moments that I have had in my life. To think that Pixar could have been lost by two inches - crazy!
**UPDATE - A video of the Commencement speech has just been posted to the University of Utah's website. Mr. Ed Catmull is introduced at 98:25 into the video. It's FULL of interesting Pixar stories, like the story of UP - from a floating castle to eggs that give you eternal life. It was fascinating to hear the journey of creative genius that takes place at Pixar. If you are a Pixar fan or just a fan of absolute ingenuity you must watch this. So inspiring!
Pixar Post - Julie