Twenty-one years ago, I walked out of Disney Vice-President Ed Hansen's office dazed and shell-shocked.
Ed had just fired me, and I wasn't tracking too well. The first person I saw in the hallway was story artist Doug Lefler. He looked at me curiously.
"Are you alright?"
"Not really," I said. "I was just let go. By Ed."
Doug shook his head. "That's too bad." Pause. "Why don't I take you to lunch?"
I accepted the offer gratefully. An hour later we drove to the Bombay Bicycle Club, a Burbank restaurant long-since torn down.
I have no memory about what we talked about that day except for one thing. We ran into a pretty female background artist named Kathy, and Doug said to her:
"Steve just got fired, and we're out celebrating."
He said it in such a light, good-natured way that I actually laughed. Which was a nice trick, since I wasn't in the mood to laugh.
The reason I bring all this up here is that Doug isn't storyboarding animated features anymore. He's now a live-action director, and he has a movie coming out today called The Last Legion, which stars Ben Kingsley and Colin Firth.
Go see it.