Photos in books, clips from documentaries and minor glimpses on YouTube. This is how I had previously gained access to the Disney building. But a few days ago, I was allowed in.
I recently received an email from Disney, USA. They had seen the project and asked if I had a copy they could hang up at the Studios in Burbank, California, in the building where it all started. You can probably imagine my reaction to receiving the message. (There were tears!).
Before I knew it, I was on a plane (the print on another) and packing the car at 5AM with the print in the boot and headed for Disney HQ from San José.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get here. With my heart beating exponentially the closer I got to Burbank, upon being given a Disney pass with my name on it, I wondered whether I’d be able to make it past the entrance without fainting. I managed to hold myself together, and after meeting my contact we began to walk around the Studio Lot. I got to see the all the things I had only ever seen through a screen or in books. This was a literal dream come true.
I got to stand on the famous steps of the original Animation building, see the multiplane camera and take a look inside the Disney Archives. (I email the DA office from time to time with questions, so to be allowed inside was another dream come true). It felt as though I was re-tracing (some literal) steps of Disney history, which was at times quite moving. I’ll be uploading more photos in the next couple of posts!
The studio doesn’t allow for public tours, so this was such a wonderful thing to have experienced, and I’m so thankful for being given that opportunity. The print is now in the hands of the Disney mounters.
For my work to hang in the building where it all started is both an honour and a privilege—it’s a dream come true. Thank you to everyone at Disney for your generosity and kindness, and for allowing me to experience this; it is something I will never forget. This print is a celebration of your company, your history and your legacy. For it to be taken in and hung up on the wall in Burbank means the world. Thank you for this. But most of all, thank you for making work that has inspired my own.