I decided Katherine Sarafian was the bees knees after watching a film clip of how she guided the historical and topographical research for her Pixar project, “Brave.”
“If anyone would understand my book, Georgie the Giant,” I thought, “it would be her.” Go big or go home, right?
So I reviewed the Pixar website prior to sending her my book. Warnings and kind messages about “not accepting unsolicited materials” were in several places. So I ignored them.
Instead, I did more research, then I wrote this letter:
By the way, on the other side of the letter, I simply wrote: “I do hope so. Sincerely, Kelly Roberts”
I then lovingly packaged up a copy of Georgie after writing a “fan-note” to Ms. Sarafian on the inside cover, slid my letter into the bundle and headed to the post office.
[Flash Forward Two Weeks]
Last night I pulled into my driveway and ritualistically headed to the mailbox. When I opened the cover, my first thought was, “Rylee may be online shopping again.” I thought this because she frequently received packages that just barely fit into our mailbox and I have to wrestle them out quite forcefully.
But that wasn’t it. The package I had spied was from Pixar returning my book. I hadn’t opened the large padded envelope yet, but I knew that’s what it was.
Once I pulled into the garage, I stayed in my car to open it up and face the rejection. But instead, I got blessed with a warm, business-savvy balm that was quite nice. Inside my package was a letter from the Chief Legal Counsel for Pixar. Here’s the letter he wrote:
Well, how could I argue with that letter? I already knew they didn’t accept “unsolicited ideas.” And, not only did I receive the news that Katherine actually read my note, but inside the envelope was a piece of paper (an internal tasking) with a sticky note on it that read, “Katherine didn’t read the book; she asked that we be sensitive in our response to her. Thanks! xx[name omitted by me]xx.”
So basically, Pixar treats unsolicited materials with grace, as well as those who send them. And, they iterate the “I didn’t read the materials part” because they don’t want any confusion as to the source of any idea they use. I understand that too.
And, I think I respect them even more than before I sent the package two weeks ago.
1 thought on “When Rejection Feels Like a Warm Blanket: How Pixar Let Me Down Oh-So Gently”
Wow! What a neat post. Thanks for sharing your experience. So interesting their approach and that all of their ideas come from the inside. I can see how that would avoid a ton of legal complications. You are amazing and the queen of time management, getting everything done. Wonderful you took the steps you did. Still a “win.” Much Love, Fondly, Robin
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