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Photographs by Matt Beard

The California Institute of the Arts (more specifically, Friends of CalArts) hold  terrific salons every so often. When I rate an invite, I try to pop by. They are full of interesting people and are held at incredible homes or other well-chosen venues. An avant garde water ballet someone choreographed at one salon in Venice is still with me. This go-round, the CalArtsians met at Edie Baskin Bronson and Richard “Skip” Bronson’s Bev Hills manse (a fantastic Spanish revival that belonged to singer Ella Fitzgerald) to listen to a conversation with directors Mark Andrews (Brave) and Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille).

The fellas (and CalArt alums) sat in front of the fireplace and a Ruscha to discuss their life after CalArts. With the Oscars coming up, Bird joked about what happens when non-celeb types (like him) get up to the mic once they win. “The minute you get up there they blink a light saying ‘Wrap It Up.’ If you keep going, a guy gets up and starts to do this in front of the monitor,” at this Bird stood up and waved his body like a reed in the wind. Andrews discussed how he started out, “I wanted to be a marine. CalArts accepted me to the chagrin of my marine recruiter. I just wanted to draw.” Students, others guests (like John Musker, Little Mermaid director) asked questions and Bird closed with his hope for the industry, “I hope money becomes adventurous again. Gut instinct is undervalued and I hope it returns.”

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