In early 2018, I was sitting alone in my apartment, contemplating the circumstances of my life. What would I do? How does one start over? How would I provide for my family? But at the same time, I also asked myself, why had I made the kinds of choices I did? Why did I choose the short term fixes of addiction? Why, when I had it all, did I still feel empty? What was I missing? I don’t recall the series of thoughts that led me to think this, but looking back it seems to have just come out of the blue. I suddenly asked myself a question that I never thought I would ask. Was GOD missing from my life? I wasn’t raised in the church, nor had I sought religion of any sort my entire life, so to suddenly think this came as quite a surprise. The question nagged at me for days and I did a little research online. I didn’t know where to begin. Finally, I took a risk, and reached out to a few friends whom I knew where Christians and asked for help.
Savino says the first time he went to church, he felt “like the entire congregation had disappeared and a spotlight had shone down on me alone as the pastor spoke directly to me.” Afterwards, he continued attending church, reading the Bible, and “deep-diving online into Christianity.” He adds:
It didn’t take long for me to realize that the love, forgiveness, and peace that I desperately sought in my life was not from people, but from God, and that it was there for me…as a gift. I began to realize that — to use someone else’s analogy — there was a ‘God-shaped hole in my heart,’ and I wanted to fill it. After a few months of attending church and immersing myself in The Word, I decided it was time to give my life over to Jesus Christ, and on May 6th, 2018, I was baptized.
Savino gave a dramatic reading of the material in the interview during a sermon at the Community Christian Church in Campbell, California last July. It can be heard here. (Savino’s part starts around the 12-minute mark).
So what’s next for Savino? He certainly hasn’t been as lucky as former Disney and Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter, whose years of misbehavior towards women were glossed over and who ended up as the head of Skydance Animation just nine days after being let go by the Walt Disney Company.
Savino, for now, has moved to Campbell, California, near San Jose, where he has written multiple books, as well as put together “a few cartoon pitches and several pilot scripts.” He says that he is unsure of whether anyone in the animation industry wants to work with him, so he is “focused on the projects that I could do by myself.”
He will self-publish a middle-grade novel called Coal: A Cautionary Christmas Tale next month. His new website lists a variety of other upcoming book titles, include a scriptwriting how-to guide that will be published next year called Writing Cartoons in 4 Acts or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Midpoint.