At the young age of 57, Stephen Hillenburg, passed away this morning. Last year in 2017, he was diagnosed with ALS. ALS , or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
If it wasn't for SpongeBob and his friends under the sea, many of our childhoods would have lacked a sense of creativity that was impossible to find anywhere else. SpongeBob SquarePants was broadcasted in over 200 countries and has received numerous awards including four Emmys. Stephen Hillenburg was also, the director of the first SpongeBob SquarePants movie in 2004, and the executive producer for the sequel in 2015.
"I wanted to do a show about a character that was an innocent, and so I focused on a sea sponge because it's a funny animal, a strange one, I thought he was a funny, nerdy, squeaky-clean square." - Hillenburg, New York Times 2001
If his legacy should tell you anything, it should be this:
Do not hesitate to tell your wacky story idea. Can you imagine the pitch session for a talking sponge, living in a pineapple, with buck teeth and working as a fry cook for a "Krab". Where he is best friends with a star fish and believes he is best friends with a squid that despises his existence. Who also develops a bond with a squirrel that is a scientist that using a suit to survive under water. Yet, this story came to life and we all love it! For real though, write that screenplay, tell that wacky children's story, tell YOUR story, and follow your dreams.