Monday, October 21, 2013

Lou Scheimer at ASIFA Hollywood

Here I am, late again, but I'd like to offer my tribute to Lou Scheimer:

                    (Popeye copyright King Features Syndicate)

Back in 1998, I had the chance to meet Lou Scheimer at ASIFA Hollywood. This evening was hosted by Tom Sito back at ASIFA's old digs on Victory Blvd. I brought along my copy of Saturday Morning TV by Gary H. Grossman. I think Lou was amused by the book, and he autographed my picture of Sabrina and Archie on page 373.

(Artwork copyright Filmation/Archie Comics, Pink Panther copyright Depatie-Freleng)

In spite of it's shortcomings, I'll always have a warm spot for Filmation shows. I remember clear back to their New Adventures of Superman in the early 60's. After working on King of the Hill for two seasons, I now appreciate the pressure they must have been under to make the deadlines for TV production. Plus, staying on model with the DC comic book characters called for some precise draftsmanship. Although later on, it became "jump cut city" on shows like Star Trek. I think it gave me some bad habits as far as storytelling goes. And I forgave the stiff, limited animation since the visuals were so great, and the stories could sweep me away as a six year old.

Archie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Fantastic Voyage, Star Trek, Space Sentinels, Flash Gordon and Fat Albert were all cornerstones of my Saturday Mornings. Except for HB's Space Ghost, and the Herculoids, Filmation seemed to be the only studio that tackled science fiction fairly well. I just found out on Variety that Lou won a daytime Emmy for the animated Star Trek.

Only later I learned that Filmation had kept many animation artists employed when so much work had already been outsourced from the mid 60's onward. Filmation had helped some artists to break the glass ceiling to get into feature animation, or at least move on to other studios.

But to sum up, Lou Scheimer and his partners Hal Sutherland and Norm Prescott got ahold of some amazing properties to dazzle my teeny brain on Saturday Mornings. Here's to 'em!,0,1131347.story

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rod Scribner

I didn't know about Rod Scribner until I read Tom Sito's post about him on Facebook.
The clue was the work he did on Daffy Duck in the "Great Piggy Bank Robbery".

After his work under Bob Clampett, Scribner left Looney Tunes to work at UPA.

Wikipedia Rod Scribner went on to work at Playhouse Pictures in Hollywood. I was able to get some freelance there years ago on a Tony the Tiger commercial. I misread the Wikipedia article, thinking that Scribner founded Playhouse, but it gave me some feeling of connection learning that I had worked briefly under the same roof where Mr. Scribner had been.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Richard Williams at the Motion Picture Academy

Not to be glum, but that Friday evening October 4th will probably be the last time I see Richard Williams in person. As part of the Marc Davis Celebration of Animation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the evening to Richard. It had been a long day, and my stomach was acting up. I felt a bit trampled watching the autograph hounds mob him after the presentation. It was his night, and I figured he would make it home okay.

Richard recounted the key animated films that had shaped his career, such as the "Silly Song" sequence from Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", the performance by Milt Kahl of the tiger Shere Khan from the "Jungle Book", the demon from the "Night on Bald Mountain" from "Fantasia", and John Hubley's "Rooty Toot Toot". I'd never seen "Rooty Toot Toot" before, I thought I knew most of John Hubley's work.

After outlining how these classics influenced him, Richard also took us through his work with his 1972 "A Christmas Carol", "The Return of the Pink Panther", "The Thief and the Cobbler", and of course, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". "The Rabbit", as Richard called it, earned him an Oscar for Special Achievement in Animation. Roger Rabbit was the film that finally got me to move to California, and get into animation.

We also got to see his personal project "Circus Drawings" that he finished in 2010. Richard converted sketches he did observing a small circus in Spain into a short animated film. Very dreamy, very smooth animation on "ones".

Here's the cover from the evening's program:

And here's the program from the Roger Rabbit 25th Reunion that I managed to glom onto.
(I think I got the last one!)

Still, it was good to set foot inside the Samuel Goldwyn Theater again. I still have some photos from my first Hollywood trip where our teacher, Phil Skerry, got us to let us pose with Oscars.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Paul McCartney's High in the Clouds animated project

It looks like Sir Paul McCartney will be involved with the production of a new feature based on his children's book "High in the Clouds". The articles state that these will be a stereo-optic 3D production, although oldies 1150 radio mentioned that the former Beatle prefers hand-drawn animation. There's also buzz that audiences are tired of the glasses, and the expense of going to 3D movies. Maybe they'll change before production starts.

Wish we could get more royalty to support animation...
Looks like it had a false start in 2009 -