Monthly ArchiveJuly 2013
Daily post 31 Jul 2013 09:16 am
Check out this chronology of Jim Tyer’s career. It’s amazing work from “StephenP.” done in 2002.
There were a number of Jim Tyer extremes placed on YouTube by a Cartoon Brew afficianado. Jerry Beck led us there. Some good stills to view. A Feudon’ and a’ Fussin’.
A couple of other Barney Google spots are there, as well.
Daily post 31 Jul 2013 07:05 am
- By far one of my favorite writers was the British author, John Fowles. I enjoyed The Magus, but with The French Lieutenant’s Woman he had me as more than a fan. His language, his intellectual arguments, his absolute respect for his reader all brought me back again and again to follow his every word. I spent time with a specific retailer in New York who specialized in Fowles’ books to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything that he published.
In 1985, on a vacation in London, I found a translation Fowles did of a French play, Martine by Jean Jacques Bernard, playing at the National theater. I hastily bought a couple of tickets to the show at the last preview, just prior to the play’s opening. Arriving early, there was an hour to kill before going into the theater. Fortunately, some vendors had set up book stalls selling used books, and I pleasantly sorted through the wares. Looking up from a book of Edmund Dulac’s illustrations, I saw John Fowles an aisle away. I was too timid back then to introduce myself and shake his hand. I just gloried in the knowledge that he was a brush away. The play was not memorable, but the evening was.
For a short while, Fowles wrote the text for a number of books which were really photographic essays. One of my favorites of these is one called Shipwreck. Featured throughout the book are historic photos of ships that crashed on the coasts of the Scilly Islands and West Cornwall. (Fowles was always dedicated to his home town of Lyme Regis.)
Here, I’m posting a few of the photos in the book because they are inordinately interesting to me, and I think you may also find them such. The text is by Fowles.
Ran ashore in Perran Bay (Perranporth), December 28th, 1900.
This beautiful ship was a French ‘bounty clipper’ – so called because
a government subsidy to French ship-owners allowed them to build
for elegance rather than more mundane qualities. The crew got off
in heavy seas. By dawn the next day she was dismasted and on her
beam-ends, and broke up on the next flood-tide. Two weeks later the
hulk of this celebrated barque was bought for only £42.
Struck under Gurnard’s Head in thick fog at midnight, April 6th, 1912.
She was carrying slag from Newport to London. When she began to
pound broadside on, the captain and crew launched a boat and rowed
along the cliffs to St Ives. The Mildred, Cornish built and owned,
was launched in 1889.
Struck in fog and at night just south of Annet (Scillies), July 27th, 1879 –
the same day as the Maipu. The master later blamed a faulty
chronometer, since he had believed himself fifteen miles to the west.
The ship heeled and sunk aft in the first ten minutes. The crew took
to their boats, but returned in daylight to collect their belongings.
This barque was only eleven years old. She broke up soon afterwards.
Struck the Manacles, October 14th, 1898. One of the most dreaded of all reefs,
the Manacles (from the Cornish ‘maen eglos’, rocks of the church, a reference
to the landmark of St Keverne’s tower) stand east of the Lizard promontory,
in a perfect position to catch shipping on the way into Falmouth — and before
Marconi ‘Falmouth for orders’ (as to final North European destination) was
the commonest of all instructions to masters abroad. But the Mohegan was
outward bound, and hers is one of the most mysterious of all Victorian sea-disasters.
She was a luxury liner on only her second voyage, from Tilbury to New York.
Somewhere off Plymouth a wrong course was given. A number of people on shore
realized the ship was sailing full speed (13 knots) for catastrophe; a coastguard
even fired a warning rocket, but it came too late. The great ship struck just as
the passengers were sitting down to dinner. She sank in less than ten minutes,
and 106 people were drowned, including the captain and every single deck officer,
so we shall never know how the extraordinary mistake, in good visibility, was made.
The captain’s body was washed up headless in Caernarvon Bay three months later.
Most of the dead were buried in a mass grave at St. Keverne.
Stuck fast – and surely a classic example of the expression-on the
Longships lighthouse rocks off Land’s End, December 9th, 1898. This
tramp was in ballast from Plymouth to Cardiff. The captain went below
to his cabin – and his wife – at 9.30 p.m., leaving the mate on watch.
He was woken near midnight by a tremendous crash, and came on deck
to find his listing ship brilliantly illuminated by the lighthouse only a few
yards away. Captain, wife and crew took to their boats and were picked
up by the Sennen lifeboat. How the mate managed to play moth to this
gigantic candle-the weather was poor, but provided at least two miles’
visibility-has remained a mystery. The Bluejacket sat perched in this
ludicrous position for over a year.
Wrecked in Housel Bay near the Lizard Point, November 13th, 1911.
Sailing from Sweden to Melbourne with timber and pig-iron, she missed stays
while trying to come about in a gale. The crew were brought ashore by
breeches-buoy. Two days later a salvage party boarded – to find a pair of
goats lying happily in a seaman’s bunk. Local fishermen did a thriving trade
in timber for weeks afterwards; and the iron pigs are fished up for ballast
to this day. The Scottish-built Hansy (formerly Aberfoyle) had had an
unhappy history. In 1890 the bulk of the crew jumped ship in Australia,
after a bad voyage out – only to be returned on board following a fortnight
in jail. Jail must have been more agreeable, for eight men jumped ship again
at the next port of call. In 1896 a steamer found the Aberfoyle drifting helplessly
off Tasmania. The captain had been swept overboard, the first mate had
committed suicide by leaping into the sea and the rest had given up hope.
Similar stories of low morale – and often of insane bitterness between
officers and crew – are manifold.
Driven ashore at Porthminster Beach (St Ives), October 17th, 1907.
A gale blew this collier’s sails out off the Mumbles. Less than three months
later the Lizzie R. Wilce and the Mary Barrow also had to beach here.
- I have to admit I was more than a litte disappointed with the program held this past Sunday in Brooklyn.BAM Cinematek hosted a program of anmated shorts that head won the Oscar for animation back in the 60′s. It was an ineresting idea for a program and was pulled together by the indomitable Jerry Beck.
The films included he following list of thoughtful films:
- Munro from Feiffer’s book as directed by Gene Deitch (1960).
Ersatz from Eastern Europe’s Zagreb film as directed (in a slow-moving, sexist way) by Dusan Vuctic (1961).
The Hole whcih has alsways seemed a bit overlong to me, as directed by John Hubley (1962). There is no lack for creativity in this film, though, and I have to give full credit where it’s due.
The Pink Phink didn’t have the same lustre that the original film titles had, and it wasn’t the most exciting pilot to reach the theaters as directed by Friz Freleng & Hawley Pratt (1964). It remains the dud it was, although the two Richard Williams directed title sequences make up for it.
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Double Feature as directed by John Hubley had a lot of life even in the dated score. The marker drawn non-cel approach made it seem young.
The Box directed by Freddy Wolf was the slimmest of all the films despite its long, slow, 60-ish pace. (1967)
The program was moderated by Jerry Beck. Things started off with his comments trying to get us to open up about the wit of some of the films (as opposed to what was being done by studios at the time.)
No one else in the room seemed to know that for the first time the animators were ordereed – via Academy rules – to have to view all of hose entered in the program. Prior to that all 4000 employees of MGM or 3500 emploees of WB were pushed to vote for their studio’s film – and they did. This made for a sad list of mediocre winners. When Knighty Night Bugs or The Three Mousketeers wins the Oscar, something’s wrong. It’s even more obvious when a couple of Terrytoons are on the ballot.
The panel to discuss the program included J.J.Sedelmaier (who aditted to only having seen three of the winners), Emily Hubley (who probably saw as many of the shorts as I had, and I who was wrong in thinking I hadn’t seen The Box. I’d seen it twice (plenty enough times) before. That ruling, however, meant quite a few changes with strong and important films nominated and winning. There were the occasional slug such as “The Crunch Bird”, but many a good film filed past muster deservedly. Only in these latter days of more recent cgi films have duds gotten back into the voting.
The screening will be at the Light House where an admission will be charged: $3.00 for members, $5.00 for non-members. These are all dedicated art films and will have few showings beyond this weeks’ programs. His art is worth the effort, and it’s thankful to the Academy (particularly Patrick Harrison for taking that effort in making these available to us.)
(Don’t forget that he’s the guy who got Werner Herzog to eat his shoe – all by way of getting Erroll Morris’ shoe some well-worn attention.)
- Imagine you’re a kid in 1949 eating your Grape Nuts Flakes in the morning. You’re about to pour on the milk when you realize you’ve found the Flipbook that was included in the box. Would that start you on your way of wanting to become an animator? Would you just flip it and throw it out?
Back then the Walter Lantz studio had a promotion going where they gave a number of flipbooks free to consumers of the Post cereal.
The pages were double-sided. This side features Oswald the Rabbit blowing up his tire. The flip side has Andy Panda. Andy is in full color, whereas Oswald was just line work, so you know which one was still a “star” in 1949.
The registration wasn’t very good on the printed page, and I had to adjust a bit to make it work. The paper it was printed on is newsprint and delicate. The images in the thumbnail are about twice the size of the original.
(Click any image to enlarge.) 3 4
The following QT movie is exposed on 3′s to make the action work.Click left side of the black bar to play.
Right side to watch single frame.
- Then I posted the other side of this flipbook. In 1949, the Walter Lantz studio had a promotion going where they gave a number of flipbooks free to consumers of Grape Nuts Flakes.
The pages were double-sided. This side features Andy Panda taming a lion. Andy is in full color, whereas the flip side – Oswald – was just line work, so you know which one was still a “star” in 1949. See the Oswald book here.
The registration wasn’t very good on the printed page, and I had to adjust a bit to make it work. The paper it was printed on is newsprint and the color registration is also off. The images in the thumbnail are about twice the size of the original.
(Click any image to enlarge.)
“>9 10 11 12
The drawings of the following QT movie were exposed
on threes to best make the action work.
Right side to watch single frame.
Daily post 28 Jul 2013 07:35 am
Talking about supernumeraries, tonight at 7PM, Jerry Beck hosts a program of Oscar winners from the 60′s. J.J.Sedelmaier, Emily Hubley and I will be guests to discuss the films which will include:
Munro dir. Gene Deitch (1960
Ersatz dir. Dusan Vuctic (1961)
The Hole dir. John Huble (1962)
The Pink Phink dir..Friz Freleng & Hawley Pratt (1964)
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Double Feature dir. John Hubley (1966)
The Box dir. Fred Wolf (1967)
This will be screened at the BAM Cinemateck in Brooklyn, The prints, I’m told, are beauties.
Here’s the latest sculpture to appear in the Flat Iron District in the area of 23rd Street and Fifth Ave. It’s part of the Met Life exhibit currently being held for free over the course of the Summer. A statue of the Met Life Bldg.
Daily post 27 Jul 2013 06:52 am
Woody Allen‘s magnificent new movie, Blue Jasmine, played this week for the NY Academy voters. There’s no doubt that Cate Blanchett will be in among the throes of the contenders for Best Actress, and I can’t imagine anyone doing better. Ms. Blanchett appeared live as did Andrew Dice Clay both to talk about their experiences with the director. There’s no doubt that both are enormously relevant to the mark of contenders. It’s doubtful Woody Allen would be left out of the run for Best Screenplay, though I’d also give him the Best Director award as well. He’s magnificent, Mr. Allen is. There’s enormous talent in doing what he’s done here.
I’ve no reason to give a full fledged review of something so magnificent. Leave it to realize that Allen takes Streetcar Named Desire, turns it upside down and rights it anew. Tennesee Williams’ characters are twisted about, and we get to see past the darkness of their souls. We’ll find the good and the bad in them and see it revealed – all heart. This is a great movie.
I wasn’t that big on last year’s Eyes of Romem but the film this year is magnificent. I loved the movie this year and have renewed my honor for “Woody. It’s glorious, as is he.
Owls via Disney & Deja
Andreas Deja, this week, posted an excellent piece on Disney Owls. The depth and variety of the number of birds Andreas loaded on his site, is exceptional. I heartily suggest you take a look.
Aside from that one, there are several other wonderful posts for you to see placed in full bloom on the site. Though, definitely start with those beautiful owls drawn by some of the animation masters.
A couple of days ago I got a link from friend Willy Hartland. Of course, I have to post his kicksarter link. Willy is an artist and deserves any help I can offer.
This was Willy’s message:
- Dear Friends,
I just launched my kickstarter!
click on the link below to watch the video and learn more about the project:
thank you for your time,
John Byner & the Zombies from Mars
- My good friend Lawrence White, has put together a number of videos featuring his band, Zombies from Mars, and celebrity impressionist, John Byner, in making a few interesting music videos. Here’s one called “Blog Zombie” recently premiered (July 18th) on John Byner’s site; I’ve embedded it right here to take that extra click work out of your wrist. Hope you enjoy.
- In at least a half dozen posts I’ve written about Paul Julian‘s magnificent work. Of all of it, The Telltale Heart is probably the richest and most sophisticated of all of this artwork. Such a magnificent artist he was, bordering the realist with the surrealist. I love the man’s work and will continue to feature many of the pleasures he’s given me.
When the Jolly Frolics UPA DVDs were released, there were several films by Mr. Julian that I took great pleasure in analyzing, taking apart and studying anew. How appropriate that John Hubley, my all time favorite, brought the sophisticated Paul Julian into the studio to get him to paint with such elan.
This week, a surrealist one for me if ever there were one, between Verizon’s ample attacks on my phone and blog and the amazingly disturbing hernia operations thrown at me – just for the heck of it – by a brilliant surgeon from India who has worked well in New York City.
It was added b a delightful letter from Borge Ring, by way of his wife, Joanika. The letter prompts a good reason for my posting again the magnificent Julian artwork. I hope you enjoy it, but it’s posted more for my own amusement than yours. Don’t get me wrong, I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Here, then, is the great anecdote b way of Borg:
- hi MICHAEL
Paul Julian’s “Telltale Heart” was shown at Annecy in the sixties. Some0ne asked
producer Les Goldman:
“How long did it take to make the film”?
“It took a year. A year for Paul to paint the film and a year for me to beg the
- Of all the pleasures I’ve gotten from the recently released UPA dvd Jolly Frolics the Backgrounds of Paul Julian are a particular enjoyment. His most famous and greatest achievement is, of course, the work he did on The Tell Tale Heart. This is his film. Ted Parmelee directed it, but I’m certain that he pretty much set the camera moves and timing, leaving all the design work for Julian.
The Tell Tale Heart is a tour de force of production design. It is probably one of the first non-war/propaganda animated films, since Baby Weems, to so feature this element of production over everything else – except story. Paul Julian‘s brilliant artwork oozes from the pores of every frame of this film. Together with James Mason‘s narration and Boris Kremenliev‘s strong musical score, the film evocatively tells the strong Edgar Allan Poe story. This tale has not been told on film any better since it was made in 1953. Ted Parmalee directed the film with authority.
Daily post 25 Jul 2013 08:45 am
- For some time, after Bob Blechman completed his PBS special, A Soldier’s Tale, he tried to develop several ideas as animated features. He worked hard to produce some exquisite animated samples for potential projects.
Candide was one that took the most energy and a fine piece of film was produced to showcase what he and his studio would do with this famous tale. Unfortunately, there were no takers, and this project was shelved along with some other classic ideas.
For this pilot, about ten mins. long, Tissa David and Ed Smith did most of the animation – Tissa took the lion’s share of the piece.
I have a copy of the pilot and thought it’d be worth posting some of the frame grabs from the piece to give you an idea of it. The entire film uses lengthy scenes and fluidly moving camera – no doubt an addition of Tissa David’s work. As the title card reads, these sequences aren’t presented to tell a story; they’re designed to highlight the animated fare.
(Click any image to enlarge.)
The title acts like a theatrical canvas wherein . . .
More to come, soon.
- Thanks to the site 1000 Frames of Hitchcock (and thanks to Mark Mayerson for leading us there) we can view a frame by frame analysis of Hitchcock’s works. This is essential for any film lover or storyboard designer. These films are the masterworks and our foundation.
North By Northwest features one of the most studied film sequences of all time. By going to the photo-site, you can truly look at how the scenes break down into their montage.
This encouraged me to put up the boards I have from a book entitled Hitchcock’s Notebooks by Dan Auiler. Auiler says that once Alfred Hitchcock completed the script with Ernest Lehman, they handed this sequence to storyboard artist Mentor Huebner and gave him free reign to do as he thought fit. If you study the photos from the film, on the new site, you’ll see that one doesn’t exactly duplicate the other. I caught a mispublication in that some of the drawings were printed out of order in the book. Regardless, certainly the mood of the sequence is here, and the cutting style is established.
This is Huebner’s board:
____(Click any image to enlarge.)
Daily post 23 Jul 2013 08:39 am
Animation Sketchbook, cover
Chronicle Books recently sent me a beauty of a book to take a look at. Called Animation Sketches, there’s no doubt this book was done to be sold at the current San Diego Comic-con. It’s a virtual feast of art by new, young animation film makers. In the old days, ou’d have a collection of artworks which were made to piece together some scene from Dumbo, Bambi or the like. Nowadas, because the artwork is built on original free-form work, each artist’s sketches are designed to stand on their own, and they do.
Given the length of this blog, I’ve chosen a number of sketches which successfully illustrate some artists’ visions.
Here, then, are artists like Chris Hinton, Paul Driessen, Pierre Luc Granton and others. I’ll have a couple of future posts of other artists from this book. For now, enjoy these.
Thanks, Chronicle Books for the wonderful printing of this current book.