- Back in 1976, I was working on John Hubley’s Bicentennial flm, PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE. This was a short film, about four minutes long, that had about a million scenes. It told the history of the US (from the standpoint of populating and overpopulating) beginning 17760 BC and ending in 1976 AD.
It started with some lengthy scenes. As the film moved on, the cuts came faster, until they hit about 6 frames apiece toward the film’s end. The final scene, from space, was the longest in the film.
There were no characters that appeared in any more than one scene. That meant that with each scene, there were new setups, new characters, new colors, new everything. As a result, it took much longer than other films and was a difficult one to pull off. But like all other Hubley efforts, it was fun. Tissa David, Jack Schnerk, Lu Guarnier, Phil Duncan and Bill Littlejohn animated it. I colored about 2/3 of the film and animated at least a dozen or two scenes (some really were only 6 frames – like that auto shot posted). I also assisted/inbetweened all of the animators.
Swedes cut down all the trees in PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE.
The studio, at the time, was buzzing because John and Faith had just sold a dream project to CBS. Everybody Rides the Carousel was an adaptation of Erik Erikson‘ 1956 book, Eight Stages of Development. Erikson was a psychologist who theorized that man goes through eight stages of development from birth to death, and he proceeds to break them down. The Hubleys took this book and broke these eight stages into horses on a carousel.
The three half hour Special shows for CBS would be about these carousel horses and the ride.
Each of the stages would be broken into two different subsets, and these would be depicted through stories which were roughly developed visually by John and Faith. Once the funding started to tricle in (about $450,000 for all three shows) they would cast their many actors and have them improvise in the recording studios to the storyboarded set pieces.
While those recordings progressed, the small studio staff was busied in completing animation, artwork and rendering of PEOPLE PEOPLE PEOPLE.
The man on the moon and the Irish immigrants.
Jack Schnerk animated the French trapper sequence. There was such a rush
on the scene that I remember Jack bringing it in saying he hoped it would work.
He’d done two drawings of snow for the blizzard. Both wildly different from each other.
He asked me to ink them, then flop the drawings and ink them again.
He’d exposed the four drawings on fours. He also had the trapper with
snowshoes walking on fours. He felt it would help us feel a struggle in his
walking through the snowstorm. He felt the fours might add weight.
The scene worked beautifully, and was excellent the first time out.
Not quite the way they’d have done it at Disney. Tricks of the trade.