Daily post &Richard Williams 23 Sep 2008 09:14 am

Dick Does it Again

- Last Saturday night, in Ottawa, Richard Williams responded to John Canemaker ‘s questions about his career with enthusiasm and a pleasant grace. He knows how to tell a story and makes it good listening. On Saturday, he had an audience of animation people, and it helped to shorten some of his comments; no additional explanation was needed. The program went a bit long and had to be cut in the middle to give ample time for Dick to showcase his dvd
series – the Animation Survival Kit.

Last night, the show shifted to the Museum of Modern Art. More clips were added. (There was no Raggedy Ann on Saturday – at MOMA Emery Hawkins’ Greedy was screened. There also was no scene from The Christmas Carol – at MOMA the flying over London sequence was shown.) The show was more relaxed and time stood still for a while. The crowd was a good one, and the ticket was hard to come by.

My favorite moment was at the start. I sat alongside Tissa David, who’s 86 now;
Dick, going down the aisle, stopped to say a very personal hi to her before getting on stage. He also came immediately to her after the show. Tissa hadn’t seen him since her work on The Thief ended years ago. She’d told me the night before that she was going to the program because it might be the last time in her life that she’d have the chance to see Dick. She was tired immediately after and left once the program ended, not staying for a private MOMA dinner. _____________________Doug Crane (in blue) and Irra Verbitsky (to his rt).

The show had a lot more material in it and had a different feel than the Toronto program. Again, Dick and John sat knee-to-knee on stage, and Dick answered questions. However, there were fewer opportunities for Dick to elaborate with lengthy side stories. John pushed him always back on topic and shot a straight arrow to get all of Dick’s career in.

Afterwards, there was a dinner for some who were connected to Dick and his wife, Mo Sutton.
Josh Siegel, MOMA Asst. Curator, Department of Film, had arranged a nice sit down. Of course, John Canemaker and Joe Kennedy were there as was Chris Wedge and his wife, Jeanne, as was Amid Amidi and friend, Celia Bullwinkle, as well several others. Heidi and I sat a distance from
___________Josh, Amid, me, Dick and John _______________ Dick – three tables were gathered together, though he came over to say hi, and we talked again after food.

Sorry for the quality of some of the photos; it was the best I could do in the dark theater.

8 Responses to “Dick Does it Again”

  1. on 23 Sep 2008 at 9:54 am 1.Tim Rauch said …

    Sounds fun! The tickets were indeed hard to come by. Mike and I got left at the door! Ah well, guess I understand the MOMA ticketing process better now.

  2. on 23 Sep 2008 at 12:36 pm 2.Tom Sito said …

    Looks like it was a great evening. I wonder if there is some way to see more of the commercials from Dick’s studio? That wonderful London Renaissance of the 70′s needs it’s own retrospective.

  3. on 23 Sep 2008 at 12:53 pm 3.Emmett Goodman said …

    I didn’t realize the show would sell out so quickly. I was so disappointed to miss this.

    That’s really touching about Tissa David. To work for Richard Williams can be no small experience. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see the new DVD set. and compensate some for missing what sounded like a fantastic evening.

  4. on 23 Sep 2008 at 2:18 pm 4.David Nethery said …

    I agree (as I often do) with Sito :

    Those commercial reels need to be screened , not just Dick’s but also Oscar Grillo’s , Pizazz (Eric Goldberg) , and Purdum’s , among others.
    People need to be reminded of and inspired by the explosion of great classical animation work that was being done at those London commercial studios.

    I remember right after Roger Rabbit when Andreas came back from London and was starting on Little Mermaid he had some 3/4″ video tapes of the Williams Studio commercial reels , as well Grillo’s and a few others which he showed to us and those were so inspirational ! Some great, great work was done on those commercials in the 70′s and 80′s .

  5. on 23 Sep 2008 at 9:37 pm 5.Michael J. Ruocco said …

    It was a fun night, indeed! It was great to finally meet Dick in person & hear him & John converse with eachother, along with Tissa & the others being there as well. Very inspiring. Hopefully SVA will ante up & snag a copy of Dick’s DVD set for us animators in training to check out, that is if I don’t buy one myself first.

    Tom & David – As a matter of fact , there are 2 reels containing some of Dick & Oscar Grillo’s commercials posted up on Google Video. Though the quality is a bit shoddy, it’s better than nothing. Still, it doesn’t beat seeing them up on the big screen with an audience. Seeing those few bits of his commercial work at the show was definitely a sight worth seeing.

  6. on 24 Sep 2008 at 8:31 am 6.Mike Rauch said …

    Thanks for the post. Sorry to have missed it. Do you know if the MoMA makes these events available in audio/podcast afterward? I know I found one of your retrospective last year, but I can’t remember where I got it.

  7. on 24 Sep 2008 at 5:22 pm 7.Robert Schaad said …

    Great event! Reel/real eye-openers were the dvd master class excerpts and the career relevation/anecdotes.

  8. on 26 Sep 2008 at 3:08 pm 8.Dale Hopson said …

    I was there Monday… two rows behind you & Tissa!!!

    Guilty pleasure was seeing the old United Artists “wings” when it was owned by Transamerica,

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