Daily post 23 Dec 2008 09:22 am

Norstein Breakfast Fotos

- Looking back on yesterday’s images from Norstein/Ivanov-Vano’s Battle of Kerzhenets, made me go back to earlier posts I’d done on Norstein. I came upon some photos we took a long time ago when Feodor Khitruk and Norstein came to my studio for breakfast. This is a bit of a rehash:

– Back in 1985, master Russian director, Feodor Khitruk, escorted the brilliant animator/director, Yurij Norstein, on a trip to New York.
My friend, Charles Samu, who was playing host to them on the trip, asked if I’d like them to visit my studio. I suggested a breakfast meeting so that I could call in a couple of additional people who would like to attend. Specifically, I was thinking of Tissa David who was an enormous fan of Norstein’s film, Tale of Tales.

I must admit I was over the top since Norstein was nothing short of a hero to me. His film had completely changed my thoughts on animation and its importance in the world. I find his film the answer to anyone who questions whether animation can live up to what live action can do. The answer now is, YES. (Of course, I haven’t seen anything remotely comparable to this 1978 film since seeing it – despite the invention of the computer.)

In short, I think it’s a GREAT film of the highest order.

So they came, and here are some photos of the meeting.

My studio, at the time, was on 38th Street off Fifth Avenue. This is facing a windowed
wall we had that looked out onto the rear of the building. (You could see the Empire State Building from there.) The studio also had a large skylight overhead. Liz Seidman works to the Left and Greg Perler, my editor, works to the Right (far in front of Liz.)

Norstein (L) and Khitruk (R) arrived on time with Charles (taking the picture.)

We set a table full of lots of food, but I don’t think any of us were interested in eating.
L to R:Norstein, Khitruk, Tissa David, Greg Perler (standing in the back, editing), Lisa Crafts, me, Bridget Thorne (hands visible). Charles Samu sat opposite Lisa and took the pictures. Others were there but didn’t make Charles’ camera lens.

I had plenty of questions about Norstein’s style and production methods. He tried to respond, and Khitruk acted as the interpreter and had to draw his answer at one point.

I followed up by drawing my next question.

There was quite a conversation despite the fact that we were speaking two languages.
(And I don’t remember a word of what was said.)

Khitruk packs up as they prepare to leave.

Norstein and I exchanged little souvenirs of the meeting.

Tissa and I posed for a picture before the break up.

After everybody left, we got back to work. Bridget Thorne (left) had to run an errand and Liz Seidman (who was supervising) & Mary Thorne went back to work on Lyle Lyle Crocodile.

Immediately after, I had an in-house meeting with Mark Sottnick (above), one of the producers of Santa Bear, which was also in production, and one of the producers of Rabbit Ears videos.

3 Responses to “Norstein Breakfast Fotos”

  1. on 23 Dec 2008 at 9:32 am 1.Stephen Macquignon said …

    Boy do I miss that studio the talent that flowed through those doors

  2. on 23 Dec 2008 at 12:49 pm 2.Steisha Pintado said …

    These are very lovely memories, Mr. Sporn. It must have been very exciting to meet your hero.

  3. on 30 Jan 2009 at 7:56 pm 3.Niffiwan said …

    Thanks for this. I linked to your post at the Russian LJ Norshteyn community:

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