Photos 26 Nov 2006 07:53 am

Abel Photo Sunday

– Generally I like to keep Sundays specifically for posting photo memorabilia, but before going onto that, I wanted to point to an article in today’s NY Times about a documentary about the Chicago 8 that is using animation (well, not animation – mocap). The artwork is being done by NY’s Curious Pictures.

Now, onto the photographic past.

- As we approached the end of Abel’s Island, Robert Marianetti was set to leave to return to Los Angeles. We had a small toast and took this photo of the group in the studio. This was our 38th Street studio, in 1988, just prior to our moving to the larger Broadway location in Greenwich Village.

Cast of characters – Back row (L to R): Betsy Bauer (colorist), Ray Kosarin (asst animator/colorist), Laura Bryson (behind Ray) (colorist), Robert Marianetti (Prod Mgr), Theresa Smythe (colorist), Mike Wisniewski (asst animator/colorist)
Center row (L to R): Steve MacQuignon (colorist), George McClements (asst animator/ colorist), Greg Perler (editor)
Bot Row (L to R): me, Bridget Thorne (Bg’s)
Not pictured in the photos is Kit Hawkins, my assistant, who took them.

The categories listed are those for Abel’s Island only. All of these people rose into other postitions along the way. Ray Kosarin, for example, went on to animate and supervise animation. Theresa Smythe animated; Laura Bryson did the bulk of the backgrounds for The Red Shoes. Except for Betsy Bauer (who went on to become a successful fine artist), everyone eventually moved into some greater role in the studio.

There were others who worked outside the studio that didn’t make it into the photograph and others who just weren’t there that day: Tissa David, John Dilworth, Doug Compton, Christine O’Neill, Steve Dovas, and Lisa Crafts.

too few are the photos I have of the recording sessions done for the films. On Abel, I have just two. Both are of Lionel Jeffries who played Gower, the frog.

Mr. Jeffries is a very big name in England and deservedly so. Americans probably remember him best for his performance as “Grandpa Potts” in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or as Pellinore in Camelot. In England, his reputation as a director was sealed with The Railway Children, an overwhelming success in that country. In this film, he directed Jenny Agutter in her first role. (I worked with her on my short, Max’s Christmas.)

Mr. Jeffries, like all of the Brits I have worked with was extraordinarily professional. The session was relatively brief, and the performance was more than I ever imagined.
(All images enlarge by clicking on them.)

My biggest regret, on this film, was that I didn’t take a camera to London to snap shots of Tim Curry. His performance as Abel was the rock on which the rest of the film was built. Lionel Jeffries‘ voice worked well with Tim Curry‘s. The only other voice heard in that 1/2 hour show, was Heidi Stallings‘. She also gave a solidly first rate performance as Abel’s wife, Amanda. (No photos of that session either!)

Sterling vocal performances from all three actors really pushed the film off on a good journey.

One Response to “Abel Photo Sunday”

  1. on 29 Nov 2006 at 4:02 am 1.theresa said …

    heh! What is far more interesting is how I rose through the ranks to become an animator! Steal a scene home and do it, get it through to the movie and then tell the boss I did it.
    That is the only way to get ahead–well, one of them anyway.

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