Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It all started in Santa Monica

No, I'm not talking about the history of radical skateboarding, I'm talking about my animation career. Ah, 1974 to be exact. That's when I met Corny Cole and Sam Kirson, then of Duck Soup Produckions in Ocean Park (Dogtown) California. They came to my mother's classroom to present their newly completed "Flip Wilson animated special" to the first graders. I was there, doing my usual cartoons for the kiddies, when Corny and Sam took a liking to my drawings and invited me down to the studio. I was totally jazzed as you could imagine...stars in my eyes.
There I met Duane Crowther (Yellow Submarine), Amby Paliwoda (Snow White), Grim Natwick (Betty Boop), and Arnie Wong (Tron).

What transpired was a 4 year aprenticeship starting at age 14, followed by 5 years of commercial animation work during my college vacations. Really invaluable experience that I don't think happens too often today.

Here's an early example of Duane Crowther's work

BLUM BLUM was the student film of Duane Crowther (1928-1998), who was one of the best commercial animators of the 1950s. He made this film when he was only twenty years old at UCLA.

In 1981, Duck Soup, in addition to producing hundreds of classic commercials, produced this Corny Cole animated segment for the "Heavy Metal" feature film.
Unfortunately this section was "too good" for the film and was deleted from the studio cut.

Later in 1984, again in Santa Monica, at Arnie Wong's Tigerfly Studio, I had the chance to work with future Aeon Flux creator Peter Chung. At the time we were attempting to get a Moebius feature film off the ground called "Internal Transfer".
Peter did a section, along with Ruben Aquino, Sue Kroyer, Bruce Woodside and Jon Norton. I was very impressed with the speed and facility of Peter's animation.
Later he produced spots like this Rally's Commercial. The rest is history...

Surf/skate animators, who would have thought...

No comments: