February 19th, 2021

Members Click Here Membership Email Join Us!

Meta: Why Do We Need An Animation Archive?

Why An Animation Archive

Several people have emailed me to ask for copies of the speech I gave at the ASIFA Lion King Reunion event back in 2004 where I announced the establishment of the Animation Archive project. This event was a long time ago, but the points are still relevant today. Please feel free to print it out and share it with your friends.


Hello… My name is Steve Worth and my passion is the art of hand drawn animation.

For the past ten or fifteen years, I’ve been a member of the Board of Directors of ASIFA-Hollywood, and I’m currently serving as the Director of the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project.

Before we get started, I’d like to give you a little background on the archive project, and let you know how it relates to the panel discussion you’re about to hear tonight. Most of all, I’d like to share with you why this particular project is so important… perhaps more important now than at any other time in the history of animation.

Sir Isaac Newton was quoted as saying, “If I have seen further, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants.” It’s all too easy to become so involved with what we’re doing “here and now”, that we forget what came before us. Los Angeles is often spoken of as “a town with no history”. Compared with cities like Athens, London or Paris, that may seem to be the case. But in its short period of existence, Los Angeles was the place that nurtured and developed one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, the art of cinema… and most importantly to the people gathered together in this room tonight, the art of animated filmmaking.

This sketch was given to me by an artist who knew that I was interested in the history of animation…

Cartoonist

Does anyone here tonight know who this is? Editor’s Note: One person in the crowd called out “Tex Avery”. No one else in the audience was able to venture a guess.

My artist friend found it in the trash at FilmRoman, obviously thrown out when someone cleared his desk. My friend that gave this to me had no idea who this was. No one else he showed it to at the studio knew either. In fact, 99.9% of the general public wouldn’t even recognize his name, much less his image.

This is a self caricature of Ub Iwerks, the man who designed and animated Mickey Mouse… The man who invented process photography, enabling live action and animation to co-exist side by side… The man who revolutionized the industry with the invention of the multiplane camera and animation xerography. There are few people in the history of animation who have done more for us as animators than Ub Iwerks did. Yet his picture ended up in a trash can… completely unrecognized… at one of the most important TV animation studios in town. I’m not picking on FilmRoman when I point this out. The same could have happened at any studio, even the one this man made billions of dollars for over the years.

Think about that for a second and let it soak in.

How can we as artists “see further” like Isaac Newton if our collective memory is so short, we don’t even recognize the pioneers who made everything we do possible? This is the sort of shortsightedness that’s led to stories in the press announcing that hand drawn animation is obsolete. Hand drawn animation is no more replaceable by computer graphics than drawing and painting are replaced by photography. Cartooning is an irreplaceable artform, not an expendable technique.

Tonight, we’re here to honor the creative achievements of a team of artists who pulled together to make one of the most successful hand drawn animated films of all time. I would bet that just about all of us here tonight have pretty much the same question on our minds… How can the art of hand drawn animation return to the creative peak it enjoyed just a few short years ago?

Again, I’m going to give you a second to think about that question and let it soak in.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about that question. It’s time for me to build something that ASIFA-Hollywood’s founders, Bill Scott, June Foray and Bill Littlejohn envisioned as a goal for our organization nearly forty years ago… a museum, library and archive devoted to the art of animation… an institution dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting those broad shoulders we all stand upon.

Why An Animation Archive

The first step in achieving this goal is the establishment of something the founders of ASIFA could never have imagined… a “virtual archive”… A computer database containing hundreds of thousands of digital files representing animation drawings, model sheets, pencil tests, background paintings, book and magazine illustrations, cartoons, voice over reels, interviews, information and movies… all searchable by keyword. In short, the ultimate artist’s clip file. We all know that the major studios in town maintain their own archives to preserve the documents related to their particular productions, this digital archive will be unique, because it will be dedicated to documenting and serving the people who actually make animated films… the artists. We is in an unique position to be able to pull together a wide range of material for its archive… a much broader scope than any corporate archive could ever hope to encompass.

Tonight, the Animation Archive is just a concept with only a few presentation boards here to represent it… but next time we gather together for an event like this, you’ll see equipment and material on display… a functioning archive, instead of just presentation boards.

We realize that this is a lean time for animators. Money is tight. But we aren’t asking for a great deal from any one person. What we are asking for is for the animation community to pull together to do something of great value for the artform. ASIFA has always been all about recognizing the achievements of individuals… whether through its screenings, events like this, or the Annie Awards. The Animation Archive will be no different. It will be a resource that documents the history of people like Ub Iwerks, and the people who will be speaking to you in a few moments. Best of all, the archive will provide inspiration and education to a new generation of animators, acting as the shoulders for them to stand upon. This is *exactly* the sort of project that will prove conclusively to the world that hand drawn animation isn’t dead.

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Note: In 2011, ASIFA-Hollywood decided it was unable to continue to sponsor the Animation Archive. The volunteers of the Animation Archive pulled together and created Animation Resources, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to continue work on the project. Many thanks to the members of ASiFA-Hollywood and its President, Antran Manoogian for helping to get the project off the ground and onto a firm footing as its own organization.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Members Appreciation Month

It’s Members Appreciation Time at Animation Resources, and for the next 30 days we will be sharing reasons why you should be a member of our important project. It’s easy to join. Just click on the link and you can sign up right now online…


CLICK To Join Today!
Join Animation Resources
Learn About The Benefits Of Membership

Not A Member Yet? Want A Free Sample?

Check out this SAMPLE REFERENCE PACK! It will give you a taste of what Animation Resources members get to download every other month!

Sample RefPack


Tell A FriendTell A FriendTell A Friend
Tell your friends to join Animation Resources!
Download Page
More members mean we can bring you more special downloads.

Problems or Questions?
Download Page
Email…
membership@animationresources.org

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Share on Tumblr

Posted by admin @ 11:51 am

February 18th, 2021

Members Click Here Membership Email Join Us!

MEMBERS: Print Out Your E-Books!

Printouts

You might not know this, but all of Animation Resources’s downloadable e-books are formatted to be printed out on a laser printer using double sided 8 1/2 x 11 three hole punch paper. The resolution is as high as with traditional printing, so using a color laser printer, your printout will look as good as a printed book. If you don’t have a laser printer, just take the PDF file down to your local instant print store on a thumb drive and they can print them for you.

Assistant Archivist, Nicholas John Pozega shares these photos of printouts he made of the Bateman book we shared with our members recently. He organizes his printouts in reference binders near his desk. Pretty neat, huh?!

Printouts
Printouts

The e-books are formatted for viewing on tablets and iPads as well. Every one of our bi-monthly Reference Packs is jam packed with great art that you can’t get anywhere else. Print your own first editions and build a reference library of great art books!

Members Appreciation Month

It’s Members Appreciation Time at Animation Resources, and for the next 30 days we will be sharing reasons why you should be a member of our important project. It’s easy to join. Just click on the link and you can sign up right now online…


CLICK To Join Today!
Join Animation Resources
Learn About The Benefits Of Membership

Not A Member Yet? Want A Free Sample?

Check out this SAMPLE REFERENCE PACK! It will give you a taste of what Animation Resources members get to download every other month!

Sample RefPack

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Share on Tumblr

Posted by Stephen Worth @ 12:00 pm

February 17th, 2021

Members Click Here Membership Email Join Us!

Theory: Live The Fabulous Lifestyle Of A Hollywood Cartoonist

Cartoonist Party

Wrap party for “Toot Whistle Plunk & Boom”

BingBingA few years ago, a student at Woodbury volunteered to help build out our database. He told me how much this blog, along with Eddie Fitzgerald’s has opened his eyes to how great cartoons were in the 30s, 40s and 50s. He had a sketchbook full of Preston Blair drawings and enthusiasm for Fleischer, MGM and Warner Bros cartoons. So I asked him what kinds of music he listens to…

“David Bowie mostly.”

My jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I gave him this advice…

Cartoons aren’t the only things that were better back in the first half of the 20th century.

Roy SmeckRoy SmeckA friend of mine once pointed out that somebody should write a book titled "The Golden Age of Everything". Sure, there are things today that are incredibly great… computers, the internet, iPhones, frost-free refrigerators, etc… but music, dance, illustration, writing, movies and cartoons were all going through a golden age back then. Cartoonists should be aware of this, and they should absorb all of the greatness of the past. It will give them a solid foundation to build upon and make them better cartoonists.

Today, I’m going to talk about music…

Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys

I know that someone out there is going to post a comment saying that there’s still great music being made, it just isn’t mainstream. I’m fully aware of the fact that there are talented musicians working today. But in the 30s through the 50s, incredible talent was a given. Performers, from the top of the heap to the bottom- from most popular to least- were all capable of making you do a double take and say “wow!”.

Fats WallerFats WallerWhen I ask kids what kinds of music they listen to, I usually get the response, “All kinds.” But “all kinds” usually turns out to mean a million shades of the same color… current rock music. There are so many names today for the same kind of music. For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between rave, techno and electronica. In the past, there really were a million kinds of music… pop vocals, hot jazz, country western, big band swing, folk, rhythm & blues, bluegrass, mambo, dixieland, rock n’ roll, sweet orchestral, be bop…

I could talk for hours about this subject, but the best proof is seeing what I’m talking about…

JAZZ

Lucky Millinder

Lucky Millinder & Sister Rosetta Tharpe
"Four Or Five Times" (Soundie/1941)
(Quicktime 7 / 5.5 megs)

COUNTRY MUSIC

Collins And Maphis

Larry Collins & Joe Maphis
"Under The Double Eagle" (Tex Ritter’s Ranch Party/1959)
(Quicktime 7 / 5 megs)

THE BLUES

Collins And Maphis

Leadbelly
"Gray Goose" "Pick A Bale Of Cotton"(1950s)
(Quicktime 7 / 10 megs)

POPULAR MUSIC

Les Paul

Les Paul & Mary Ford
"The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise" "Amuka Riki" (Grand Old Opry/1959)
(Quicktime 7 / 12 megs)

If you are a student planning to be a professional cartoonist, listen to music that relates to your work- read books that inspire cartoony ideas- watch movies to learn cinematic techniques that can be applied to cartooning- LIVE THE FABULOUS LIFESTYLE OF A FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD CARTOONIST!

By the way… That animation student is a big Fats Waller fan now! And that’s not all… He’s a professional in the animation business working as a storyboard artist at Cartoon Network.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

TheoryTheory

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Theory.

Members Appreciation Month

It’s Members Appreciation Time at Animation Resources, and for the next 30 days we will be sharing reasons why you should be a member of our important project. It’s easy to join. Just click on the link and you can sign up right now online…


CLICK To Join Today!
Join Animation Resources
Learn About The Benefits Of Membership

Not A Member Yet? Want A Free Sample?

Check out this SAMPLE REFERENCE PACK! It will give you a taste of what Animation Resources members get to download every other month!

Sample RefPack

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Share on Tumblr

Posted by admin @ 12:31 pm