Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mail Call

I have a scar on my left middle finger, caused by one  of these:

filmstrip projector

Third grade.  Some kid was plugging the projector into the outlet at the front of the room, pulling it forward. I noticed the chord was shorter than the distance from the desk to the wall.  As the device slid forward I ran to catch it.  I did.  Slicing my finger, putting the projector safely down and running straight to the nurse in one fluid act.

Today's mail brought in not one, but two, remembrances of this trauma.

"Change Your Underwear Twice A Week" by Danny Gregory and "Focus: The Collected Filmstrips of Brian Dewan".

"Change Your Underwear..." reproduces a few dozen "educational" filmstrips.  Some produced by animation outfits like The Jam Handy Organization (which produced live action and animated industrials and was the refuge of Max Fleischer after getting fired from his own studio by Paramount), others like "Protecting Our Eyes and Ears" produced by the weighty likes of the Popular Science Publishing Company, Inc.

These strips were still being used in Catholic schools in 1987, but I'm not sure how much longer they lasted.

I think they were pedagogically questionable, but culturally significant.  

Some kept the UPA graphic revolution alive in the eyes of 10 year olds decades after The Gerald McBoing Boing Show made its last broadcast.

Brian Dewan draws his own filmstrips and records the narrations in his own stentorian baritone.  His strip are serious to the point of absurdity: "Brand New Packages for Sale" and "The Habit of Innovation".

Not a filmstrip, but similar.  This is Brian narrating his illustrations to Leviticus Book 4 (while playing a Dewanatron) from a few years ago.  The quality is poor, but it's fun and gives you sense of the artwork.

1 comment:

Liesje Kraai said...

Great stuff! Brian should be doing these Parshat animations (of course, then I'd be out of a job).