Thursday, April 1, 2010


Sunlight, not in the sky -not yet -but in a 1/3 page advertisement.

Michael Sporn has posted some studio advertisements from the February 1977 edition of Millimeter Magazine on his site.

He's also put up an article or two from this "Special Animation Issue" of the once venerable trade publication. There are still a few more of note including a profile on John and Faith Hubley and a very well done piece by William Moritz on Oskar Fischinger ill-starred stay at the Disney studio.

Here's an ad he missed from that issue.

We worked with R. O. Blechman for many years (Brian about five more than me), and his connection to Ridley Scott never came up.  Maybe once in passing.

It's not his greatest drawing -the "shout" is obfuscated by the sun's other rays, the two faces are open to a lot of interpretation as well.  As always, though, his illustration is packed with meaning.  He doesn't just squiggle out lines for the sake of it. His illustration is like writing, put on paper to convey an idea.  Sometimes this more than others.

He must have begun production on "Simple Gifts" shortly after this ad.  The Hubley's were still in production on "Doonesbury".  Actually, John would pass the very month of its publication. And "Simple Gifts", if I'm not mistaken, started up as that film was winding down.

In addition to Blechman and the Scotts, this production represented the great photographer Melvin Sokolsky and two other live action film makers.

Today there are a few live action production companies who represent animation directors.  Anoymous Content works with Pes and I'm sure there are others.

The greater trend is for animation studios to fashion themselves after live action companies.  They essential prove "cover" for a film maker (marketing, some production supporting depending on the situation, insurance and all the troublesome things that differentiate professionals from hobbyists).  The studio's put the artist's work on their reel and take the lion's share of any budgets which happen the company happens to land.

One upshot of this is the advancement of "directors" in the commercial sphere with little or no experience -maybe just a cool film or two.

I can't say how this differs from commercial production of the 60s, 70s and 80s but looking at these old magazines it sure seems a lot different.


Michael Sporn said...

Sunlight was more or less an agent who represented Bob, among other clients, including Riddley Scott. Somewhat like Harold Friedman's consortium or Acme today, they did no production but found some jobs. In the years I was with Bob, nothing ever came from Sunlight.

Simple Gifts started up as John Hubley went into the hospital. "Doonesbury" had begun two months earlier and was put on hold until after John died with Faith completing it. In the interim I jumped from "Doonesbury" to "Simple GIfts". It took a good year to get funding in place while we did bits and pieces on the show and a lot of commercials to pay the rent. I moonlighted as an assistant to Tissa David at night - doing 100 ft per wk - while managing Bob's studio during the day.

roconnor said...

I suspected as much about Sunlight.

Live action commercial houses have been that way for some time.

Acme succeed in bringing that formula to animation, and now it's more and more of the standard.