Production Update August 2016

August 19, 2016 More

It’s August, so, welcome once again to our monthly update.  We left off in July with the first 40 scenes blocked out, plus, the Gerald Hop, Cartoonz is Cartoonz, Prologue, and Kurtz on the Phone, scenes underway, and the promise of getting started this month on the Pitch reel to bring in funding for our crew, as well as bringing in more crew.  The Pitch reel didn’t start being put together earlier this month, but should start before the end of the month.

We began August with another of our periodic openings of more boxes from the collection of UPA memorabilia left behind by Steve Bosustow.  Unfortunately, he died right in the midst of of a labor of love, writing a book about UPA.  So, there’s a mountain of material he collected, tons for us to explore.  It’s a slow process, opening his mass of 60 year old boxes, cataloging each item, setting a few items aside for our Boing Heard Round the World Companion book, which will include passages that Bosustow had written for his book, and then packing the rest off to a prestigious archive, where it will be keep in a safe environment, available to animation researchers for generations to come.  But, this time it wasn’t a short routine session, as we came across two wonderful items that delayed the Pitch reel a tad.

The first item was a little 16mm reel of film labeled, Strike Footage.  So, we sent it off to our favorite transfer house to have it transferred to an .mov file.  We were hoping that it would be a “home movie” of the 1941 Disney strike, shot by Steve Bosustow, that was shown many years later to Steve, Art Babbitt, and Bill Hurtz, with their comments being recorded.  The footage was then sunk up to their audio comments and screened at a 1978 UPA Tribute at Filmex, in Los Angeles  Then, picture and sound were stashed away with the mounting boxes of UPA materials.  Several years ago we found the audio portion, and were hoping that this 16mm was the long lost picture, so when we got the .mov from the transfer house, we gritted our teeth, held our breath, and bingo! sure enough this was the film we’d been waiting to find.  We’ve put a frame of it up front showing Art Babbitt, one of the organizers of the strike, and I think, Herb Sorrell, who was the Union representative.  A portion of the film will be included in the documentary.

The second item, and image, was something we didn’t know about at all, a large 16” vinyl record of an interview by a Boston radio station of Steve Bosustow, as UPAs 1001 Arabian Nights feature was being released around the country.  Again, we rushed over to our handy dandy transfer house to have this humungous record transferred to digital .mov.   Once more we Boston Intv labelweren’t disappointed.  There are several statements made that we’ve found no where else, so at least one of those will pop up in the documentary.  If there’s not enough room in the documentary for all this good stuff we are thinking of making a DVD of all these extra jewels.  Btw, this post may look like Bosustow will have more real estate than others in the doc, but we’ve interviewed nearly 200 UPA staffers and animation experts, so we want to include as many of them as possible.  However, Bosustow’s materials are helping to discover things about UPA that haven’t been known for 60 to 70 years.

Before we close, here’s our new tentative schedule:

• Blocking all the scenes for the Documentary by early next year.

• Complete production of all the scenes by the end of next year.

• Mix the final audio, and organize marketing and distribution in early 1918.

• Release the finished documentary and companion book in summer of 1918.

Of course, to accomplish this we need to beef up our crew and raise finishing funds for the crew, the rights, and the marketing campaign, which is what our Pitch reel hopes to accomplish, if possible before our booth this November at CTNx, a tall order indeed, but not impossible.  We’ll keep you posted each month on our progress.

Also, we’d like to mention that we’re working on an additional tweak to our website to help visitors more easily discover the salient sections, such as: How to join our crew, how to buy UPA memorabilia, how to become a backer, how to get their name on the film credits, how to view our characters, and more.  This improvement should be up early next month.

In the meantime, let your friends know about us.

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Category: Back Issues, Production