Production Update April 2016

April 8, 2016 More



For over a decade we have been meticulously selecting clips from some of our interview s to create individual scenes, and working on one scene at a time, with no worries about where each one will fit in the documentary.  We’ve created an animated scene to illustrate Jules Engel talking about how Bobe Cannon came up with Gerald’s unique hop/skip to school, and we’re doing the same thing with Bill Melendez telling how John Hubley wanted to depart from traditional animation, as well as other stories, including Sam Clayberger on sweeping floors just to get into UPA, Jerry Beck comparing “sausage factors” between UPA and the big studios, Gene Deitch explaining how UPA had many styles to fit each of their different animated films, Giannalberto Bendazzi explaining how UPA pioneered the use of color to create various emotions, plus, many other stories and insights into the innovative work of UPA.

Recently, however, we’ve switched gears from this sorta grab bag approach to the process of creating, for the first time, a FULL BOING NARRATIVE, after a casual conversation we had at the World Animation Celebration last year, which included one of our panel members, Geefwee Boedoe, who suggested that we might want to rough out an entire timeline of our documentary feature.  So, on January 2, 2016 we set about to do just that, selecting clips of the best stories from our interviews to create what will soon be the first draft of the full 90 minute narrative flow.  We can then begin to see how these various, often untold, stories will cascade together in a fascinating, informative, and entertaining way.  We have almost 200 interviews, from former UPA artists to animation experts around the world, so it’s a daunting task, but well worth the effort.

The image at the beginning of this Update shows two “hep cats” walking past Jules and Bobe, as Bobe begins to get the idea for Gerald’s hop.  These new characters are among a slew of characters designed by Fenway Fan, to dress up the environment of the scene, as well as give a feeling of the era in which Gerald McBoing Boing was created.  The second image is of Bill Melendez explaining drawings he created for us, from Gerald McBoing Boing to Charlie Brown.  Our second camera captures the actual drawings close up.  In fact, this entire shoot is so much fun, we may create a separate DVD to include in a DVD Box Set that we’re considering offering after the documentary has been released.

Melendez Draws

Anyway, once this first timeline is complete, we will use portions of it to create a powerful pitch reel, combining the best of this timeline, with two completed scenes, some new production stills, new character designs, and maybe some additional roughed out scenes, short and persuasive.  The pitch reel, with little or no variations, can be used to interest additional crew members, raise finishing funds for the production, attain rights to UPA characters and films, and perhaps interest a distributor or two.  And, of course, this first timeline itself will be a tool to tweak and mold into a final timeline of the full documentary, a unifying blueprint to keep all our far flung crew members on the same page.

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Category: Back Issues, Production