New York Studio

Howard Beckerman

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Animator & Design

We interviewed Howard Beckerman in his office at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2006.
Assistant: Adam Abraham

Howard Beckerman worked at the UPA New York studio on animation and story for most of its glorious years, as one of the foremost producers of award winning commercials in the country. He followed that up with teaches animation, and has written the popular book, entitled, Animation, the Whole Story.

Vincent Cafarelli

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We interviewed Vincent Cafarelli in his production office in New York City in 2006.

Vincent Cafarelli animated at the UPA New York studio, and relays stories of the artists that made the studio a step ahead of the others in those days. Cafarelli later opened his own studio in New York City, specializing in educational films that make a difference in young people’s lives.

Dolores Cannata

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Designer and Backgrounds

We interviewed Dolores Cannata in New York City home studio in 2006.

Dolores Cannata was preceded in animation by her brother, George Cannata Jr., she was an art students when she was hired on to the CBS Gerald McBoing Boing show to help design the seventy five new shorts for the series. She designed The Trial of Zelda Belle, Just Believe in Make Believe, and others. After UPA she moved to NYC to work for Abe Liss’, Elektra. Liss had run UPA-NY prior to Gene Deitch.

Tissa David

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Assistant Animator

We interviewed Tissa David in her home in New York City in 2006.
Assistant: Adam Abraham

Tissa David began her animation career in her home country of Hungary, continued in Paris, during World War II, and finally settled in New York City, getting a job fairly quickly assisting legendary Grim Natwick, at the New York studio of UPA.  She has since become one of the most respected animators in NYC doing commercials and entertainment shorts, in her distinctive European style.  She’s revered as a tireless mentor to young up and coming animators such as Michael Sporn.

Gene Deitch

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UPA-NY Studio Chief

We interviewed Gene Deitch twice, once in his son-in-law’s home in San Francisco, California, in 2003, and once in his studio, near his home in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2005.
2005 Camera: Sylvie BosRau

Gene Deitch began at UPA’s start-up studio in the Otto K. Oelsen building in Hollywood, California, learning production design under Bill Hurtz. After a stint directing for Jam Handy, in Detroit, he returned to run the highly successful Upa studio in New York. Eventually he wound up producing shorts for Weston Woods in Prague, where he continues to produce films with his Czech wife, Zdenka.

Gene Deitch is part of the Unlimited Animation scene

Ken Drake

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Post & Camera

We interviewed Ken Drake in his New York backyard, which backs up to a gorgeous little canal, in 2006.
Assistance: Adam Abraham

Ken Drake is the only person we interviewed who had worked at the London UPA studio, under Leo Salkin. Drake was working at UPA-NY, when the London studio was opened, and he was tapped to set up the camera and editing departments.

Ken Drake is part of an unreleased scene.

Edna Jacobs

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Animator & Design

We interviewed Edna Jacobs at a cozy little outdoor café in New York City in 2006.

Edna Jacobs was a young illustrator in 1955 when someone at UPA-New York heard about her work, and asked if she would like to work there. She had heard about UPA, so she jumped at the chance, and felt she learned a lot during her years there, designing backgrounds and creating special effects.