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Monday, June 19, 2006


Obviously, a Director's Change is "the director changed his mind", while the Animator's Change is "redo it as it isn't right or just not good enough". But were there repercussions? Were Director's Changes compensated in footage or payment? Were Animator's Changes deducted in salary?
We remember the caricature of Dave Hand in the late 30's "The Mousetrap", with the caption "It's an animator's change..." It seems to be a VERY important distinction!
Sweatboxing... Dave Hand in The Mousetrap < Click on it!
I look forward to hearing your comments, and your answer to above questions. I may not be able to answer or moderate immediately, because I'll be a week in Cannes, France, to look at commercials. (Yes, I'll do anything to make A. Film L.A. a plausible entity!) See you in a week!

For those of you who haven't yet had a look at my company showreel intro, have a look below!



Anonymous Mark Mayerson says...

This is just a guess on my part. It appears that an animator's change is where the animator failed to deliver a good enough performance. In other words, the animation needs to be refined.

A director's change is where the business is being altered. The director thought it would work, but he sees now that it doesn't and that the events need to be changed.

I can see how a director's change would alter the footage quota or credit for the animator where an animator's change would not.

Monday, June 19, 2006 at 4:31:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Well, yes, that's as far as I got, too... But does anyone know the story from there? Was the animator given added credit for a director's change? An animator's change would most certainly just be a re-do for the same money...

Monday, June 19, 2006 at 5:54:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Jenny Lerew says...

This kind of shocks me...It's never occured to me that of an artist made a boo-boo, then he might be expected to fix it off-clock(for no additonal pay)! This would be a great example of where the UNION came in handy some years later. ; )

Is this true? I wonder who could tell us--likely Mike Barrier would know.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 at 10:51:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

I also have in my possesion a Disney "List of Don'ts", which starts with the warning "In the future we will have to charge back to the animator the cost of not following the following list of don'ts", and continues with 30 or so points, the least descriptive being "Don't leave anything to the imagination". Most of them are quite technical. Anyway, if we ever did THAT, we'd not have a single employee left! There is no date on the list, but it SEEMS to be from after 1941...
(Hans in cloudy & windy Cannes, France)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 at 12:17:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous floyd norman says...

As an old animation artist from Disney in the fifties, I remember animators continually receiving sweatbox notes on the films they worked on. This was pretty much standard procedure. It never really affected anyone in a negative way.

Heck, even as a lowly assistant I recall having stacks of sweatbox notes on my desk. No big deal.

Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 8:02:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Hi, Floyd, welcome to my blog!
It feels to me that Sweatbox memos were sort of the life blood of the studio (or at least part of it), so I am not surprised you had a lot. But I suspect most people just threw them out...
I'd just like to know, why it was so important in the mid 40s, that there were Director's changes and Animator's changes...

Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 10:25:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Floyd norman says...

Hi Hans,

Well, I can't speak for the forties because I didn't arrive until the fifties. However, we could never disregard the sweatbox notes without catching hell from the directors. Those notes had to be addressed.

I remember Eric Larson's notes on "Sleeping Beauty," and they were extensive. I love Eric, but was he ever fussy about every detail. The Sweatbox sessions were taken seriously, especially those attended by Walt.

Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 1:36:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Floyd, it's GREAT to hear someone who was actually there speak about these things. Remember, we are a whole bunch of people who would give their flipping arms to have been where you were then... If only to find out that things are not all that different nowadays - except we don't have a first-hand memory of Walt... There is a lot to learn still, and there always will be. Historically, it is wonderful to get an insight in the inner workings of the "big machine", so please don't hold back - or at least let us do the honor of buying your memoires!

Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 4:10:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous floyd norman says...

Thanks, Hans. Actually, I consider it an honor to have worked at Disney during that very special time. Most, if not all the old masters were still in their prime. Walt Disney himself was still very active and involved with everything in his animation department.

My greatest thrill was working with Walt on "The Jungle Book," the old maestro's last film. I was able to work with and learn from so many great animators and story guys over the years.

So, if I'm able to remember, I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have about the old days.

Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 8:05:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Great! Well, here is something I always wondered about: when I visited the studios in 1978, I was shown around some production offices by Ed Hansen. All very interesting, but I wish I knew then what I know now, so I could have asked some usefull questions. One thing that still sticks out in my mind was a room with poster-sized drafts, with writing at least a quarter inch high, all mounted in holders like in a poster shop. Do you have any recollection of those? Why would they be kept like this? And who had access to the information? Were these sheets taken down immediately after production? In what phase where the final drafts prepaired? A lot more questions come up, but I'll try to restrain myself...

Friday, June 23, 2006 at 10:21:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous floyd norman says...

Good question. I remember the production managers in live-action keeping track on large boards the size of posters. However, I don't recall any of our managers in animation with such large size boards. The production drafts were usually on legal size paper.

Perhaps this was something Ed Hanson was experimenting with. Funny, I don't recall these poster size drafts at all. Then again, this was during a very odd time in the studio's history.

Friday, June 23, 2006 at 10:50:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Michael Sporn says...

When I was part of the Executive Board of NY's union, Shamus Culhane appeared before the board to have a change made in his contract. He felt that too often animators didn't animate the director's requests. He wanted the animator to have to redo the scenes (without compensation) to get it right. I was able to understand Shamus' complaint, but he didn't want to hear any objections. I talked forcefully to oppose the request. Shamus didn't like that and didn't like me after that. I wonder if he learned this back in his Disney days?

I feel a bit like I'm telling tales out of school, but it seems appropriate to the discussion.

Friday, June 23, 2006 at 2:24:00 PM PDT  

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