Please note: if an earlier link doesn't work, it may have changed following an update! Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-six shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

All about Leica Reels

On 6/21/39, this interesting document was prepared to illuminate the construction of the different types of Leica Reels. It was issued as part of the 6/20/39 revision of the "Story Department Reference Material." Erh... so it was issued the day before it was prepared? Don't ask... (And isn't Harry Teitel actually Harry Tytle?)

Of special interest (well, to me, at least) is the fact that the Leica reels could be advanced not only by hand but also automatically using a separate roll of film that ran real time in sync with the Leica Loop reel which had just one exposure per separate image. It also allowed for automatic sync with audio dialog and effects tracks!

The four consecutive Leica reels that I shot of the Anna & Bella storyboards that my old mentor Børge Ring had prepared were basically identical... Except that I shot them on 16mm, and projected them with a little toy silent hand-swing projector that only had seen Mickey in Arabia pass through it since my early childhood, onto a sheet of drawing paper pinned to the beams in Børge's attic work-room wall with two push pins. Four days that changed the film - and our lives... Anna & Bella won the Academy Award in 1986.
Folks, I'm back in Denmark for a few weeks...

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Anonymous Joe says...

Over the years I have wondered, and finally an answer to a long-standing question I've had! They weren't animatic/story reels as we have today, but more of a film strip!

And yes Harry Teitel is Harry Tytle. The surname was shortened and revised over the years. He was born Harry Hadley Teitelbaum in August 1909 and passed away in August 2004

Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 10:09:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Michael Sporn says...

Thanks, Hans, for posting this amazing document.
Since audio tape did not exist in 1939, I'm assuming the "taped track" is a 35mm optical track with tape physically placed on the track.

Congratulations, by the way, on your anniversary. I'm getting older by the day.

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 6:02:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Robert Cowan says...


I have a Leica reel piece from Fantasia and never quite knew the details. Thanks for the information. I'm going to cut-paste it into my description database.

Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 11:52:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Unknown says...

Wonderful to see these documents, still hard to wrap my head around the whole process. Perhaps the Leica projector was a (modified) slide or filmstrip projector mounted to a (film)camera, to expose motion picture film with photographed storyboards. Perhaps the mentioned 'tape' is silver/copper/metal that would trigger an electric sensor.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 6:12:00 AM PDT  

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