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!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Moved (largely)

Today, we moved most of the studio to two buildings in the very heart of the Nordisk Film studio lot: my Danish Desk looks out over "Stage 2," built in 1910 as Nordisk's second stage (funny how that works) which is also one of the oldest still exsisting stages in the world. I was close to writing Sound Stage, but of course there was no sound film recording of note back then (though it seems to have started in Berlin in 1896). Still, this reminds me of the following:

When it comes to sound film, Nordisk was an early player. After the founder Ole Olsen's death, Nordisk Film's new owner Carl Bauder had procured the patent of the Danish inventors Poulsen and Petersen for a sound-on-film method and proceded to produce the film Eskimo in 1930 in four versions: a silent, a Norwegian, a German and a French version. Thus, the first true Danish "Tale- og Tonefilm" (Talk- and Soundfilm) was Præsten i Vejlby (The Priest of Vejlby) released May 1931, followed later that year by Hotel Paradis, and in 1932 by Kirke og Orgel (Church and Organ). These three films were based on heavy Danish literature, with a script by theater-writer Fleming Lynge (pronounced "lúh-nguh"). Actually, eight days before that last film, Nordisk released a light comedy called Skal Vi Vædde en Million? (Shall we bet a million?), also with a script by Lynge, who lived from 1896 to 1970 and basically wrote all of Nordisk Film's scripts during the 30's and early 40's, and still wrote for Nordisk up through the 50's.

I especially note Fleming Lynge, as I have started a little collection of films written by him. Why?, you may ask. Well - some twelve years ago, an antiquarian bookseller around the corner and four doors down from my apartment closed its doors, and in the one-day blow-out sale, everything had to go - and did, except that I noticed among the empty shelves a whole little bookcase with strange, uneven magazines and bound books - or so I thought. It turned out to be the remainder of Fleming Lynge's private collection of his own scripts, some with his own hand-written notes, and even a theater script all in his hand-writing. About seventy scripts, including seven film scripts done for Nordisk Film, the earliest being Skal Vi Vædde en Million? and Kirke og Orgel. Now - I did not know a lot about them -
I just carried them home for less than a dollar a piece!

I enjoyed reading the scripts - Lynge has a personal and free-floating writing style and he writes much like people talk, more so than how they write, which is a boon for a screen writer. Interesting also that, in the musicals, he writes dialog and then just notes "they sing a song," and it was thus up to the songwriters, which most often included noted composer Kai Normann Andersen [but also Svend Gyldmark, known domestically for a song called "Hi for You and Hi for Me" which was later bought by Disney for the original Mickey Mouse Club,] to write something that fit the spot in the script.

As to the success of the early films, Fleming Lynge himself wrote about this in the book 50 År i Dansk Film (50 years in Danish Film) published for Nordisk Film's 50th anniversary. He noted the first film (Præsten i Vejlby) was an experiment and made very cheaply, and was quite a success. The second film was more expensive to make (not only because Bauder doubled Lynge wages after the first film!), which was the reason they decided to produce comedies - lots of comedies, starting with "Shall we Bet a Million," and giving many of the luminaries of the Danish stage a chance to shine!

It is an intriguing thought that our studio now is situated in the very heart of the company that produced those monumental (for Denmark) films back then...

Mosedalvej directly translates to "SwampValleyRoad" but don't go looking for a swamp. Driving around, you don't notice where Copenhagen ends and Valby begins; Valby is just a part of Greater Copenhagen. [It WAS a swamp back in 1906 when founder Ole Olsen bought part of the current area...]

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Anonymous Michael Sporn says...

Congratulations, and may you have all the good luck you deserve in the historic, new space. It's always thrilling to change one's environment.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 5:42:00 AM PST  

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