Sunday, September 28, 2008

Richard Williams Speaks!

Last Monday, I had the privilege to see Richard Williams speak at the MoMA here in New York. Boy was it a blast! 

I almost didn't get a ticket, but luckily me & a few friends rushed up to the museum a few hours earlier to snag tickets before they sold out. I'm really glad I did, because it was a packed house! Everybody & their mother in law seemed to be there. Even a few of my animation professors were there, including Doug Crane, Celia Bullwinkel, Don Duga as well as the likes of Michael Sporn & Tissa David. It seemed almost like a big animation family reunion.

The house lights began to dim, the curtain opened, the screen appeared & we began to watch:

Even though I've seen it so many times, I can never get tired of watching this logo. I still can't get over how simply amazing it all is, especially when watching it on the big screen with an audience. I could stare at that rubber-hose cat, 40's fox & dachshund animation forever. Simply astounding! 

What a night it was! Not only did Richard Williams speak about his career, but he showed clips of some of the work he & his studio did, including the openings to Roger Rabbit & Return of the Pink Panther (skillfully animated by Ken Harris), the bridging sequences of The Charge of the Light Brigade, scenes from Raggedy Ann & Andy & Christmas Carol, a few of his commercials, footage of him studying walks for a BBC special & a rare trailer for his epic masterpiece The Thief & the Cobbler. He also showed a few sneak peeks at his new Animator's Survival Kit 16-DVD boxset, talking about dialogue & flexibility. 

One of the commercials he showcased was one of my all-time favorites of his: the Long Life Beer ad. After it was shown, I was blown away to hear from Dick himself that the whole 90 second commercial was animated in 2 weeks!

Although I feel a bit guilty about doing so, I snagged a few minutes of the show on my digital camera, just for you! In this clip, Dick & John Canemaker point out animators Tissa David & Michael Sporn in the audience & Dick talks a bit about Raggedy Ann & Andy & animator Emery Hawkins. I apologize for the poor sound & image quality. I suggest you should click on the video & select to watch it in high quality there. It helps a little bit.

Man.... what a night it was!

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