Category: Books

Peter Bogdanovich Interviews Orson Welles (Audio)

More on photographer Bob Willoughby here

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich had conducted extensive interviews with Welles, but a number of circumstances–including the director’s decision to compose an autobiography that he never got around to writing–kept the interviews out of the public eye. Finally edited and annotated by Jonathan Rosenbaum, these conversations give wonderful insights into Welles’s craft and personality. He discusses his forays into acting, producing, and writing as well as directing, his confidences and insecurities, and his plans for film projects that were either never made or only partially completed.

Buy the book here.

Part 1

 

Part 2

 

Part 3

 

Part 4

 

Part 5

 

Part 6

 

Part 7

 

Part 8

 

 

Walt Before Mickey – Exclusive Trailer

From our friends over at DisneybyMark.

Walt Before Mickey, is a big screen movie about the life of a simple man with a big dream: Walt Disney. Set in the early 1900′s, the film is based on the book Walt Before Mickey that chronicles Walt’s early years and his rise to success. This feature film is being produced by Armando Gutierrez (Henry & Me), Jeff Rice (Executive Producer of End Before Watch, 2 GUNS, Broken City, Lone Survivor), Christian Vogeler (Silver Linings Playbook), Arthur Bernstein (Hitters Anonymous), Ben Everard (Keeping Time), and directed by Ari Taub (Last Letters of Monte Rosa).

The hardcover book Walt Before Mickey, written by Timothy Susanin, and its forward written by Diane Disney Miller, was the only book ever supported by the Disney family. “Walt remains a 20th century icon, and I am happy Armando is bringing his incredible story to the big screen,” says Timothy Susanin. “‘Walt Before Mickey’ is a fresh take on a classic American ideal, exploring a part of Walt Disney’s life that little is known about,” says Armando Gutierrez. A release date has not been set.

The film’s website is http://waltbeforemickey.com/index.html

Walt Before Mickey is a feature film production of The Dreamer Movie, llc. and is based on the book Walt Before Mickey by Timothy Susanin with foreword by Diane Disney Miller. This company is not associated with the Walt Disney Company

A second Biopic of Walt Disney is out. From Cartoon Brew.

As Dreamers Do, directed by Logan Sekulow (God Bless Vegas) and written by Wendy Ott, is described as “an art film for families.”

“This movie is a passion project for me,” Sekulow said in a recent press release. “Since before I went into film school, I dreamed of telling a story like this. Walt has been a lifelong inspiration, and I hope to share this often-untold adventure in a unique, creative and entertaining way. I’m a hardcore Walt fan, and we will not disappoint.”

It stars Olan Rogers as Walt Disney, Mark Stuart and Tyler Hayes as his parents Elias and Flora Disney, Ryan Dunlap as his brother Roy and William Haynes as Disney’s friend/business partner Ub Iwerks. Country crooner Travis Tritt narrates the film. Filming began earlier this month in Franklin, Tennessee, with a spring release date planned. The production is being documented on the official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Ed Catmull’s new book Creativity, Inc about Pixar

I have pre-ordered it! Cartoon Brew has a review.

Ed Catmull, Pixar

As a young man, Catmull had a dream: to make the world’s first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream first as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged an early partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his founding Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986. Nine years later and against all odds, Toy Storywas released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed, all of which debuted at #1 at the box office—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on philosophies that protect the creative process and ideas that defy convention, such as:

 

• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.

 

• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.

 

• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.

 

• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.

 

• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.

 

• Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board.

 

Here is an excerpt from Fast Company,

A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Our decision making is better when we draw on the collective knowledge and unvarnished opinions of the group. Candor is the key to collaborating effectively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional environments. So how can a manager ensure that his or her working group, department, or company embraces candor? By putting mechanisms in place that explicitly say it is valuable. One of Pixar’s key mechanisms is the Braintrust, which we rely on to push us toward excellence and to root out mediocrity. It is our primary delivery system for straight talk. The Braintrust meets every few months or so to assess each movie we’re making. Its premise is simple: Put smart, passionate people in a room together, charge them with identifying and solving problems, and encourage them to be candid. The Braintrust is not foolproof, but when we get it right, the results are phenomenal.

 

While I attend and participate in almost all Braintrust meetings, I see my primary role as making sure that the compact upon which the meetings are based is protected and upheld. This part of our job is never done because you can’t totally eliminate the blocks to candor. The fear of saying something stupid and looking bad, of offending someone or being intimidated, of retaliating or being retaliated against—they all have a way of reasserting themselves. And when they do, you must address them squarely.

 

The Braintrust developed organically out of the rare working relationship among the five men who led and edited the production of Toy Story—John Lasseter,Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, and Joe Ranft. From Pixar’s earliest days, this quintet gave us a solid model of a highly functional working group. They were funny, focused, smart, and relentlessly candid when arguing with each other. Most crucially, they never allowed themselves to be thwarted by the kinds of structural or personal issues that can render meaningful communication in a group impossible. After the release ofToy Story 2 [when the Braintrust helped turn around a film in danger of foundering], the Braintrust evolved from a tight, well-defined group working on a single film into a larger, more fluid group. Over the years, its ranks have grown to include a variety of people—directors, writers, and heads of story—whose only requirement is that they display a knack for storytelling. The one thing that has never changed is the demand for candor.

Update: from the TAG blog, “Not quite the kindly and avuncular studio head depicted in all those sunny books about the animation business.”