Category: Documentary

Tyrus Wong, ‘Bambi’ Production Designer, Dies at 106

Tyrus Wong, the Chinese-American artist who was the production designer of Disney’s classic feature Bambi (1942), passed away today at the age of 106.

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Hitchcock/Truffaut Documentary

In 1962, French New Wave auteur François Truffaut spent a week in Hollywood with his idol, Alfred Hitchcock. discussing films such as Psycho and Vertigo.

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Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully painted feature-length film about Vincent Van Gogh

An animation studio aims to create 1,200 paintings in the style of the Dutch post-Impressionist Vincent Van Gogh for the first feature-length film made solely through hand-painted canvases.

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All Things Must Pass: The Legendary Past and Celluloid Future of Tower Records on the Sunset Strip

'All Things Must Pass' is a feature documentary film examining Tower Records explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder Russ Solomon.

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Christopher Chapman: Oscar winner made “A Place to Stand” for Expo 67

At Expo 67, in Montreal, A Place to Stand was projected in 70 mm on a screen, using nine synchronized projectors – the beginning of Imax technology.

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Floyd Norman – An Animated Life – Teaser

Photo Credit Mr. Fun’s Journal

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life is a feature-length look the prolific animator and story artist’s life from growing up in Santa Barbara, CA to his years working as an animator at Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Pixar and more. The undisputed “Forrest Gump” of the animation world, Norman was hired as the first African-American at Disney in 1956. He would later be hand-picked by Walt Disney himself to join the story team on the Jungle Book. After Disney’s death, Norman left the studio to start his own company to produce black history films for high schools. He and his partners would later work with Hanna-Barbera, and animate the original Fat Albert Special, as well as the titles to TV mainstay Soul Train.

Norman returned to Disney in the 1980s to work in their Publishing department. And in 1998, he returned to Disney Animation to work in the story department on Mulan. But an invite to the Bay area in the late 90s became a career highlight. Norman was now working with another emerging great: Pixar and Steve Jobs, on Toy Story 2 and Monsters Inc.

Life as an animator is a nomadic one, but Norman spent the majority of his career at Disney, and views it as his “home.” Retired by Disney at age 65 in 2000, the documentary focuses on Norman’s difficulty with a retirement he was not ready for. Not one to quit, Norman chose to occupy an empty cubicle at Disney Publishing for the last 15 years. As he puts it, “[He] just won’t leave.” A term has been coined by Disney employees — “Floydering.” While not on staff, his proximity to other Disney personnel has led him to pick up freelance work, and he continues to have an impact on animation as both an artist and mentor.

Source: Michael Fiore Films

Floyd Norman – An Animated Life – Teaser 1 from Michael Fiore Films on Vimeo.


Find out more about Floyd Norman at his blog.
Floyd Norman’s Blog

More at the links below.

Floyd Norman on His Days as a “Lowly Assistant”

Talking An “Animated Life” with Floyd Norman

Disney Celebrates Animation Legend Floyd Norman’s 80th Birthday

The EditDroid: Rise and Fall – Trailer VOD

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A very good documentary about the EditDroid. When I worked at Disney Imagineering, we were using laser disc players in a lot of places, including EPCOT starting the 1980s. We were also innovators and early adoptors of nonlinear editing and video to film matchback.

From the film’s website;

The EditDroid was (one of) the first nonlinear electronic editing system and used several laser disc players loaded with the raw footage of a film. The simple computer interface was unique for its time. After a short period of success the EditDroid disappeared from the film scene and George Lucas sold the machine’s patents to a small company called Avid.

 

I highly recommend the book Droidmaker: George Lucas And the Digital Revolution. It is also available as an iBook and on Kindle.

This book ventures in territory never explored, as Rubin-a former member of the Lucasfilm Computer Division-reconstructs the events in Hollywood, in Silicon Valley, and at Lucas’ private realm in Marin County, California, to track the genesis of modern media. With unprecedented access to images and key participants from Lucasfilm, Pixar and Zoetrope-from George Lucas and the executives who ran his company, to the small team of scientists who made the technological leaps, Rubin weaves a tale of friendships, a love of movies, and the incessant forward movement of technology. This is a compelling story that takes the reader into an era of technological innovation almost completely unknown

Milius, a documentary about John Milius

I watched Milius on Netflix and it is great, I recommend it!

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John Milius is the writer of some of the most iconic films of the 70s and 80s.

John Milius interviewed by Francis Ford Coppola

One of my favorite Milius films is Dillinger.

Dillinger

Starring Warren Oates, who is very good in it, Michelle Phillips of Mamas and the Papas fame, Steve KanalyHarry Dean StantonRichard Dreyfuss as well as Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman who were also in The Last Picture Show. It is better, I think, than the recent Public Enemies.

Leslie Iwerks Creating Documentary About Walt Disney Imagineering

Disney plans to pull back the curtain on its Imagineers with a feature-length documentary that explores the history of the division behind the designs of its theme park rides and other attractions.

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PARTICLE FEVER documentary about the Higgs boson, edited by Walter Murch.

Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.

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