Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Eye

Was this article from Michael Sporn's blog ever linked here?

"While working on Raggedy Ann and being somewhat close with Richard Williams when he was in town, I was amused by something that happened early on.
Dick was in and out often recording and editing the voice track. A lot of time was spent in the rehearsal studios in the Broadway/theatrical of town. (That was about three blocks away from the studio.) In an elevator ride up to the rehearsal space, Dick overheard a large black man in the elevator. I believe he was a delivery guy, maybe a messenger.
Dick popped up in a flash. He immediately asked the guy if he had ever done any acting. No? Well, Dick hired him on the spot to be the voice of the leader of the One Eyes. His voice was incredibly deep and dark.
Within the week, Dick had rerecorded the lines. (Another actor had done him in England, and Dick was looking for something better.) To be honest, I’m not sure if this was actually the final voice used in the film (it could be), but the story was so entertaining to some fly-on-the-wall like me, that I remember it well.
After recording the piece, Dick did a thank you drawing for the guy. I made a xerox. This is that copy done with drying magic markers."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dick's new film!

The Observer 21st February 1965 featuring some of the 'Circus Drawings'

Dave Nethery reports on a very interesting development -Dick's finished his latest short film & it has actually premiered at a silent film festival.  More details on Harvey Deneroff's site

The result is an extraordinary adventure in time. The artist encounters his young, adventuring self. The circus artists of more than half a century ago – where can they be now? – are brought back to life, athletic or absurd, luminous.
The film begins with a montage of the 1953 drawings, revealing that the quality of draughtmanship that distinguishes Williams from other animators was already intact from the beginning. A camera could not read these strangers’ eyes as the drawings do, as timeless and unpretentious as Old Masters.
Halfway, the film turns to colour, and now the older artist takes over, bringing decades’ seniority of experience, and the legacy of working with the Disney masters. These glimpses, the sketches animated – a bird taking flight, acrobats, athletes, and clowns, a rope-walker momentarily faltering, trousers falling, a baby embraced, a dress pulled over the shoulders – represent traditional, hand-crafted animation the like of which we may not see again. For those with an eye for poetry and magic, this is it.
On release, the film will be shown with sound, with Richard Rodney Bennett’s 1965 score. However, uniquely for this performance, Richard Williams wishes to screen the film as a “silent”, with live piano accompaniment by Maud Nelissen. – DAVID ROBINSON

Serata inaugurale/Opening Night Prima mondiale / World Premiere CIRCUS DRAWINGS (Richard Williams, GB 2010) Regia/dir., anim: Richard Williams; prod: Imogen Sutton; mont./ed: Don Fairservice; f./ph: Charles Pithers, Graham Orrin; anim. camera: John Leatherbarrow; mus: Richard Rodney Bennett, diretta da/conducted by John Carewe; 35mm, 796 ft., 8'51" (24 fps); fonte copia/print source: Richard Williams. Didascalie in inglese / English intertitles.

Searching for more info on the project I came across this well illustrated recent interview.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pencil Tests

Excellent collection of pencil-tests from the Thief linked from Dave Nethery's blog here.
The first of which is notable for its inclusion of live-action print-outs that Dick referenced for particular scenes in the film.

I remember in his Masterclass Dick told us about his method of using a 'medical printer' to study live-action footage but I had never seen the results until now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dick on Disney

Richard Williams, Brian Sibley and Gerald Scarfe discuss the enormous influence of Walt Disney.
Listen to the BBC radio 4 podcast here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

More Photos from the reunion

Some more pictures from Tuesday night, this time courtesy of Ramon Modiano and myself...
There'll probably be more later.


Tanya & Alyson



Phil & Sharon

Gary & Michael & Sharon

Roy & Sharon

Robert & Kevin


Squeaky & Phil

Michael & Michael


Phil & Claire & Inge






Pete & Alex (out of focus, sorry)

Friday, August 6, 2010

All done and dusted.

It came and went, and I think must be considered a success.
We managed to pack out Blakes-bar at the Star and Garter, much to the delight of Kelvin, the landlord, who prides himself on the pubs animation history.
Simon Maddox sent me his photos and, as they are nicer than mine, they'll be the first to see publication.
I enjoyed it so much, I promise I won't wait another 20 years before we do it again...

Sharon & Robert

Pete & Paul



Lance & Neil

Cy & Roy









Sue & Tanya

An & Iain


Dean & Atlanta


Roy & Ian



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

London, 3rd of August, Star and Garter

The 3rd turned out to be the most available date.
To all of you who can't be there, I apologise.
I'm sure we'll do it again in the years to come and I'll give everybody a bit more warning then.

Tuesday 3rd of August,
Star and Garter,
62 Poland Street,
Soho, London
6:30 or 7:00 onwards

See you there...


Monday, July 19, 2010

The Thief Archive

Patrick McCart and Garrett "Recobbled" Gilchrist have collected lots of Williams and Thief related clips on this YouTube channel. Click this link: The Thief Archive

Sunday, June 27, 2010 inward and invisible reality.

It's been 20 Years and a get-together is in the making.
It will probably be within the first three weeks of August
and probably on a Tuesday, but definitely in London.
I will contact as many people as I have details of, by E-mail.
If you don't hear anything in the next week
and you worked on the Thief and are interested in coming along,
leave a comment under this post and I'll contact you.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Roy's birthday

Roy Naisbitt is 80 years old today. Here is a drawing he gave me when he showed me his collection of drawings in his home. He has the original artwork for his opening pan of Christmas Carol for example and lots of other things that should be in a museum.The drawing size is 25x12".

Happy Birtday Roy! You are awesome.

The Creative Person

I recently had a drink with Pete Weston, who told me about this video documentary.
It seems to be a half hour film made in the 60s and even if it doesn't give any revolutionary new insights, it does offer an intriguing view of Soho, 40 years ago...
Here is the Google video version, which is all in one piece.

If that doesn't work for some, just watch it on youtube.
Part one is here:

Once again, Thank you Pete for the tip...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I recently contacted Mr Anthony Perry after reading his small book on the making of The Yellow Submarine in which he has written a chapter on his association with Dick Williams.  Mr Perry was a producer on the Beatles picture and helped set up Dick in his first studio space.  With permission I've scanned the chapter on Dick to post here.

Mr Perry's book makes for a fascinating read about how & why The Yellow Submarine was produced-it only costs £3 and is available from the Cartoon Museum, London.