The Latest Technology

By Shamus
on Apr 30, 2007
Filed under:
Movies

In 1939, even animation studios looked like factories. The job must have been hard on the back.

That poor guy, hammering away for hours to make a couple of seconds of wobbly video. Imagine if you could sit him down in front of a PC and show him Flash. A week of work in twenty minutes.

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1515 comments. (Fifteen is the smallest natural number with seven letters in its name.)

From the Archives:

  1. Rustybadger says:

    Ah, the Good Old Days. I consider myself fortunate indeed to be a filmmaker in the Digital Age – our biggest problem is how to make digital content “look like film”! Thank goodness for Final Cut’s filter selections, I say.

    The really sad thing is that the studios can’t produce anything close to those old animated films, in spite of having huge budgets and racks of advanced electronics. Just proves that regardless of the process, creativity is still the most important ingredient in entertainment (whether film, television, or even video games!).

  2. Rustybadger says:

    Oh, and “Frost Pist!”, by the way.

  3. bloopy says:

    your post reminds me of some documentary i saw in which they interviewed the dude who invented visicalc (the first spreadsheet program if you’re too young to remember) and how, when he first demonstrated it (maybe at the west coast computer faire?) there were some accountants whose hands were literally shaking with excitement as they wrote a check to buy a copy. . .

  4. Ben Finkel says:

    1939? I’m pretty sure at that time there was no color cinematography. Right? Maybe your year is wrong? Entertaining and enlightening as always, though, Shamus.

    Ben

  5. Pixy Misa says:

    1939?

    The year of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz?

    Yeah, pretty sure they had colour then. ;)

    (Though admittedly it’s a surprise to see it used for a little in-house documentary thingy.)

  6. Rebecca says:

    All that for a cartoon of a Russian man giving birth to a rubber chicken.

  7. TalrogSmash says:

    color in animation film came long before color in live action film.

  8. Ben Finkel says:

    Oh, I thought Gone Withe the Wind and Wizard of Oz were considerably later. Shows me wrong. Apologies.

    Ben

  9. Harvey says:

    Max Fleischer, Tex Avery, Chuck Jones.

    Three greatests cartoonists that ever lived.

    And while Disney had art, his characters had no character.

    For example, can you name me one catch phrase from Mickey Mouse?

  10. Matt` says:

    your post reminds me of some documentary i saw in which they interviewed the dude who invented visicalc (the first spreadsheet program if you’re too young to remember) and how, when he first demonstrated it (maybe at the west coast computer faire?) there were some accountants whose hands were literally shaking with excitement as they wrote a check to buy a copy. . .
    hehe.. just imagine the money that could be made if you were able to take a modern PC with a full set of software and go back in time a bunch of decades

  11. James Bong (Really) says:

    Not to be the Luddite here, but one of the good things about the old, difficult process of making animation; it filtered out the mediocre and worse ideas. Now that it’s easy for the common person to make animation, there’s an overload of common and worse animation. Now it’s almost impossible to find the peanut in the huge steaming piles of…

    Well, you get the idea.

  12. Shamus says:

    James: You’re not wrong. The Cartoon Network is churning out huge piles of eye-damaging uglyness that will cause future generations to lampoon us.

  13. Phobiac says:

    “For example, can you name me one catch phrase from Mickey Mouse?”

    That “Hoo hoo hoo!” noise he makes?

  14. Harvey says:

    He makes a “Hoo hoo hoo!” noise?

    Anyway, James Bong is right. There’s far less quality control these days. Mickey Mouse being the exception that proves the rule :-)

  15. David V.S. says:

    My wife did her graduate work in genetics. There were some laboratory procedures she would do several times per week which, in the “old days” when they were first done (about 30 years ago) took two years.

    I cannot imagine what it would be like to have spent two years on something that, a few decades later, people routinely finish in a few hours. On one hand, that new level of science would not exist if it were not for people that used to do it the old way. On the other hand, two years of your work life reduced to hours!

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