Archive for the 'disney' Category

21
Dec
12

snow white and the seven dwarfs, the 75th anniversary

poster

1937 poster

December the 21st, 1937 and the beginning of feature length animation begins. Of coarse this milestone of achievement was created by no other than Walt Disney. The film was a marvel to the movie going audiences and is considered a masterpiece by every standard today. I love this film, and with all the remastering and digital enhancements, I wonder what the movie really looked like on the big screen in 1937.

There are several background paintings and cells from Snow White hanging on the walls of the Animation building at the Walt Disney studios in Burbank, CA, and none of them are as vivid as the current crop of DVD and Blue Ray copies available today. I have an old VHS and Laser disc copies, and I actually prefer the older versions over the new. Regardless of how you see this film nothing changes the mastery of Disney, his staff of animators, and the invention of the multiplane camera system. There still is one of these incredible machines also on display at the Disney Studios in the Frank G. Wells building.

This is one incredible film; so hard to believe this wonder is 75 years old.

cell 1

cell 1

cell 2

cell 2

cell 3

cell 3

cell 4

cell 4

the UK poster, 1937

the UK poster, 1937

11
May
11

profiles in history auction #44

Good morning and happy Wednesday.  GOOD NEWS for you collectors out there, or if you’re like me a window shopper, the new Profiles in History auction catalog #44 is now out, and what an awesome auction they are having.  Below is a link to the downloadable version, and I have already spent hours looking at this one and am so glad that my wife can hold me back from these incredible  auctions, haaaa…..  Tons of great movie items, art, and just a cornucopia of things that we all wish we could have.  Here are a few pages from my wish list and by far the best thing in this catalog for me is the Spaceship from  Zombies of the Stratosphere…also used as Commando Cody’s ship in Radar Men from the Moon) A real treasure!!!  OK then off to the drawing board so enjoy the download and have a great day!!!

http://profilesinhistory.com/hollywood-memorabilia-auction-44/hollywood-memorabilia-auction-44

cover

the coolest model ever

Wow It's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

What a great car

COOOOOOL,,,, stuff from the Rocketeer

the not so Jupiter 2, jupiter 2

very nifty Trek stuff

and holly cow the simple blaster from "Forbidden Planet"

25
Sep
10

how to build a flying saucer from (race to witch mountain) part 1

By popular demand here is the plans and design process for the exterior of the flying saucer from Disney’s “Race to Witch Mountain” I had touched upon this in an earlier post and a lot of you wanted more so here it is. the show called for a flying saucer and I have always wanted to do  a 50’s style ship and it was one big thrill to get the opportunity!!!! My boss David Bomba gave me some quick dimensions that it had to be because a practical was to be built for the set, as well as for the special effects department. the dimensions were so small that the ship was almost a box!!! akk the lines were retained as the ship was passed on to Billy Hunter, the art department CG modeler.. he was the one that got the go ahead to let us stretch out the dimensions to make for a much more sleek and dynamic craft. the ship was broken up into 4 rib like sections and 4 counter suck surface panels,, this would help with breaks in the ship for the carpenters that had to build the full sized ship. a silver chromed like paint scheme was established for the final and what you see in one of the drawings is the burned and battered version of that chrome look. to make our saucer a little different from what has come before, we thought of the ship producing a saturn like energy ring around it’s equator when it would transform into flying mode!!! this idea went through a series of passes and the final VFX were really awesome to see on film.. So with that all said here are the complete plans for the saucer and there will be more to come on the interior and production stills of the actual saucer construction.. enjoy

variations of the energy ring

the burned little ship

plan views #1

plan views #2

04
Mar
10

robert mccall, saying goodbye to a good friend

Robert T. McCall

I just got word of Robert McCall’s passing yesterday and am so very sad to hear this news…I had been working on a special about Bob for the blog here and am sad I didn’t get it finished in time for him to see.  Mr. McCall was 90 years old and painting away when he passed away last Friday, February 26th, 2010.  Many of you know of  Robert McCall, or if you don’t, I am sure you have at least seen his work.  He was a legendary artist, and his work has covered a multitude of subject matters.  At heart he was an astronaut, a pilot, and mostly a dreamer, with pencil and paintbrush as his means to take you to places far beyond the bounds of Earth.  He was a visionary genius who’s strokes on the canvas took us to places where no man had gone before!!  With his feet firmly planted on the ground, his imagination new nothing of shoes for his visions, always looking towards the heavens.

Bob’s work covered the world of aviation, from the big propeller driven planes to the supersonic hyper jets…from present day to historical space exploration and well into the future.  He re-landscaped the state of Arizona in many futuristic styles with incredible imagination…He created some of the most beautiful stained glass windows for many of the churches around Phoenix; he also created massive murals for the Smithsonian, Edwards AFB and beyond.  He created some of the most memorable art and designs for many motion pictures including the world of Star Trek.  He created many mission patches, as well as stamps for the US post office.  Mr. McCall’s work has no bounds, and he has done something for just about everything.  He was a true gentleman at heart with an endless imagination.  He was a loving husband and father, and he was a friend to everyone.  To me, he was my first artistic hero and for the last 13 years or so had become a very good friend.

As a young boy growing up in Arizona in the 60’s, I was captivated by aviation and especially by all the Gemini and Apollo missions taking us to the moon!!!  My whole world revolved around these things, and in early 1973 my mom had found a painting of a new NASA project called Skylab.  The painting was by an artist named Robert McCall, and I was glued to that picture for weeks!!!  I would try and draw it myself using Bob’s painting as a guide.  That little painting hung on my wall right next to my Apollo 17 mission patch that was also drawn by McCall.  My parents subscribed to “Arizona Highways” magazine, and it showcased everything beautiful about Arizona and it’s people in pictures.  I remember getting the mail in August of 1975 and the new AZ Highways was in amongst the other letters; on the cover was this beautiful wrap around painting of a Chromed city situated in the AZ desert.  Wow, I thought, “This is really cool.”  Looking through the pages, it was filled with fantastic art depicting solar cities and fantastic craft floating around the state.  The back of the mag was covered with some incredible space craft paintings and even the Apollo Soyuz stamps that McCall had drawn.  I looked at these drawings for months with such fascination.  Again, I had my tablet out and tried to draw these incredible things that graced the many pages that lie in front of me.  I took the mag to school and showed it to everyone I knew.  I showed my science teacher, Mr. Chuck Bell, and he became one of the most influential teachers in pushing me to become an artist.  Always with an encouraging word and giving me extra art assignments using McCall as my guide, he would take the finished art and showcase it on the wall behind his desk.  Outside of my parents, Mr. Bell was the first adult that took that that little extra time to encourage me on my way.  He is a great man and I owe him a great amount of thanks.

About this same time I got my first turntable and my dad bought me the soundtrack of the movie Jaws and the movie 2001.  Holy cow, the art on the 2001 album was by McCall, and again I couldn’t put the jacket down.  Far more detailed than what I had seen of his work in earlier years, the details were mesmerizing, and the way he used the lighting and the thick heavy shadows was awesome.  What I thought was so creative with his 2001 work was that he only showed you part of the ships.  Most of the craft would be off the canvas, thus making things seem far too massive to fit all on one page.  His work was magical, and he depicted weight and mass combined with light in shadow with such grace and elegance.  The “Arizona Highways” mag had got me drawing everything in McCall style.

A few years later, Star Wars & Close Encounters came out and started the big theatrical run of everything Sci Fi.  During that fantastic movie run, one of the big anticipated films to come was Star Trek:  The Motion Picture.  “Starlogmagazine was the big source of sci-fi info back in the 70’s, and when ever possible they would show what ever they could of what was coming next.  It would usually be some artwork or a teaser picture, but for Trek they showed some of McCall’s production paintings for the flying through Vger segment.  WOW!!!  Bob’s work is a part of STAR TREK!!!  I wanted to see it even more just because of his involvement.  After seeing the film and now 30 years later that sequence is still one of my favorite parts of the film.  All of Bob’s creative imagery combined with that incredible Jerry Goldsmith score made for one amazing moment in motion picture history!!!  Just a few short weeks after Star Trek was released, Bob’s work would be seen again, but this time as the principle designer for Walt Disney’s The Black Hole. Mr. McCall designed the Cygnus for the film which, in his original designs, was a ship composed of solid panels and high towers.  As the film’s designs progressed, Bob’s profile of the ship stayed the same, but the outer look turned into a series of beautiful and intricate framing and piped under-structures.  For the look of the filming miniature, the vessel was lit from within and gave it a very haunting look and feel against the deep space backgrounds.  The Cygnus was one awesome ship and is one that adds to a very vast body of work for McCall.

Time rolls on and Arizona Highways & Starlog keep Bob’s work and what his projects are up to date.  Moving away from the film industry he continued on with his space work for NASA and many museums and AFB’s around the country.  In the 90’s a great many art books are published on Bob’s work.  Thanks to Mr. McCall’s influence and inspiration, I was at that time celebrating my 10th anniversary of working in the movies as an artist.  It’s 1995 and I had had Robert McCall’s phone number for years but was too nervous to call.  All of the gang in the Star Trek art department were fellow fans of McCall, the Okudas, Jim Van Over, Anthony Fredrickson, and especially Doug Drexler.  It was Christmas break from Star Trek, and I was on my way home to see my parents.  One fine December day I worked up the courage to call, and he answered the phone.  What an awesome moment!!!  After a brief conversation, he invited me over to his place!!!  I had just finished the preliminary designs for the Enterprise-E and had made a copy of it, as well as a bunch of other artwork, as a gift of thanks.  Bob’s house was nestled in the hills of Scottsdale, and he and his wife, Louise, met me at the door.  Louise is an artist as well, and flowers are her forte.  She has such a beautiful style to her work, and she makes prints and cards of her creations.  Bob’s art room was a big open area with big flat cabinets holding generations of work, as well as many big pieces hanging around the room.  The first piece to catch my eye was a painting of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  It was a huge painting, and Bob went on to say it was one of 8 paintings he did for the movie Tora, Tora, Tora. I had no idea that he had worked on that classic motion picture.  We had a great afternoon, and Bob and Louise were extremely gracious; It seemed like we we had been friends for years.  Bob signed three of his books for me, as well as a print from Star Trek, and Louise gave me a pack of her flower prints.  It’s not every day you get to meet someone you admire, and in the movie industry disappointment is usually what follows, but as for meeting the McCalls, it was the start of a great friendship.  We kept in touch throughout the years and would visit often when I was in town.  Robert’s daughter runs his website and does one mighty fine job, so be sure to follow the link below and spend some time looking and reading all of the incredible stuff there.

We  will miss you dearly Robert…and to Louise and your kids and your grandkids, I send my very best and prayers as well.

http://www.mccallstudios.com/news.html

below are some of  Mr. McCall’s beautiful paintings…

from 2001

another from 2001

2001

the Cygnus

Apollo 8

Skylab...my introduction to the art of Robert McCall

full spread of the August 1975 Arizona Highways magazine

one of Bob's paintings from the Aug 75 AZ Highways

Bob in his studio

cover art for "Our World in Space"

Bob's note written in "Our world from Space"

cover art

a note from Bob in "The Art of Robert McCall"

and a final note from my friend

cover art

Thank you, my friend, for all you have done.

31
Aug
09

the art of Geppetto

Well, it is another mish mash day, but I am calling it the art of Geppetto instead!!  When DS9 season 7 came to an end, this was my first job working at Disney on Drew Carey’s adaptation of “Geppetto”.  My boss was Charles Wood, and he was one challenging man to work for.  He offered a lot of criticism that really had me push uncharted boundaries in trying to put his thoughts on to paper.  It was a great experience and even more so because I met Nathan Schroeder, who is still my favorite of all the illustrators I have been honored to work with!!  Nathan’s command of pencil is truly unique and mind boggling at how he can perceive the most believable designs of architecture flawlessly and always in perfect perspective.  I learned a lot looking over this man’s shoulder and now he has transfered over into the realm of digital, which is even more striking than his carbon skills.  There will have to be an art of Nathan day, and I am making a note right now!!  Anyway, these drawing represent a variety of things, the first is a machine that makes perfect children for parents that want a particular style of appearance and behavior in a child!  Sounds a little like somebody who reigned from about 1936 to 1945, HMMMMMM!!! The next is of a puppet trunk that opens into a mini stage, next is some architecture for the lab and library, a scene that turned into an outdoor set by the end of the design stage.. and finally one of the wooden toys from Geppetto’s shelves, a sparrow that would open it’s wings.  OK, this is way far from the tech stuff that I always drew, and it was a great job to move over to another form of art.

 

machine and specs

machine and specs

  Continue reading ‘the art of Geppetto’




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