April 26, 2007 thurs
April 26th, 2007
Steve Gordon, Sito and Dean Yeagle. Thanks to CTN for the snaps.
Birthdays: Roman Emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius, Queen Marie De Medicis, John James Audubon, Frederick Law Olmstead, Eugene Delacroix, Dr. Lee DeForrest, John Grierson founder of the National Film Board of Canada, Rudolf Hess, Bobby Rydell, Anita Loos, I.M.Pei, Carol Burnett, Eyvind Earle, Alan Arkin, Amos Otis, Joan Chen, Koo Stark, Saxophone and Clarinet Player Jimmy Giuffre, 87, Rocker Duane Eddy- 67, Jet Li
1478-LONG LIVE THE BALLS! THE PAZZI CONSPIRACY- Pope Sixtus planed to take over Florence by arranging a hit on Duke Lorenzo de Medici "The Magnificent". Francesco Pazzi and Bernardo Bandini attacked the Duke in church just as the consecrated Host was being raised. Lorenzo escaped harm but his brother Giuliano was killed. Furious Florentines fell on the felons (repeat three times fast) and nailed their smoking hearts to the door of the cathedral. People blamed Archbishop Salviati for being part of the plot. The mob chased the archbishop up the bell tower, wrapped the bell chords around his neck and tossed him out to ring the bells for awhile. The people shouted "Long Live the Balls!" for the six gold balls that were the heraldic emblem of the Medici Family Bank. This emblem of three gold balls has come down to us as the universal sign for pawnbrokers. Michelangelo created a beautiful tomb for murdered Giuliano de Medici. Duke Lorenzo ordered artists to paint the portraits of the murderers corpses. Giuliano’s illegitimate son became Pope Clement VII.
Leonardo Da Vinci's sketch of a hanged assassin.
1607-FOUR HUNDRED YEARS AGO- THE ENGLISH LAND AT JAMESTOWN....The good ship Susan Constant and two small pinnaces land 150 men . These men were mostly professional adventurers and gentlemen. Capt. Martin and Capt.Archer served with Sir Francis Drake . Of the 150 only 12 men actually could do a trade other than fighting. Their actual purpose was to find Aztec Empires like the Spaniards found in Mexico and send gold back home. They didn’t bring a geologist so they sent barrels full of dirt that looked kinda yellow back to England thinking it was gold. They built their first fort in a swamp because it was a good defensive position. In a years time most of them would be dead from fever and cholera. Oh yeah, there was that John Smith guy too. He wouldn’t meet Pocahontas until Christmas. But where is Meeko?
Powhatan, it's the white men! Hmm-big boat lookum like CGI with a Toon Render and After Effects mist. Ugh!
1928- Los Angeles City Hall dedicated.
1933 The Nazi government forms an internal police force called the Gehime Staatspolitzei- the Gestapo. Ve haff ways of making you talk!
1937- GUERNICA- In Spain the Stuka bombers of the German Condor Legion ,
Nazi freelancers for Franco, bomb an innocent basque village provoking an international outcry and a painting by Picasso. Attacking at the height of the market time for three straight hours the bombers bombed the helpless civilians with no military target in sight. As many as 5,000 may have died.
1941-An organ is played for the first time at a baseball game in Chicago.
1965-Fred Smith, a student at Yale, got his economics paper back with a "c'" and a note stating the idea he espoused was impractical. The idea was an overnight air-freight service which he founded six years later as Federal Express.
1969- PAUL IS DEAD. The height of a strange rumor that excited the rock & roll world that Paul McCartney of the Beatles had died and the news was being kept a secret. Evidence was presented in the cryptic lyrics of "I am the Walrus", songs played backwards and the record album photo where Paul is the only figure with his back to the camera. A t.v. special hosted by famed attorney F. Lee Bailey explored the controversy. Finally this day Paul and Linda McCartney held a news conference and declared he was very much alive and what on Earth was everyone on about.
1986- Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Conan the Republican, married Maria Shriver, the niece of John F. Kennedy and candidate for a tray of lasagna.
1993- NBC announced former Simpsons and Saturday Night Live comedy writer Conan O’Brien would take David Letterman’s old Late Show spot.
April 25, 2007 Wednesday -Vikings!!
April 25th, 2007
CALLING ALL DIGITAL VIKINGS!
The FJORG! SIGGRAPH 2007 submission site is now live and accepting submissions through May 15.
FJORG is an Iron-Chef like contest played out at SIGGRAPH 2007 this Summer in San Diego. 16 Teams will have 36 hours to create a winning CG film without taking a shower or sleep. I have agreed to be one of the judges.
Please spread the word far and wide about the greatest live animation contest on earth . . . DreamWorks is the major sponsor. Here is the link-
Birthdays: Roman emperor Otho -32ad, English King Edward II-1284, Oliver Cromwell-1599, Guiseppi Marconi, Edward R. Murrow, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Pacino is 67, Meadowlark Lemon, Talia Shire, Paul Mazursky, Hank Azaria, Rene Zellwellger is 38
TODAY is the feast of the Roman god ROBIGUS, dread god of Rust and Mildew.
1865- Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Grant left Joe Johnston commanding the second largest army of Southern troops, still facing Sherman in North Carolina. After several meetings and confused negotiations this day Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered General Johnston to resume fighting and fall back towards Texas. Johnston like Lee felt any further bloodshed was now pointless. He chose to ignore his President and accept Sherman’s surrender terms. Joe Johnston’s modern descendent Joe Johnston IV is a Hollywood film director who made "Honey I Shrank the Kids" and "Jurassic Park III".
1886- The New York Times attacks the outcry among American union workers for an 8-hour workday (the norm then was 12) as: A Seditious, riotous notion that would collapse the American economy and lead to sloth, drunkenness and debauchery. It was probably the work of foreign extremists." The eight-hour day doesn’t become a norm in America until 1913 (in animation until 1941) and is still under attack in animation studios today.
1953- Watson and Crick announced the DNA Molecular Construction Theory and the world sees for the first time the twisted ladder model. Watson went down to his local pub and told the barkeep:" Set up a round of lager, for I just discovered the Secret of Life!"
1956- Elvis Presley’s song Heartbreak Hotel goes to #1 in the pop charts.
1970- Policeman Frank Serpico’s story of rampant corruption in the NYPD explodes on the pages of the New York Times. The practices of decades of graft are exposed by the Knapp Commission and the police commissioner and several captains resign in disgrace. Serpico’s story was made into a famous film starring Al Pacino.
1972- Witty, urbane actor George Sanders ( All About Eve, Samson & Delilah, Sher Khan in Jungle Book) had turned age 65. He complained he had been famous and rich and was not looking forward to old age and having a nurse wipe his bottom. So he committed suicide and left a witty, urbane note. "Dear World: I am leaving because I am bored. Adieu, I leave you with your worries in this sweet cesspool."
1981- Dixie, the oldest living mouse died at age 6 1/2.
April 24, 2007 Tuesday
April 24th, 2007
This weekend I was talking to retired animator Bill Littlejohn. Although in his 90s Bill is still sharp and we had a stimulating conversation. We were discussing John and Faith Hubley when he told me an interesting anecdote. He said Faith once had a film in Robert Redford's Sundance Festival. All during the festival she noticed Redford was not very welcoming, in fact he was a bit cold. Near the end of the festival she had the opportunity to ask him about his attitude.
He replied that when he was a young student intern in Hollywood his first desire was to get a job as an animator! But when he visited Hubley's Storyboard Studios the woman who inspected his portfolio told him he had no talent. He should give up and do something else. He said he carried that dissappointment around for years. Faith asked him the year and the studios location, to see if she was the women in question. After Redford described the circumstances, Faith triumphantly declared to him:" Ahh...that was John's FIRST WIFE!" She said the penitent Redford was charming thereafter.
But I don't think he resumed his career in cartoons. He's done alright since, I hear.
Birthdays: Daniel Defoe, William de Kooning, St. Vincent de Paul, Morgan Earp, Shirley McLaine, Jack E. Leonard, Dame Ethel Smyth, Jill Ireland, Eric Bogosian, Sue Grafton, Robert Penn Warren, Barbera Streisand is 66, Cedric the Entertainer is 44
1184 B.C.(est.)- TROY FALLS TO THE GREEKS- Despite the warnings of Cassandra and Laocoon the Trojans pull Ulysses' great horse into the city and at night the Greeks climb out and open the city gates to destruction. The reason we have any estimated date for this is this was the day the Romans celebrated a festival commemorating this event.
Conventional wisdom was always that Troy was a myth until Heinrich Schleimann found it in the 1800’s. The Romans loved a myth of their own origin that they were descended from the Trojan refugees led to Italy by the hero Aeneas. This seemed way more cool than being a grubby little Latin tribe who got their act together ahead of their neighbors.
They loved this myth so much that in 218 B.C. when the legions of Publius Scipio Asiaticus marched into Turkey to make war on Antipater the king of Syria, they paused first to go to the plains of Illium (the field where Troy once stood).
There the writer Livy states" The grim warriors embraced and wept aloud like babes, for after countless generations the children of Troy had come home at last."
1584- Japanese Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi ordered the Heii Shrine in Edo (Tokyo) to dedicate a new heraldic design - the red disc Asahi - Rising Sun flag is created.
1874-Outlaw Jesse James married Miss Zerelda Mimms who he called Z.
1933-Ub Iwerk's "Fiddlesticks" the first Flip the Frog cartoon, done in a simple two-color process. Iwerks was the first designer and animator of Mickey Mouse, who had left Walt Disney to open his own studio.
1961- First day of shooting on the film King of Kings, the Christ story starring Jeffrey Hunter. Called by one critic” I was a Teenage Jesus” . In 1966 Jeffrey Hunter turned down a TV series after doing the pilot episode. His wife worried that he’d be typecast. The role of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, it went instead went to William Shatner.
1981- Small companies like Apple and Commodore had dominated the personal computer market while giants like IBM stuck with large business systems. Now IBM weighed in with The IBM PC –personal computer, with basic software language DOS provided by Microsoft. It soon came to dominate the market.
1983- THE HITLER DIARIES HOAX- Gerd Heideman, a top correspondent for Germany’s top magazine Die Stern was contacted by a mysterious Professor Fischer that he had in his possession the long lost personal diary of Adolph Hitler. Heidemann was an eccentric who collected fascist memorabilia like Herman Goerings yacht and a pair of Idi Amin’s underwear! Fischer sold him the Hitler diary manuscripts for $4 million bux.
After Heidemann got British Historian Sir Hugh Trevor Roper and several handwriting analysts to declare them genuine the Hitler Diaries went public in Die Stern and Rupert Murdoch’s London Times. When Sir Hugh started to express doubts over the authenticity of the diary Times mogul Rupert Murdoch reacted in typical fashion:”F**k him. I’m in the entertainment business!” This day a Bonn laboratory declared the diaries high quality but completely phony. Professor Fischer was actually an art forger named Konrad Kujau who knew suckers when he saw them. He had an expensive girlfriend and wife to keep so he was writing the diaries in his garage on 1940’s vintage paper and ink. Careers were ruined and everyone looked pretty stupid. Even when they were all in jail Gerd Heidemann refused to believe the truth until Konrad Kujau sent him a letter in Hitler’s handwriting admitting he did the forgery.
German comedy done about the hoax.
1990-The Hubble Space Telescope was carried into orbit by the Space Shuttle Challenger.
April 23, 2007 Monday
April 23rd, 2007
Birthdays: William Shakespeare, President James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple is 79, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee,Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 67, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Moore is 52, Herve Villechaise- da plane ! da plane!
Happy Birthday animator Mike Sporn!
This was the ancient Roman Feast of the Vinalia, the feast of the first grapevine plantings.
This is the Feast of St. George.- George of Nicomedia was a native of Illyria (Croatia) who went up to the Emperor Diocletian’s palace and tore up his edict banning Christianity. Then Diocletian had George torn up. In the old tradition of borrowing from pagan myths the Coptic Christian monks took from the Ancient Egyptian religion the famous battle between Horus -Identified as St. George - and his uncle Seth, God of Evil and Sandstorms and often represented in Egyptian myth as a weird 'Dragonesque' animal.
1374- The King of England grants the writer Geoffrey Chaucer a pot of wine daily for the rest of his life. What more could a writer ask for !
1616-After a night out partying with Ben Johnson, John Draydon and other old buddies from Ye Old Mermaid Tavern, William Shakespeare caught a fever and died on his fifty second birthday.
1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..
1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City.. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Europe would never catch on and the future of film was nickelodeon machines. The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.
1903- The first game of the New York Highlanders (later Yankees) baseball team. They defeated the Washington Senators, 7-2.
1951 -Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.
April 22, 2007 Earth Day
April 22nd, 2007
Here's some stuff from the film I directed in Taipei last year- The English name of the short is Adventures in the NPM- National Palace Museum, because the original Chinese title sounded too much like Toy Story. I think the literal translation came out as Treasures Story or something.
The film is about some mischevious little artifacts of ancient Chinese Art that come to life when the Museum closes for the night. A jade duck, a jade dragon and a ceramic pillow in the shape of a child. This ceramic was meant to be a pillow for the imperial concubines who when resting their head on it at night would get the idea to make sons for the Emperor. Dude, but have you checked out the Jade Cabbage?
the original ceramic pillow the character in the film is based on.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmCP3Aep5XI&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fleayang%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F2007%2F04%2Ftest%2Ehtml Here is a link to the trailor, created by award winning filmmaker Jon Bloom.
Thanks to Leah for scanning and posting these.
Birthdays:Queen Isabella I of Castille, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Immanuel Kant, Madame De Stael , Alexander Kerensky, Arron Spelling, Eddie Albert, Glen Cambell, Betty Page 86, Marylin Chambers is 54, Charlie Mingus, Peter Frampton, John Waters, Jack Nicholson is 70
1741- Georg Frederich Handel dipped his quill into ink and began to write the Messiah.
1876- Composer Peter Tschaikowsky completed his score for the ballet Swan Lake.
1898- Teddy Roosevelt formed the First US Volunteer Cavalry, called the Rough Riders. It was a curious mix of Teddys' personal tastes- Harvard bluebloods and polo champions mixed with rough western cowboys and rodeo stars.
1906- In earthquake destroyed San Francisco, one day after the last of the fires were declared officially out, the Market Street cable car began running once more.
1934- In Little Bohemia Hunting Lodge in Wisconsin Public Enemy No.1 John Dillinger shot his way out of a FBI ambush. The FBI not only failed to stop Dillinger, they shot an innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire.
1940- Writer Ernest Hemingway cabled his editor Max Perkins from Havana about a new novel he was writing.-" Title is "For Whom the Bell Tolls" from passage John Donne Oxford Book of English bottom page seventy one STOP Please register immediately."
1952- First nuclear bomb test shown on network t.v. -Tommy Turtle says duck and cover!
1970- The first Earth Day. The idea was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson as a Teach-In to bring attention to environmental issues.
1978- Comic actors Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi debut two new characters on the Saturday Night Live t.v. show, Joliet Jake and Ellwood Blues. The Blues Brothers are born.
1996- Christopher Robin Milne dies at age 75. The young boy who’s fascination with a bear in the London Zoo called Winnie inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the Winne the Pooh stories. Christopher Robin wasn’t always appreciative of all the attention. He said of his father: "Someday I’ll write some verses about him and see how He likes it!"