October 22, 2006 sun
October 22nd, 2006

Birthdays: Sarah Bernhardt, Timothy Leary, Franz Liszt, Doris Lessing, Joan Fontaine is 89, Derek Jacobi, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Goldblum, Annette Funicello, Brian Boitano, Catherine Deneuve is 63

1883- First performance at the New York Metropolitan Opera House. It was Gounod’s Faust with soprano Christine Nillson and tenor Italo Campanini.

1903- Tom Horn, considered the Last of the Western Outlaws, was hanged in Wyoming for the murder of Willie Nickel. The era of the gunslinger ends with him.

1938-THE BIRTHDAY OF THE XEROX COPY- Chester Carlson working with an amateur chemistry set behind a beauty parlor in Astoria Queens creates the first xerox copy. He took his invention to Edison, G.E., RCA and IBM who all rejected it. Finally a little firm that produced photographic paper for Kodak called the Haloid Company bought it. They later changed their named to Xerox.

1939- The first televised football game- The Brooklyn Dodger's 23 Philadelphia Eagles 14.

1962- Twentieth Century Fox mogul; Daryl Zanuck fired long suffering director Joe Mankiewicz off of the editing of the spectacle Cleopatra. Mankiewicz had shot a 6 hour movie he wanted shown as two films. Zanuck wanted one big movie at half that size. After a lot of embarrassing feuding in the press Zanuck rehired Mankiewicz and he recut Cleopatra,. It became one of the biggest flops in Hollywood History.

1962- After it looked like a news leak would make the news public anyway, President John Kennedy goes on national television and tells the American public about the CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS. 54 B-52 bombers with 4 Hydrogen bombs each took off to fly within two hours of their Soviet targets. 134 Titan missiles were armed.
Both sides wrestled with the temptation to do a 'First-Strike', meaning the side that hit first without warning just might knock out enough of the enemies nukes to limit the damage and “megadeaths” to his own side. Secretary of State Dean Rusk recalled: "I'd wake up in the morning and the first thing I'd think was, I'm alive, Khruschev didn't do it today."
In Moscow Khruschev grimly joked:" With the time difference Kennedy works while I sleep and I work while he sleeps, hmph, maybe soon we'll both be sleeping..."

1962- At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis a stand up comic named Vaughn Meador recorded a comedy album called The First Family. It made lighthearted fun of John F. Kennedy and his White House. The record became the fastest selling hit of the pre-Beatles era, 7.5 million copies. Jackie called Meador a rat but JFK thought it was funny and gave out copies as Christmas presents, even though he said Meador’s impersonation sounded more like Ted Kennedy than him. The day after the assassination comic Lenny Bruce got up on stage. Everyone worried what the iconoclastic comic might say. Bruce sucked a long drag on his cigarette and said:"Mannn, Vaughn Meador is really screwed!"
courtesy lifeinlegacy.com

1967- In Oakland black militants Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and H.Rap Brown form the Black Panther Party of Self Defense.


October 21, 2006
October 21st, 2006

Animation Quiz:

What character was not drawn over live action? (answer below)

a-Gulliver in Max Fleischer's Gullivers' Travels
b-Tom Hanks as Santa Claus in Polar Express
c-Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
d- Alice in Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

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Birthdays: Katushika Hokusai, Dizzy Gillespie, Whitey Ford, Alfred Nobel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Carrie Fisher, Patty Davis (Ronnie Reagan's daughter), Benjamin Netanyahu, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Manfred Mann, Sir Georg Solti, Angus MacFadyen, Ken Watanabe, Charles Knight-1874, the artist who's extensive research on dinosaurs and early man made his illustrations shape our idea of what the stone age looked like. His murals adorn the Field Museum in Chicago and the Museum of Natural History in NY.

Today is the FEAST OF SAINT URSULA AND THE ELEVEN THOUSAND VIRGINS, one of the sillier medieval legends. Supposedly on the way back from a pilgrimage to Rome the saintly daughter of a Mercian (English) king had spurned the attentions of the King of the Huns so he massacred her and all eleven thousand of her handmaids.
Earliest accounts of the incident say she had only ten servants.

1492- San Salvador. Christopher Columbus writes on this day in his diary about the new land he is exploring: " We must have found Eden. I think men shall never see this place again as we have seen it." Within 50 years of Columbus's discovery, the Indian tribe that welcomed him on the beach, the Taino, were extinct.

1879- Thomas Edison announced the invention of the Light Bulb. After experimenting with dozens of different type filaments in a vacuum Thomas Edison perfected the light bulb with carbonized cotton . He and his crew stared at the glowing bulb for 40 hours to make sure it was really worked.

1932- The film Red Dust premiered. It made stars out of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

1959- Six months after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright his last creation the Guggenheim Museum in New York City opened.

1972- Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack theme to the movie “Superfly” debuted at Number #1 in the Billboard charts.

1985- San Francisco Mayor George Mosconi and openly gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk are shot dead by clerk Dan White. White got off on an insanity plea using the "Twinkie Defense" that junk food raised his blood sugar to such an extent that he went nuts. He served a 5 years in prison, moved to Orange County and committed suicide which some say is redundant.

2003- The Great California Brush Fires. Hot dry wind and a lost hunter ignited the worst brush fires in California history. Ten fires from Ventura County to Tijuana Mexico burned hundreds of thousands of acres for two weeks, destroyed 3000 homes and killed 20. The smoke clouds were visible from outer space.
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Answer to Quiz
Which Character was drawn over live action?

courtesy awn.com

c- Jessica Rabbit. A green suit stand-in handled live action objects but otherwise she was all drawn from the minds of animators Russell Hall and Roger Chiasson.


Monday, October 23rd, 2006 7:30pm

DRAWING THE LINE
An Evening with Tom Sito - Book Signing event!
This reminds me of the time Bill Tytla sat on Mary Blair.."

The UCLA Film Workshop presents a evening dedicated to the veteran animator, author and ASIFA Vice President. Tom's credits include such classics as Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Shrek. Join Tom as we screen films that influenced him, and hear him discuss his new book Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson. He will be signing copies of his book as well.

Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, 7:30pm
Bridges Auditorium, Melnitz Hall
UCLA Campus. Admission is free. SEE YOU THERE!
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Birthdays: Sir Christopher Wren, Bela Lugosi (born Bela Blasgow from Lugosz), Charles Ives, Arthur Rimbaud, Bobby Seale, Juan Marichal, Tom Petty, Art Buchwald, Arlene Francis, Grandpa Jones, Mickey Mantle, Keith Hernandez, Jerry Orbach, Snoop Doggy-Dogg, Rex Ingram, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Michael Dunn, Viggo Mortensen
I must have Sito's Book!

1890-Retired explorer Sir Richard Burton died at 69. Burton was the first Christian to enter Mecca, he went up the Nile and the Amazon, fought Indians with Kit Carson and did the first modern translation of the Arabian Nights, introducing the western world to Aladdin, Sheherazade and Sinbad the Sailor. Wherever he went in his world travels he collected documents of the sexual habits of various cultures and erotic poems. After his death his wife burned all this anthropological material in their backyard. She feared for his soul. Its considered one of the great literary crimes of the century.

1939- Frank Capra’s film “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” opened.

1947- 'ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN...' Judge J. Parnell Thomas banged the gavel opening the House Committee on UnAmerican Activites investigation into Communist infiltration into the Motion Picture Business. HUAC was set up in 1938 as the Dies Committee to keep an eye on pro-Nazis groups operating in German and Italian immigrant organizations, but by 1944 it's emphasis had switched to Communist espionage. Investigations of the army or top civil servants like Dean Acheson was dull stuff, New Deal hating conservatives knew investigating Hollywood would yield the big headlines and jazz up public interest. Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer, Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney were the first in line to name names. Lucille Ball, Sterling Hayden, Zero Mostel, Ginger Rogers and Lloyd Bridges admitted they had once held communist party memberships. The anti-commie hysteria turned Hollywood inside out and the bitter feelings remain to this day.


1955- Harry Belafonte recorded the Banana Boat Song, that made him a star- Day-o!

1963- Groundbreaking for the Hollywood Museum. Walt Disney, Rosalind Russell, Jack Warner and Gene Autry are present at the dedication. Museum was never built.

1973- Billy Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match.

1973- The Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors premiered.

1973- Sidney Australia’s distinctive Opera House was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II.

1977- Lynyrd Skynyrd band members Ronnie Van Zandt and Steve Gaines died when their plane crashed into a swamp while en route to a concert at Louisiana University.

1991- The Oakland California Firestorm. Drought and Diablo wind conditions fanned a blaze in the East Bay hills that destroyed 3,000 buildings and killed 25 people.

1994- President Clinton opened up the first Presidential web site and set up an office of Director of Electronic Mail. To e-mail the President you use President@whitehouse.gov or First.Lady@whitehouse.gov This may be poetic justice, but if you just use www.whitehouse.com you will get a porn site.www.Whitehouse.org is a comedy site. One of the first acts of incoming President George W. Bush was to close the site down.


October 19, 2006 thurs
October 19th, 2006

Cartoon Quiz:

Which Film Contains no Animation? ( answer below)

a- Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963)
b- Pearl Harbor (2001)
c- Team America World Police(2005)
d- Titanic (1997)
e- Enemy at the Gates (2001)

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Birthdays: Auguste Lumiere of the Lumiere Brothers, John Le Carre', Peter Tosh, Amy Carter, Jack Anderson, Auguste Lumiere, Peter Max, John Lithgow-evil lord Farquaad in Shrek, Robert Reed of the Brady Bunch, Evander Holyfield, Patricia Ireland, Michael Gambon, Trey Parker of SouthPark is 37

Roman festival Armilustrum,blessing of the shields of the Roman Legions. Official end of campaigning season. Ancient nations didn't wage war from Oct. to Feb. because the winter would cost more lives than battle. It's no wonder that the first month that's warm enough to camp out and kill people is named for Mars (March).

1739- England declared war on Spain. The war was called the War of Jenkins Ear because a sea captain appeared in Parliament with his ear floating in a bottle of spirits and swore a Spanish captain had done it to him on the high seas. Some thought he was a fraud but England was hot for war and a man named James Thompson had introduced his stirring new song "Rule Britannia! Britannia Rules the Waves! Britons Never, Never, Never Shall be Slaves!

1845- Richard Wagners’ opera Tannhauser premiered.

1901- Brazilian Santos Dumont flew a small dirigible around the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This proved that a balloon could be maneuvered by a propeller motor. This was four years before the Wright Brothers. A crowd of 100,000 cheered including Jules Verne and H.G.Wells.

1945- N.C.Wyeth, artist and father of Andrew Wyeth was struck and killed by a train. Also in the car with him was a grandson.

1953 – Arthur Godfrey had one of the more popular tv variety shows at the time. One of his headliners was the singer Julius LaRosa. But Godfrey was seen to act more and more erratically and imperiously with his cast and crew. This day after a song Godfrey put his arm around LaRosa and said gently. "Julie lacks humility, So, Julie, to teach you a lesson, you’re fired!"La Rosa and the audience first thought he was kidding but he wasn’t. He had fired LaRosa live on the air.

1964- Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy-Doo hit the pop charts.

1968- RUPERT MURDOCH INVADED ENGLAND. Never mind the Vikings or William the Conquerer, on this day the little Australian landed at Heathrow to begin a takeover war for his first English newspaper, the News of the World. Until now the Fleet Street press barons were a closed club of rich old gentlemen who resisted the encroachments of an Australian upstart. Murdoch used Sir Robert Caro as his cover to get in and defeat a hostile takeover bid from Robert Maxwell. He then demoted Caro out of his leadership of the paper. Murdoch journalism specialized in sensationalism and tawdry titulation. For example the World in autumn 1987 had a nude 15 year old girl photographed from the back for days. She had a countdown to her 16th birthday when she turn around and could legally be photographed in the nude. When the Hitler Diaries were confirmed to be a fraud and historian Sir Basil Liddel Hart protested, Murdoch published them in the London Times anyway" F**k him, I’m in the entertainment business." Twenty tears later Murdoch became a U.S. citizen so he could build the Fox television networks.
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Quiz Answer:

Which Film Contains no Animation?

c- Team America World Police .


the 3rd floor entrance to Disney U.K., the Roger Rabbit Studio, in 1988.

I have just been informed that an old friend, John McCartney had passed away on October 16th. John (no relation to Paul McCartney) was an excellent 2d animator in the London Renaissance of animation commercials on the 1970s and 80s. I met him in London on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in 1987. After that project while many of his countrymen left Blighty to go to Hollywood, John remained in London where he joined Amblimation. His skills were contributed to Baldo, American Tale II, Freddy as F.R.O.7 and We're Back. Later transitioning to digital he worked on the famous special Walking with Dinosaurs and more.

John was a wonderful man of taste and gentility who has left us all too soon. A deep cello like baritone voice and the deep set eyes of the a true son of the race of Chaucer and Thomas Moore, he had the witty dry nihilism that leaves all us New World provincials charmed. During my time in England we had many wonderful conversations over many a pint. After I returned to LA we continued our correspondence on-line. Up to the end he enjoyed sending me corrections he spotted on my trivia columns.

John worked for awhile in a fine wine exporter shop, and he taught me the intricacies of judging good French wines. So now I know my Clos du Voughot from my Chassagny Montrachet. He also tried to inculcate me into the English mysteries of Morris Dancing and Cricket, but to no avail.

One night on Roger Rabbit we had all adjourned to our favorite pub the Edinborough Castle to send off one of our production interns, who was going on to the film A Fish Called Wanda. John, Roger Way and I, along with most of the crew had a "Well Ripened Debauch" as Wellington would put it. When Don Hahn, Pat and I were walking back to the Camden Town Tube Station in the cool damp night air, a gangly figure rushed past us. It was John, skipping down the road like Puck in a Midsummers Nights Dream. Later I heard he fell down the entire length of the Tube Stations main escalator which is quite high, I think around three stories tall, all steel. It's amazing he wasn't hurt. He reached the bottom, leapt up and murmuring "Sorry , Sorry…" to all around. He popped onto a train.

Adieu, Brother John! In my mind's eye you are still merrily skipping down that rain slicked street like Puck, only now on to sample the delicacies of Eternity. Our condolences to Iva and your children.

TS.

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History for 10/18/2005
Birthdays: Cannaletto, Lotte Lenya, Wynton Marsalis, Leo G. Carroll, George C. Scott, Jesse Helms, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mike Dytka, Peter Boyle, Inger Stevens, Violetta Chamorro, Wendy Wasserstein, Wynton Marsalis, Martina Navratilova, Jean Claude Van Damme

FEAST OF ST. LUKE. According to ancient sources Luke was actually a physician, but Medieval tradition made him the protector of artists. In Rome during the Renaissance Titian, Rubens and El Greco were members of the Guild of St. Luke.

1776- A New York pub decorated with birds opened, customers ordered a drink they nicknamed a "Cocks Tail". The origin of the name.

1793- Napoleon gets his first job. Sub-lieutenant Napoleone Buonaparte promoted to major of artillery and posted to Toulon. He is 24. At 25 he will be a General,at 31 a dictator, at 35 an Emperor, at 46 unemployed and dead at 52.
Sounds like a career in Hollywood.

1896- Joseph Pulitzer's N.Y. Journal American created the first Sunday Color Comics supplement.

1922- The British Broadcast Corp or BBC formed.

1926- In Hollywood Sid Grauman's Egyptian Theater opens.

1931- Thomas Edison died peacefully at age 84. His last words were-
"It's beautiful over there..."

1950- In an emotional showdown in the Directors Guild all motions by C.B.DeMille and Frank Capra to extend the Hollywood anti-Communist blacklist to include expulsion from the Director's Guild are defeated. Billy Wilder, John Huston, John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy supported President Joe Mankiewicz who blocked the Blacklist Motions, and they also prevented a recall vote on Mankiewicz' s presidency.

1954- Hi & Lois comic strip debuted.

1967- Walt Disney's last cartoon done under his supervision "the Jungle Book." premiered. Disney had died the previous December. If you remember the film the end sequence Mowgli meets four vultures who talk like the Beatles but sing barbershop quartet. That’s because the characters were supposed to sing a Beatles parody song but the directors felt the group would soon be forgotten so they didn't want to date the film. The director of the Jungle Book, Woolie Reitherman, died when he drove his car into a tree in 1985.

1974- Tobe Hooper's low budget cult film Texas Chainsaw Massacre first opened. Despite one film critic calling it " a bunch of sick crap" it became a huge hit and spawned the Teen Slasher Movie genre.

1982- President Reagan said during a radio address:" My Fellow Americans, the economy is in a helluva mess....this microphone isn't on, is it?.."

1984- Young television star John Eric Hexum died after shooting himself with a prop pistol loaded with blanks. The concussion of compressed air shattered his skull at close range. He was playing at mock- Russian Roulette. His last words were "Lets see if I can do myself in this time!"


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