The latest lamo-versary is especially irksome as folks I normally only hear from every 10 years 1 have started to e-mail me annually; it seems the closer we all edge toward Doctor D’s domain, the more they desire to relive our days of cocaine and mescal. Don’t get me wrong – that particular job was one of the best I ever fell into, the people among the brightest and most creative it was ever my good fortune with which to be associated.
I interviewed for the Scanimate gig while I was still bouncing at a bar called The Rodeo 2 and won the position based on four factors:
- My time spent coding video arcade games in Cali
- A passing familiarity with design and ‘art’ 3
- I owned a red silk-backed leather vest. 4
- A willingness to work cheap
But as I am wont to remind these fine folks, 5 for every Rush concert animation, network promo (NBC luv’d our ass) and Star Wars or Tron piecework jobbed out our way, we spent the majority of our time creating slit scans, swoop zooms, Superman trails for far more prosaic outlets: industrial product wholesalers, head shops & water-bed stores 6, down market news promos and openers…
It wasn’t all princesses and light sabers.
Plus…and I say this a lot…Star Wars, the original movie? It sucked. It was poorly acted, indifferently shot, barely scripted at all. 7 Except for the special effects Star Wars had nothing much to recommend it. Hell, it still surprises me Lucas’ blatant branding was as effective as it was. 8
My long lost compatriots always remind me that working on major Hollywood films wasn’t the important part. 9 What I should remember is that for a few years not only we were the best and brightest in the industry, we were creating the industry; there was no computer animation before Lee invented Scanimate and put us all -one way or another – to work.
True enough, I suppose.
In any event, I pretty much ignored the SW hoopla this last week. My single concession is to post this vid. 10 And then only because the Astas claim that everybody else’s parents at school are either rich, famous or rich and famous, but none of them worked on Star Wars, so would I please please please? 11
Here it is. Perhaps the taskmistresses at Surval will be impressed enough to reduce their fees. 12
It’s not like I’m getting any residuals. 13
- If then. ↩
- John Travolta’s thetan will have much to answer for at its final audit…in addition to Battlefield Earth. ↩
- I could at least spell it. Art, I mean. ↩
- Don’t ask. ↩
- Now every year… ↩
- I was sick to death of water-beds long before the fad finally leaked away; we must have done a zillion of ’em… ↩
- And please, enough with the “unique storyline: good v. evil and sons and fathers.” It’s not like the theme hadn’t been well explored both before and since. ↩
- Well, maybe not; I suppose when the current content is worse than vacuous even mediocre looks good. ↩
- Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. ↩
- Seems to me I did this once before but that particular post has vanished into the ether. ↩
- When I said, reasonably enough I thought, that I could give them the vid on a thumb drive and they could have it for eternity, I was haughtily informed (education dollars well spent there!) that it wasn’t the same as being on the Internet. Go figure…(perhaps mete out some of those same education dollars to a logic class?) ↩
- Fat fucking chance. ↩
- In the vid you’ll soon see why I no longer wear plaid. Or a beard. ↩