On Winning an Oscar...
While the entire world recognizes the Oscar,
Animation World Magazine asked past Oscar winners Frédéric Back,
Gene Deitch, Faith Hubley, Tyron Montgomery, Frank Mouris and Jimmy Picker
what the statue has brought to their careers. Did it open doors? Guarantee
further film funding? Get them the career of their dreams? The answers will
While the entire world recognizes the Oscar, Animation World Magazine asked past Oscar winners Frédéric Back, Gene Deitch, Faith Hubley, Tyron Montgomery, Frank Mouris and Jimmy Picker what the statue has brought to their careers. Did it open doors? Guarantee further film funding? Get them the career of their dreams? The answers will surprise you.
"All Nothing was nominated for an Oscar in 1981. I then received an Oscar in 1982 for Crac, which allowed me to undertake a more ambitious project: The Man Who Planted Trees. This film got an Oscar in 1988, and as a result I could carry out The Mighty River, despite a very difficult situation and severe budget cuts for Société Radio Canada, the producer of my films.
Since the success of Crac, I have received many propositions from outside, mainly for commercials, with very generous funds. But I prefer to use my time in favor of works that could have a beneficial effect on animation as an art and be of some help to environmental concerns. The consequences have been beyond my dreams!
Perhaps winning an Oscar has been too often an unduly tempting opportunity to be engulfed in commercial productions. This very important success should be used merely in favor of opportunities to create more and better short animations. Animation is an extraordinary and complex form of art, that constantly invents new paths and inspires many achievements in cinematography. Money should never be a priority. It is very sad if success has a destructive effect on talents and future wonders...beware, please."
Read "The Mighty Animator, Frédéric Back," an Animation World Magazine interview with the multiple-Oscar winning animator.
"There are two things I feel about the Oscar: Not winning it is not an artistic failure, and winning it is not necessarily an artistic success, but as the most heavily hyped award on the planet, the Hollywood Oscar sure does give you something to talk about! My Weston Woods Classic Children's Collection, mostly tucked away in sweet little school libraries, and on exceedingly hard-to-get Children's Circle videocassettes, has won way over a hundred festival awards in all the assorted colors: gold, silver, and bronze. I am extremely proud of those awards, but they never made the animation history books. My most famous creation, Tom Terrific, never won any awards at all, but the name made its way into the language. Yahoo! lists 15,741 entries under a search for "Tom Terrific!" Five of my films were nominated for the Oscar: Sidney's Family Tree, made when I was creative director of CBS-Terrytoons, Nudnik, No.2, (Here's Nudnik), How to Avoid Friendship, Self Defense for Cowards, and Munro, all made in Prague for Rembrandt Films. Munro actually won. The Oscar, oh yes, the Oscar certainly opened doors! We immediately got a contract from MGM to produce Tom & Jerry cartoons, and from King Features, to do Popeye and Krazy Kat. That meant money, and that kept me in Prague long enough to marry my Czech production manager. So yes, the Oscar actually did change my life."
Gene Deitch's fascinating life as an American living in Prague, and one of the greatest romantic stories in animation, is captured in his book For The Love of Prague. For more information about the book visit: www.fortheloveofprague.com/