Gene Deitch responds to fan mail questions and one hate mail letter in the last excerpt from his book How to Succeed in Animation (Dont Let a Little Thing Like Failure Stop You!)
Gene Deitch looks at his diverse fan base, which ranges from lovers of Tom Terrific to his work on Weston Woods Studios projects.
Gene Deitchs Charlottes Web starts to go south as Bill Snyder writes a letter that turns E.B. White sour on the project.
Peeing in the soup continues. The bladders of producers seem as continuous fountains. Here are a few hairy tales.
Weston Woods, that is. I feel that my best films are the least known. My greatest fans still are teachers and librarians, and I spent 25 years of creative fulfillment in pleasing them.
A whole new area of work opened up for me just as the Soviet forces were breathing smoke around the borders of Czechoslovakia, and I made a film called The Giants that the communists banned for 20 years. For me, it was a point of pride.
Gene Deitch shares an interview he did with the Screen Cartoonists Union newsletter, Top Cel, about animation production life in a communist country in 1968.
What do you do when you have to make a living diminishing true works of art? E.C. Segars Popeye and George Herrimans Krazy Kat have been mauled by others, so I dont need to apologize for my efforts at damage control. Heres what we did with them.
Who could have predicted this? I just read that Oscar winners live longer. In our case, the Oscar gave our life an instant boost, and a perpetual publicity handle. We managed five nominations, and have been living in the glow ever since. But was Bill Snyder able to melt that golden statuette down into real dollars?
That was the question I constantly had to answer while isolated from my old colleagues, and hunkered in this distant and seemingly God-forsaken communist-gripped misery. This chapter answers the question. Was I a pinko? A spy? An enemy agent? A CIA man? Or did I just happen to fall into something too good to be true?
In last months excerpt, Gene Deitchs life was turned around when animation producer William Snyder made Gene a deal that sent him to Prague.
Gene Deitch Associates, Inc. is possibly the most insignificant animation studio in the history of peg-holes, but Munro was born there, and it became Gene Deitchs way station to an entirely new life. Perhaps he is the first Born-Again Animator!
More animation tech talk from Gene Deitch. The technology of animation has changed somewhat over the past 35,000 years, when cavemen first attempted it, but the basics remain. Here they are in specifics.
Fats Waller once said that, and another blues man sang, It Must Be Jelly, Cause Jam Dont Shake Like That! There really was a man named Jam Jam Handy and he ran a 500-person studio in the then gloomy city of Detroit. It was an amazing adventure working there, in that most amazing, little-known but heavyweight studio. I directed my first film there, nearly had my tender career nipped, and discovered John Lee Hooker. 1949-51.
Terrytoons. Here was my locale that most interests the animation historians. So now I finally have the chance to tell it like it really was. I name names all the names, and print the pix. And all the production details about Tom Terrific. I tell you what I did and what I tried to do a "renaissance" a total make over... and I tell you why it failed.
UPA again, and this time as creative chief! Bosustow beckoned and I was beamed to the Big Apple, the city of my youthful dreams. "If you can make it there" etc. And I made it. Here are the vital statistics of that Golden Age studio.