Chapter 28: The Charlotte Papers
The irony of lost creations but financial gain worked here. I had a double-payment clause. I delivered my storyboard on time, and if Sagittarius decided not to produce with me. But even though my total deal was more than twice that which John Hubley was going to get, I had to accept a 7% of the net profits deal on direction. With a big Hollywood outfit, I was in no position to demand a cut of the gross. I knew there would be no net profits, so the crazy thing was that I actually got more money for not directing the movie than I would have gotten if I actually did it! But poor Andy White. He not only got his story deballed, but his visions of "big money," he referred to in his letter to his lawyer Jap Gude, were no doubt vaporous, unless he really got a lot up front.
I would doubt very much that the ultimate Hanna-Barberra production made any "net profits." Well, I socked my payment in the bank, dried my eyes, and went back to my work with Weston Woods. I learned a lot. I knew I created something excellent. My greatest loss was not being able to share what I did with Andy. When I finally could, he was too ill for me to bother him with it.
The question remains whether the debacle of the Charlotte film depressed Andy to his grave, or whether it was the disappointment that it didn't even bring him the promised big money. There are varying opinions. Kay wrote me that the film greatly depressed him.
I did me, but hell, will you believe me if I told you that from then on I just went from one success to another, and never had another failure? Ha ha.
Now that I am 75 years old, I don't have to worry about anything.
I'm old enough to be giving out advice and pushing my opinions onto one and all, and I am not scavenging for work. You are young and full of beans and ambition. Your probable failures and occasional successes are still ahead of you. Wouldn't you like to trade places with me? Applications accepted.
What??? No takers!!!
In the following section, I will show you a sample of the storyboard, character models, and studies made by Mirko Hanak.
It was his last work. He died just after finishing the storyboard.
Just another sad irony in this sad story. Even if the production had gone ahead with us, Mirko would not have been able to realize the gorgeous artwork I knew we would have created for us...