Just a note to let everyone know the new book UP PERISCOPE YELLOW is now in the book stores. (Published first week of May, 2004).
Most of us who worked on the film in London in 1967/68 have been waiting 36 years for producer AL BRODAX to tell his side of the production; from the first idea, to the incredible daring of collaring the Beatles ("...to help them".) and convincing they and United Artists to make the film, through the wrenching, uncertain stages of wrestling a script together and completing a chaotic production on an impossible budget in less than half the normal time needed to make a feature length animated movie...the insider stuff is there.
If your ambition is to produce a film, animated or live, you'll find this book a lip-biting eye-opener, a delightful chuckle-filled account of betting on a long shot and coming out a classic winner.
All the passion, agony, heartbreak and joy are recaptured for crew and fans alike to relive again those crazy, chaotic, delightful London 60's submariner days.
Containing animation drawings and gag cartoons by Yellow Submarine animators Tom Halley and Norm Drew (awn. moderator).
Available in hardcover and paperback.
Happy reading, Everyone !
How is Tom Halley nowadays, do you know? I was a former student.
And Norm, what do you know of a story I heard from a fellow alumnus who said that Paul Macartney was visiting the studio with some promotion with the rest of the Beatles (May've been the series or Submarine, don't know) and was telling an animator that he was doing it all wrong? Then he sat down to show him, couldn't do it but Paul alledgedly took home a ream of paper and said he'd get back ("get back"! Ha! Just noticed that!) to the guy.
I've repeated this story qualifying that it was told to me and that it may be untrue but seems fitting with the controlling nature I'd read about macartney in following years and also finding out Macca was a pretty decent cartoonist himself in high school.
I recounted this legend to Mitch Axelrod who wrote the book on the series and he didn't know.
Just for the record to reinforce this not being repeated as fact, Norm got back to me and could not confirm the Macartney urban legend.
It's kinda cool to be quoted even about a non-confirming comment and the question whether or not it's urban legend.
If Paul did try animating, (I do remember someone from over in trace and paint saying one of the Lads did try painting a cel as it looked like a fun thing to try to do) it may have happened on the TV series. If it was on the feature (YS), I didn't see it on my floor, though it could've happened when I wasn't there.
Although the hours were long and endless, staggering bleary-eyed, nearly disc-blinded out of the building late nights when we were unleashed for a few hours to go back to our various caves to catch a brief sleep; or momentarily midday to hunt for an unwary Shepherd's Pie or Bangers and Mash, there were at least those times when I wasn't in there.
Paul might've infiltrated and commandeered an animation desk during one of those moments. I like to think so. Maybe it helped speed the production along if he did.
I'd love to start my own urban legend where from midnight to 6 am I taught the Beatles how to in-between our animation keys, but somehow as bizarre as the production was, (see Al's book) even that's beyond the fringe.
It's fun to believe, as most urban legends are.
However, the true facts of the film's production are more bizarre than urban legend as you'll see when you read the book.
Between this book and Dr. Bob Hieronimus' book, "Inside the Yellow Submarine" (contains many interviews, photos and art) you'll get a great cross-section of just how bizarre it all was.
When the rest of us publish our books, hopefully most of the full account will be available so everyone can get an acccurate idea about YS's creation.
Definitely a unique period in animated feature film history.
Sounds great! Too bad I'm too broke to buy it... :D but everyone else can check it out at Amazon.com:
The thing about it was that I heard the story first.....and then later would hear stories of Macca that sort of fit. I always knew he had studied art but it was a couple years ago when I got the Beatles Anthology book that I saw some of his high school art and cartoons. No worse, maybe better than mine at that age.
And as a corker his most recent involvement in producing drawn animation.
I was excited to be one degree of seperation from The Beatles having an instructor who had actually met them so I asked him what it was like. I remember he said the boys thought was a like a "haven" to visit the studio. Sitting on the floor, smoking, relaxed, chatting.
Well ya gotta. You know how these things snowball especially at the speed of light in cyberspace. I find the story amusing but I neither would I want to be the source of potentially dissing-off my favorite musician.
I am too broke to afford it also Norm, but maybe I can borrow it from a flush friend.
What about Lennon's sketches, they could have been animated easily. He did some good stuff. At least that's what my hazy memories of the sixties bring forward.
Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.
Well remembered, phacker! Those "children" books he wrote back in the "wanna buy my book?" days sure would make some fine animation shorts. I wonder why it wasn't done yet!
I believe John Canemaker animated something in Lennon's style produced by Yoko IIRC.
Personally, Lennon's absurd stories (In His Own Write, Spaniard In The Works) made his drawings "work" like a Bullwinkle cartoon, but he was not a good draw-er imo and not a good art student by his own admission. His doodles of him and his family in his last years were kinda cute.
That's the stuff I was thinking of Graphiteman. His stuff had an innocence to it, but that's what made it cool.
Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.