Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Out In the Studios

Today was a visit to a cartoon landmark ...

... the old Bob Clampett Studio on Seward Street, where the animated version of Beany and Cecil was made five and a half decades ago. ...

The Warner Animation Group has a unit in the building working on Lego sequels. As one of the board artists told me:

We've been working on three different pictures. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are writing one of them. Warners is in the Lego sequel businessbig time. We'll be working on these movies for the next few years. ...

The story artists are situated in the basement of the building, in a large bright open space with both a slide and stairs providing access from the first floor, where execs and administration are located. I asked which artists used the slide to come downstairs, and was told "younger ones."

Warners now has clusters of animation work in Hollywood, in the old NBC studios (now a rental lot) in Burbank, at the Warner ranch on Hollywood Way, also on the Warners live-action lot in a multi-story building, where the Warners Animation Group occupies two floors. This is a huge change in the Warner animation presence in the mid-eighties, when the company had a small office in Toluca Lake in a medical building, and very little else.

But then, when you produce and release a forty-million-dollar animated feature that grosses almost half a billion in the world marketplace, your enthusiasm for cartoon tends to grow.


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