Monday, March 07, 2016

The Animation Guild Golden Awards Interview #14 -- Leo Salkin

Animation veteran Leo Salkin talks about breaking into animation during the depths of the Depression, and working as a layout artist revising storyboards "that don't work." (Only the storyboards happen to be his own).

Leo Salkin was hired as a cel cleaner on March 3, 1932 and considered it a signal accomplishment. ...

Why? Because 25% of the country was unemployed, and getting any job at that time was a big deal.

Mr. Salkin worked in almost every corner of the animation business for more than a half century: cel cleaning, in-betweening, animation, layout, storyboards, script-writing. While working at UPA, he was the visual inspiration for the short, squinty-eyed Mr. Magoo; Mr. Salkin also wrote story and continuity for Magoo's first feature, 1001 Arabian Nights.

And here's an interesting factoid (at least to me): Leo Salkin was one of the few Disney strikers re-hired by Walt Disney Productions in later years (apparently he didn't make Walt's "naughty strikers" list ... or else some studio bureaucrat goofed). Mr. Salkin ran his own studio, Leo Salkin Films, for a lengthy stretch and talks about it directly above.

Leo Salkin passed away in October, 1993 at the age of 80.


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