<em>Paint</em> by Norman Gollin <em>Paint</em> by Norman Gollin

Paint by Norman Gollin

Paint is a trippy live-action short from 1968 directed by West Coast advertising art director Norman Gollin. Why post it here on Cartoon Brew? Not only because it has the mesmerizing voice of Paul Frees, but because it was produced at the Haboush Company, which was the commercial production studio of animation legend Victor Haboush. I’ve known Vic for quite a few years and I’m always amazed by how many cool projects and people he’s been involved with throughout his career, from studying with Lorser Feitelson at Art Center, apprenticing under Tom Oreb for much of the 1950s on Disney films like Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom and Sleeping Beauty, art directing Gay Purr-ee, starting a commercial studio with the inimitable John Dunn, and later directing hundreds of live-action commercials and producing experimental animated shorts at his own company. Oh yeah, he also worked on The Iron Giant. Somehow it’s not surprising that he’d be involved with a film as wild as this.

The painter in Paint is Charlie White III, a veteran airbrush artist who is one of four people featured in the new book Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art. White notes that Gollin shot the entire film without any re-takes. No paint-overs or practice; it was all painterly improv.

(Warning: This film might be considered NSFW, though most people would consider it art.)

  • “Here’s a roundup of news related to our earlier post about Cartoon Brew’s rebranding efforts, and its new programming direction, which is showing less cartoons and more live-action programming…”

    No, Amid, I kid. Nevertheless, someone had to say it!

  • Katella Gate

    Yeah, that’s art, but it’s right up against the border with the “didactic eroticism” that the courts were using as a pornographic litmus test at the time (“Redeeming social importance” was the legal lingo used).

    It was a great film visually, and I am going to have to try it again with my back to the screen to actually listen to the informative narration.

    The film also proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Paul Freese could read from the Brooklyn Telephone Directory, and make it art.

  • Uli Meyer

    Ahahahaha, when it comes to art you’ve got to love the seventies.
    Damn, she was cute. Oops, sorry, I know…

  • I’m an artist, get your kit off!

  • I’m slightly surprised that YouTube, in its current climate of prudery which has seen a huge number of videos removed for being salacious, has allowed this one to stay up, given the nature of the “painting surface.”

    And speaking of the “painting surface” she’s probably somebody’s grandmother now and may even rail against naked people on the Internet.

  • dr. l.h. strictland

    art is that mustache!

  • Bob Funn

    That part where he hits her eye with the paint was so weird! The seventies were crazy!

  • Jenny Lerew

    Galatea in reverse!
    So, what happened with this film? Where was it shown? I’d love to look up reviews. Shot in L.A.?

  • TStevens

    I thought it was pretty amusing. If you pay close attention the VO makes light of the visuals quite well. It’s just a nice juxtaposition of the technical writing with the visuals.

    The great thing about the late sixties and the mid seventies was that you could do just about anything. Even the major studios were letting film makers “just do thier thing.” Now it seems like the emphasis, even for independents, is to make slick commercially accessible films. Back then people didn’t care if there was an audience, they just made it.

    A film like this probably would not come out of any commercial studio today. Maybe a college – but not a studio.

  • Nick

    what a piece of art… oh yeah the artist was pretty good too.

  • OM

    …Definitely *NOT* a Disney cartoon! :-P

  • In which art shop can you got one of those canvas? ;-)

  • I’m more impressed with Charles White III’s concentration more than anything else, as I’m afraid *I’D* be somewhat—BLUSH!!—distracted, myself…

  • Will Mendes

    I certainly learned a lot about painting surfaces by watching this film. Sadly, I forgot to take notes. Luckily, it’s still on YouTube, where I can watch it again and again until I get the spelling right.

  • Yeah, that mustache is solid 68′.
    I’d imagine that it would be a hell of a distraction for me to try doing that with a brush….
    Interesting little film though, and the V.O. track was Awesome.

    Now I just need to go down to Utrecht and score one of those canvases and some paints.


  • captain murphy

    I’d forgotten that aspect of Frees voice. Really reminiscent of Orson Welles. I wonder if they competed unknowingly for VoiceOver work.

    I almost always think Jay Ward rather than Haunted Mansion in regards to Frees, not reminded of his straight work that often.

    I only got the audio, not the visual did I miss anything?


  • this is great. love how the narration syncs up with the visuals in unexpected ways. sweet bedsheets, by the way…

  • Theodore

    That’s Paul Frees doing his ‘Orson Welles voice’, not an exact replica like what Mo LaMarche later did, but a solid ‘dramatic’ vocal, still in demand right up to the moment Frees passed, after which several vocal mimics tried to ape it, never quite doing what he did.

  • Artist

    …and then the artist and model made love.
    Nine months later she gave birth to Brad Paisley.