Here’s a heads-up on an event I’m doing which I’m really looking forward to — “The Art of Animation Timing: A Master Session with Fred Crippen.” It’ll take place on Saturday, May 21st, so it’s still a few weeks away. Basically the way it’ll work is we’ll be showing different examples of Fred’s work from throughout his career, and inbetween the films there’ll be a discussion/Q&A about his distinctive approach to animating and filmmaking.
Fred is certainly one of the most unique animators in the biz. During the 1950s, while he was working at the legendary UPA Studios, he animated seventeen films entirely by himself (4 Columbia theatricals and 13 shorts for THE BOING BOING SHOW). No assistants, nothing. As experimental as UPA was, I’m fairly certain that no other person at the studio in the 50s animated a film entirely by themselves; there were typically multiple animators on each film and those animators each had assistants. And here’s Crippen animating film after film, all by himself, in the short span of two years.
In later years, he created ROGER RAMJET, made over 100 SESAME STREET and ELECTRIC COMPANY spots and worked on numerous Saul Bass film projects. He continues animating and directing today.
One of the great things about living in LA is that we can learn from the cartoon masters who live amongst us. Fred is one of those living legends who has over fifty years of experience in the animation biz, and yet unlike most, has managed to retain a highly independent and personal approach to the art form. I hope everybody takes advantage of the opportunity on May 21st to pick up a few animation tips from Fred. There’s more details on the event at the ASIFA-Hollywood website (bottom of the page).