Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Irv Spector at Ed Graham Prods: INA -- Red Riding Hood - Shooting Script & Character Designs

Back in November I covered Jack and the Beanstalk, which was the first of five 60-second commercial spots that my father did for Ed Graham Prods. They were described as "Very adult fables" and were narrated by Edward Everett Horton, who of course also did the same for Jay Ward's Fractured Fairy Tales.
My next couple of posts will deal with another of the commericals, Red Riding Hood, which was the fourth spot produced. On all five, my father did the direction, animation layouts and background layouts, and assigned each separate spot to a different animator. For Red, I'm pretty sure Tom Ray was the animator. My dad had known him since their days together in the 1930s at Leon Schlesinger Studios. Tom had originally been selected for the second spot, Cinderella, but fell ill and was replaced by Dick Thompson. However, on the direction of one of the animation layouts (next post) my father mentions him by his first name. It is also my belief that Tom did the character designs for all five spots.

If you enjoy pencil work like I do, these might be worth your while to click on and enlarge.

Below is the shooting script for Red Riding Hood. I don't think they're really intended to be as terribly exciting to look at as storyboards and layouts; more along the lines of simply setting out the story. I mean, where's Grandma?! There'll be more detail in my next post. Nonetheless, I find them fascinating in their own right and the illustration ain't exactly chopped liver. I'm not certain who drew them and so won't make any claims or venture guesses. The originals must have been done in color -- unfortunately my set is b&w stat. That's Ed Graham's blue pen scrawl on the bottom of some.

Of note: Tom Ray is still around and working! You can check out his website here. I don't know if any animation historian or journalist has been out to interview him in the recent past, but if not, what are you waiting for? I wrote Tom a few years back, as our families used to get together in the 1960s. I asked him about the fantastic western street I still remember that he had built himself in his backyard(!), complete with saloon, general store, etc. Can you imagine? He told me it's now in a museum in Culver City.

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