prehistoric

8 07 2009

in the late seventies RICHARD WILLIAMS opened next to RICHARD WILLIAMS ANIMATION in london soho square his second studio in los angeles. it was located corner barham/cahuenga. the first job the L.A. studio got was a 30 sec commercial for JOVAN and the j. walter thompson advertising agency. dick williams animated and inbetweened everything himself in six weeks, he only had help from an illustrator, REBECCA MILLS, who painted the backgrounds, in oil. the animation was done straight on cels with a black grease pencil. the advertising agency had bought the rights for a FRAZETTA painting of a prehistoric conan-like muscle guy with a sword on top of a mountain. they wanted to use that poster for their campaign and first thought of arnold schwarzenegger and a live action version for the commercial, until dick convinced them he could do it in the frazetta-style in animation. every other studio would have been proud just to have that character animated climbing up the cliff. in dick’s version additional to the climbing the whole background is animated with a camera constantly flying around the character with lightning effects and additional flying prehistoric creatures. it is a masterpiece, probably the most stunning animation I have seen. in the fall 1978 issue of MIKE BARRIER’S FUNNYWORLD # 19 is an interview with richard williams where he talks in detail about the making of this commercial. following are some captured images to give you an idea.

williams jovan comm

frazetta022

williams still23

© frank frazetta
© richard williams
© j.walter thompson + jovan

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