remembering Richard Williams 2

26 08 2019


the awards in the soho studio


with art babbitt and emery hawkins on RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY


with ken harris


animating on ROGER RABBIT test


DICK’S SIX sunday brunch in hotel brittannia london


with roy naisbitt and ken harris


brainstorming on NASRUDDIN


with vincent price


in front of his house in hampstead


the soho studio staircase with awards


with ursula andress on CASINO ROYALE


with vincent price


with vincent price, the voice of the grand visier in NASRUDDIN

© bilderfabrik
© key profiles, key press london
© richard williams

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remembering Richard Williams 1

19 08 2019

all the following pictures are from the 70s and 80s, from my personal photo collection and from the british KEY PROFILES publication in 1972. RICHARD WILLIAMS had received his first academy award for THE CHRISTMAS CAROL and his studio at 13 soho square in london with a staff between 25 and 40 produced hundreds of animated commercials. he had started as well animation on his personal animated feature film, titled NASRUDDIN at that time, later THE COBBLER AND THE THIEF. he had invited the best animators around at that time to his studio to teach and contribute animation to his feature film, like ART BABBIT and KEN HARRIS. even richard williams’ most admired animator, MILT KAHL, visited the studio, as well as GRIM NATWICK. a lot of the animators and ‘students’ in his studio of that time would later have their own very successful studios, like RICHARD PURDUM. the RICHARD WILLIAMS STUDIO became the center for the best animation at that time.


1972 guest lecturer at cal arts


1973 academy award for best animated short subject


art babbitt lectures


1985 animating on a commercial


lectures in 1972


short love me, love me, love me


NY animation film festival 1972 with nick bosustow and raoul servais


work on casino royale titles with writer frank buxton and woody allen


1985 in duesseldorf


work on the return of the pink panther titles


with empress farah pahlavi at the tehran film festival 1975


charge of the light brigade titles


return of the pink panther titles


running through soho square


short the sailor and the devil, all artwork burned in a fire on the top floor of dick’s studio, after the film was finished


the STUDIO – 13 soho square

© bilderfabrik
© key profiles, key press london
© richard williams





Richard Williams (March 19, 1933 – August 16, 2019)

18 08 2019

this is very sad news. RICHARD WILLIAMS died friday, age 86.
he was my mentor and good friend. I will never forget the time with him and his many funny stories. in the eighties he had 2 studios, one in london, 13 soho square, and one in los angeles on cahuenga blvd not too far away from the hanna barbera studio. beginning of the eighties I went together with andreas deja several times to london, visited his studio. but he was unfortunately always in L.A.
then in 1985 I recommended him to an advertising agency in duesseldorf to do the animation for a commercial that I had designed. he came immediately to duesseldorf because he remembered my many unsuccessful visits to his london studio. and from then on our friendship and collaboration started. for a while I worked with him in london on commercials, or he came to duesseldorf where he xeroxed my complete disney animation archives. his wife, mo sutton, came with him. then during work on ROGER RABBIT I attended many times sundays the brunch music sessions in hotel britannia, with his dixieland band DICK’S SIX.
he taught me everything about animation, gave me all his animated commercials to study, and – the most precious gift, copies of his personal notes of the ART BABBITT animation lectures, 1000 pages. he introduced me to ART BABBIT and KEN HARRIS, and to STEVEN SPIELBERG, ROBERT WATTS and DON HAHN, what started my new future in feature animation. I am so grateful to all his help and advice, and that I was able to spend time with one of the greatest animators of our time. I will miss you, dick





calling

28 12 2011

from a seventies commercial animated by RICHARD WILLIAMS ANIMATION – the good old days!

© richard williams animation





dissolves

5 09 2009

truman 2 comp

williams-trumann comm 1

in 1977 ANDREAS DEJA and I went to london and visited all the major animation studios, – HALAS&BATCHELOR, WHYATT&CATTANEO, DRAGON, TV-CARTOON, GRAND SLAM and of course RICHARD WILLIAMS ANIMATION. dick williams was not in london at that time, we met him a few years later. but they showed us their latest showreel with a selection of animated commercials. this showreel had a devastating effect, we were depressed for the rest of our london stay. it was the kind of animation we had never seen before, a quality that rivaled disney animation and was very, very different. especially a unique dissolve technique fascinated me. dick williams had developed that technique for his numerous animated titles for live action films like CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE and WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT. within the commercial-collection there was especially one that looked stunning – PUSHKIN WODKA. the dissolves seemed to go on without stopping and made the animation of more complicated mass-scenes easier. the cameraman explained to me that it was several dissolves on top of each other and even split in speed with masks. I asked him for more details but he did not want to explain it more. well, back at home I started doing endless tests. at that time I did all the camerawork for my animation myself and I wanted to find out how that technique worked. it took me over a year with endless tests. below is a diagram that shows you how it works, it is a mix of 3 exposures they are planned careful that the full exposure of all three is at any frame 100%. that way you only need 5 animation drawings to get 28 frames. usually you need 12 drawings on two’s for 24 frames. from that time on I did most of my tv-work using that technique, it looked like full animation and took only half the drawings. history! today it is probably a software you get for free as a download.

triple diss

© richard williams animation





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





errol le cain

4 07 2009

ERROL LE CAIN ( 1941 – 1989 ) is well known for his numerous illustrated children books. always fascinated by animation he joined RICHARD WILLIAMS animation studio in london in 1965 and worked on a wide range of animation projects, amongst them the titles for CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM and CASINO ROYALE. but his most important contribution was the stylistic work on the COBBLER AND THE THIEF, his beautifully painted backgrounds for this masterpiece. richard williams told me that errol made an animated short without any help after he had started to work in the studio. dick called it his ‘apprentice-work’. THE SAILOR AND THE DEVIL is a stylistic masterpiece, and the limited animation is fresh and unusual. according to dick williams there was a fire in the upper floor of his 13 soho square studio after the completion of the short, and unfortunately most of the artwork of that film burned or got badly damaged. following are a few screen captures of that short masterpiece…

errol le cain anim

© richard williams animation/errol le cain