Friday, October 17, 2008

Thief DVD poll

Andreas mentioned in his last post that we will take a break from posting for a few months. If any of our former Thief co-workers would like to do a guest post let me know. Just send email to thiefcobbler at yahoo dot com. I don't check that email account too often, so maybe leave a quick reminder in the comment section as well.

Many of you have been digging already into the archive. This is an opportunity to catch up on older posts. Some of the most interesting posts were posted months ago, so why not start at the beginning and read them all? Also check the TIPS FOR NEW READERS in the side bar.

Now, my apologies to the 23 people who already voted in the DVD poll. I want to simplify the poll, so please vote again in the new poll box on the right. Here is the long version:
A lot of us wish for an official DVD release with all the Williams footage of the THIEF. It would be good to know how many people would buy such a DVD. Please vote for one of these 2 options:

1. Yes, I would buy such a DVD, but only if the film gets properly finished.
2. Yes, a high quality version of the workprint, with storyboards. Plus documentaries etc.

I will vote for No. 2, because that could happen immediately. There is more than 1 hour of finished Williams animation footage, not counting the storyboards. Finishing the film would be a whole different story and who knows when that might happen. Would it be possible to re-assemble a crew that would be able to finish it on the same quality level? Would it make sense to spend the money necessary to get that whole machine rolling again? We have discussed this before, but please comment if you have strong opinions one way or another.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thief DVD petition

I just saw and signed this online petition (LINK) for an official Thief DVD (via ASIFA page).
The main thing is that by signing you are saying that this would be a DVD that you would be interested in buying. It's asking for the film to be finished. Personally I would be happy to get something along the lines of what petition signer 84 or 85 wrote: "... Release a Special Collector’s Edition DVD of the Workprint version; fully uncut and unedited; in widescreen; with digitally restored and remastered picture and audio; extra features like a special introduction to the DVD by Richard Williams himself; audio commentary by Richard Williams; early artwork, drawings and pencil tests; all the BBC documentaries about the film; an all-new documentary about the film’s troubled history, Richard’s other film’s, “ The Little Island” “Love Me Love Me Love Me” etc courtesy of him; and other extras to make the DVD worthy of the name, “Special Collector’s Edition”.

Update: I added our own poll on the right.
If there would be an official DVD using only Williams footage, would you buy it?
1. Yes
2. Yes, but only if the film is properly finished.
3. Yes, a high quality version of the workprint, with storyboards. Plus documentaries etc.
4. No. The way it's released right now is good enough for me.
5. No, I'm not interested.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

Before we take a break from posting, I thought I'd post some random ramblings and images.
I have now been in the animation industry for 18 years and i can honestly say that none of this may have ever happened without Dick Williams and 'the Thief'. When Dick took us four Germans on, we had very limited experience. Holger and Dietmar had studied animation in college and Michael and I were entirely self taught. It takes people like Dick Williams to see the potential and most of all, be willing to take a chance. We all worked very, very hard on the movie and I think, our work ethic today is firmly rooted in what we learned in those first 2 years.
My very first assignment were inbetweens for Neil Boyle, a scene where the Thief walks on stilts while arrows whiz all around him. Was I lucky to work with someone so patient and knowledgeable right at the start. He sent me back several times to redo what I thought were perfectly fine inbetweens, my eye not trained yet to see the slight imperfections, changes in angles and volumes, but after redoing the drawings a few times and thinking all the time that I'd be fired by the end of the week, I got it. Thanks, Neil.
This industry really lives on through artists who are willing to share what they know and mentor. I have worked with good and ,well, not so great mentors over the years.The best, I found, were the ones to freely point out one's mistakes without putting you down, to inspire you to try your own ideas. Dick Williams is certainly someone who always put the work in front of ego, and I think thats what inspired the fierce loyalty we all felt on the picture.Eric Goldberg is another example of the ideal mentor, freakishly talented enough to warrant star behaviour, yet never displaying any, instead freely sharing his paraphrase Dolli Levy...knowledge is, pardon the expression, like manure. its no good unless its shared and allows young things to grow. While no young thing anymore myself, I will always be deeply grateful to Dick Williams for giving us the initial chance to enter this crazy business.

A crowd scene featuring a guest appearance by Barbra Streisand. I think, Gary Dunn did a few characters too. When we showed the scene to Dick, we glowed with pride when he said: Well done! There was no w@nking around on this.

One of Dick's pet peeves. He thought, we shouldn't listen to music while working. We did, anyway. We couldn't all bring in a trumpet to play out loud.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Interview links

I was finally able to listen to the Dick Williams Ottawa Radio interview:
(Thanks David Nethery!)

Tom Sito about Eric Goldberg (LINK)
Dick Williams (2002) (LINK)