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What I really want to do is direct

Make Your Own Animated Movies 1

Make Your Own Animated Movies

It looks like this kid has Oscar potential.  Wait, he’s about 50 years old now.  Wonder how that worked out for him?  Does anyone know anything about this equipment?  I’ve never seen anything like it!  This book is interesting from a historical perspective, but won’t help kids today who are interested in making animated movies (and I bet that’s a pretty popular topic these days)


Make Your Own Animated Movies 2

Make Your Own Animated Movies 3

0 Responses to What I really want to do is direct

  • You don’t even have to have a camera to make animated movies these days.

  • A book like this obviously makes no sense for kids, but I graduated from film school in 2007 and we were actually taught how to use this sort of equipment in several of my classes — some people do still make films this way! That said, I’m a professional animator now and everything I do is digital.

  • Hey, I wish I’d had a Bolex 16mm camera when I was a kid. That’s apparently what he’s using (or something like it)–I got to use one in college for an animation course in 1997.

    We had digital audio recorders, so nothing like that big box on the table, but the bottom photo is just a film splicer. I actually still use one of those regularly, at our local movie theater when we splice together the movie reels for the show.

    Yeah, there’s certainly no need for cameras and film and splicing, but it’s still pretty cool. Sure, everyone’s moving towards digital but there are still directors shooting on film even now.

  • I showed my teenage son, who is interested in movie making, expecting a laugh. No, he informed me our local branch carries this very title! My son does have a similar reel-to-reel machine! And he does clip out letters and such like in that one photo. Much too old for use today though, unless like Victoria you are in the business. Then I suppose it is just for fun. A child checking it out wouldn’t have this equipment, in all likely hood.

  • The camera is a Bolex with a turret for three lenses. Bolex made 8mm and 16mm cameras in the same form. Judging from the splicer he is using it looks like it is a 16mm.

  • Not that this is an argument for keeping it – unless your library is in a movie heavy area like Hollywood – but like with how a lot of recording engineers prefer using the older equipment, same with film makers. Some just like this stuff better and find it makes better films then the digital stuff.

    Besides, us movie watchers are way more impressed with special effects done on this stuff then on computers. I still find myself impressed with the fade out scene in Abbot & Costello Meet The Invisible Man. How did they DO that back then?

  • Wrong again. Most film schools still teach with Bolex H16 cameras, and if you want to do animation the right way this is definitely the place to get started. I’m an animation major and we still have a 16mm Oxberry camera for high quality work. Like I keep saying, just because something is no longer new doesn’t mean it isn’t superior.

    • This is true, if we’re talking about a film school library. But for the juvenile section at a public library, a more up-to-date book geared toward the amateur level may be more appropriate. Heck, a tutorial book for Flash animation would be better.

  • Out of date. Toss it. I’ll bet a lot of older men would love to find it on a discard sale. My hubby sure would. He made 16 millimeter films with titles and captions back in the dark ages. Do replace it with modern animation how-to. This is a great topic in middle school.

  • I considered using this kind of setup when I was planning an animated short back in 1998. I had a super8 camera with turreted lenses, old audio equipment, and a splicer. All hand-me-downs, but all fully functional.

    It was still technically possible to process super8 back then, but barely. The camera shop would have had to send my film off to San Francisco to develop (I live in Alberta).

    Even then, it was easier and cheaper to animate digitally on borrowed macintosh systems. I ended up using a quicktake 100 and Lombard powerbook, compiling the images in quicktime pro.

    I don’t imagine that it’s gotten any cheaper or easier to process film since the 90s, and I can’t imagine a child who would choose to go through all that trouble today, especially considering that most households have the computer equipment and software necessary to do basic animation.

    That all being said, I wouldn’t hesitate to take this book out of the library if I ran across it. I find analog animation very interesting, and I still regret not trying my hand at it. I realize that my interests are atypical, but I find it unlikely that anyone will ever publish on this topic again. Are there updated resources available for aspiring analog animators?

    I am not a librarian, but from the above comments, it appears that people still learn these techniques. From my own anecdotal experience, the equipment needed is still obtainable, and much of it could still be purchased at good camera stores in the 90s. Assuming that the book is in good condition (as it appears to be), is it possible that there’s still a space on the shelf for it, or for other books aimed at older audiences? What makes it a weeder? The age? The target audience? The medium itself? A combination of factors?

    (Don’t rip into me too hard, I’m honestly just curious)

    • The location of the library if you ask me. If this was in a library in LA or NYC I can see keeping it as there’s tons of movie related resources out there. I doubt any kid would have to send the film to San Fransisco to be processed there, they could probably go next door.

      Not that there aren’t future directors out there, but likely they wouldn’t be interested in this book because the materials wouldn’t be as easy to obtain.

      • What makes this a weeder? As a librarian, its all about audience. Yes it may be a good title for a college level film school library. But it’s not a good choice for a public library or school library because basic, easy, at-home film-making has gone digital. The information is now more of interest to adults than to kids. And as the earlier post said, probably only adult in certain areas of the country.

  • I discovered this title when I was in junior high (1979) and I had it checked out constantly. I had always loved animation and I replicated as many of the techniques I could using the school’s Super 8 camera, which sported a single frame advance mode. Thanks for the nostalgia trip!

  • The battle many of us wage in the public library world is on ongoing effort to provide relevant and useful information to those we serve without becoming a repository of useless crap. My feeling from years of public service is that there are some members of the public who believe that a library should be a storage hub for all cultural minutia produced. But if public libraries took this tact, they’d become bogged down with materials they couldn’t store and driven to obsolescence fairly quickly. There is only so much shelf space in any given public library, so difficult decisions need to be constantly made regarding collections. This is true 100 years ago as it is today, though electronic information and the proliferation of the Amazon/Chapters universe has changed the landscape considerably, forcing us to make review and renew a priority. Yes, a book like the above may have some relevance somewhere (a library specializing in film studies, for example), but it is hard to believe that this item is flying off the shelves where it is now. The age of the item, the recent turnover numbers on the item, and its condition are all good indicators in determining whether this book should stay or go.

  • OLDER MEN? It is not a gender specific interest! I am a female , an ethnographic film maker in days past and now am an archivist that specializes in visual formats.
    I would SQUEEEEEAL with delight to find this!
    Yes, it is no longer for a general interest audience, and was not really written at the level for supporting an academic program in film making, but it a charming item.
    Weed it, and let me know when the discard sale happens!

  • Most kids of today wouldn’t know what film was, just about everything is digital, while some of the techniques might be transferable, I imagine there are more up to date books, or at least an updated version if this book is so good.

    • Correction, most kids not interested in being in the film business wouldn’t know. Those that are, would.

      • I know the kids I worked with back in 2003-ish wouldn’t. I took in my 35mm at one point to get good photos and everyone crowded around asking what it was and how it worked. These kids were 8-12 and had never seen a manual film camera before. Most hadn’t seen a film camera in general, but the older ones knew about disposable point and shoots. I’d imagine most kids who are around the same age now wouldn’t even know that.

      • Nicky, those must have been some incredibly rich kids. Almost no one owned a digital camera in 2003 (apart from professionals). I was 13 in 2003, and I remember my fifth grade “graduation” in 2000 when everyone (not just some people, I mean everyone) had a film camera of some sort. Some people had Polaroids, some had disposables, but most of us had real point and shoot 35mm cameras. Everyone even knew how to load a roll of film. Digital cameras were insanely expensive low quality toys until the early 2000s, and most camera companies didn’t even take them seriously until 2001-2003, when the first DSLRs came out. They didn’t really catch on for the regular people until about five years ago, though there were some people who had digital cameras before then. I get very annoyed when people say they have never seen or used a film camera before, because for that to be true they would need to be less than ten years old.

  • I’m all for learning the old school techniques. Hell, in my music editing class we used a Moviola for one of our projects even though we had access to Pro-Tools. But for a public library juvenile section, a book about digital video editing would probably be a better selection for any budding auteurs. There’s gotta be iMovie for Dummies that would be loads better than this.

  • Looks like Robbie Benson from One on One.

  • That kid is absolutely adorable!