Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My Interview With Ed Benedict
Speaking of The Flintstone Laser Disk I did for Fred Seibert, there were all kinds of extras in the set. In the booklet, I printed an interview with Ed Benedict. Ed's designs were a huge influence on me, and what made Hanna Barbera's early cartoon style so instantly recognizable.
Ed is an even bigger curmudgeon than me who hated everything he did. Famous animator Clay Croker printed the entire interview on his blog:
I have lots of interviews with classic animators and directors on tape. They were all transcribed at one time but got eaten by old computers and formats that died. Now they need to be retranscribed all over again. Jeezus.
If you ever find the Flintstone Laser Disk set, you should snap it up just for all the supplemental stuff. It has lots of classic commercials, including all the Winstons Cigarettes spots and more. It also has a huge collection of off-model Flintstone toys from the 1960s that you can click through one by one and be astounding at the unending variety of ways to interpret Flintstone and the gang.This set is one example of what put Fred Seibert above all other cartoon executives: He let it happen. (Compare it to the modern 1st season Flintstone DVD set, which has none of the cool supplemental funny stuff and really bland fuzzily airbrushed cover art). Fred also let us do wacky Hanna Barbera cel painting kits, he started the first cartoon shorts program and let some cartoonists have a lot of creative control, over their work. No one else before him would have allowed any of this stuff to happen. Fred encouraged it (and hired lots of new junior executives who discouraged it when he wasn't looking). Of course everyone after him followed his lead and superficially pretended to be hip and cool and to like cartoonists. They even started dressing like hipster cartoonists and all ran out to be buy retro square rimmed-glasses. That's how we now have "creative executives" a bizarre thing no one ever pretended to be before the 90s.
Here is another rare interview with one of cartoon history's unsung heroes, Bob Givens. Bob was a designer, layout artist and background painter for most of Warner Bros. cartoons' history and worked with all the great animators and directors. He designed the first Bugs model that looks like the Bugs we know. He has a million stories. See him in a series of videos starting with: