Friday, December 14, 2012

Invisible Ink

This picture was taken sometime in 1987 when Steven Spielberg was visiting the animation crew in London. We were early on in production for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". 
I believe Mr Spielberg had his picture taken with almost everybody in the animation crew. And he signed all those photos, too.
The camera that day sure didn't capture what I was working on, so it looks like I only have a blank sheet of paper to show for. 
Steven Spielberg is a very cool guy. He talks to you on the same level, from one filmmaker to another. I remember his enthusiasm for film and animation.
A few years later I even had the chance to have breakfast with him at the newly founded Dreamworks Studio. And again I felt like I could comfortably talk to this movie giant about anything, film or otherwise. I remember asking him if I could stop by the set of Jurassic Park II. He said, you won't be seeing any dinosaurs, there's just a lot of waiting around on the set. (I didn't end up going.)

I've kept shockingly little of my animation drawings from Roger Rabbit.
Here is a sketch with the Weasels' leader Smart Ass. I enjoyed animating his introduction very much.
He was interacting with live action props like a chair and a pistol, then he threatened Bob Hoskins: "Where's the Rabbit?" 

I also did the Bouncer at the Ink & Paint Club. Completely different character, powerful, slow moving like a big oaf.  So I had the chance to animate a lot of different character concepts for the film, and I learned a ton.

A post-Academy Awards-photo with Dick Williams, his mother and some of the animation crew.
Good times!! 


  1. nice to see pencil tests for that scene with the big ape, and hear about Spielberg's visiting the animators...

    seems like I'm always learning new things about what went on behind scenes of Roger Rabbit.

  2. Must have been an amazing experience this movie. Thanks for posting. Even though you can't make out what's on your drawing you can see all the Heinrich Kley drawings you put up on the wall behind Mr Steven! Cool to see all over the world inpiration often goes back to the same great artist godfathers.

  3. Andreas, you have been witness and protagonist of the story of animation in the last 30 years. You should write one day all these memories

  4. Sehr geehrter Herr Deja, ich bin verzweifelnd auf der Suche nach einer Kontaktmöglichkeit via E-Mail. Ich bewundere Ihre Arbeiten sehr! Ich würde mich sehr über Tipps freuen, was man tun muss, um TrikzeichnerIn zu werden.

    1. Hallo Giannina,
      ein sehr gutes handwerkliches Zeichenvermoegen ist notwendig.
      Also...oft in den Zoo und alle Tiere zeichnen, dann natuerlich Aktzeichnen vor dem Modell.
      Menschen und Tiere beobachten. Entwickle einen Sinn fuer Schauspielerei, Komik und Unterhaltung.
      Uebrigens hier in den USA gibt es kaum noch Trickzeichnen,
      auch bei Disney geht's nur noch mit dem Computer zu.
      Da ist in Europa mehr los, was Zeichentrick Projekte anbelangt.

    2. Tausend Dank für Ihre Antwort!
      Ja, das ist sehr traurig mit dem "Aussterben" der echten Trickfilme.
      Gäbe es vielleicht die Möglichkeit, Ihnen ein paar Zeichenproben von mir zu schicken? Ich würde mich über ein kleines Feedback sehr freuen.
      Liebe Grüße, Giannina.

  5. Ahah, it's funny to see how James Baxter has changed since then and you almost not !

  6. Ahhhh, the memories...! I have a nice stack of drawings from that production, including the drawing of Roger that Spielberg made at my desk while taking his photo with me. I can't believe that was 25 years ago. I have to thank you again for letting me stay with you and Phil that weekend I visited you guys in London - which indirectly led to me being hired. Dick: "Do you have a showreel with you?" Me: "Uh, no." D: "How about a portfolio?" Me: "Uh, nooooo... ...I just came to visit, so didn't bring anything with me." D: "Do you want to take a test?" Me: "YEESSSS!!" 2 hours later I was hired! Thanks my friend!

  7. I love this movie and i love to read your stories about everything! thanks for sharing them with us!

    Fred Sposito

  8. By the way, I'd love to know more about your process and curiosities of Hercurles. I love the character and all the movie.

    If you can share it with us someday, it will be great!

    Thanks for inspiring all of us around the world.

  9. I've been a Roger Rabbit fan my whole life, but I somehow manage to forget that you were a supervising animator on the original film. The drawing of Smart Ass here is choice -- his whole rotten attitude is crystal clear. Thanks for the memories!!

  10. Great drawings! Thanks dor sharing these. :) It´s always supportive to see, that great professionals also searching right lines for drawings and sketches. As i when learning to draw nicely. :) We need more old-school-alike-cartoons like Roger Rabbit is. More squash & stretch and craziness please. :)

  11. Steven Spielberg seems like such a nice guy! And love the pose of that weasel, wouldn't want to mess with him. :D

  12. Great memories.
    Hey Andeas, tried to connect but my info is out of date. Please contact me.

  13. No doubt, lady in blue coat is Dick's mother. :-)