Hercules Development Crew Outing
Ron Clements falling out of his chair.
Words by John Ramirez:
At the end of Storyboarding we had a party at a Moroccan restaurant. We had such a great time, with such silly people there like Kaan Kaylon, Bob Shaw and Don McEnery and of course Ron and John…we were laughing up our couscous.
Working on these animated films was always a “huge” physical and emotional team effort. Each individual department in the pipeline was like a proud family in the long production crew lineage. During this 2-3 year gestation process of an animated film that starts with Visual Development and goes all the way through to Post Production, each department would finish with a thank you celebratory gathering usually themed in relation to the film. After that time each department would peel off the production and move on to the next film to start the process all over again. In this case most of us would roll onto Tarzan.
From a blank sheet of paper to three acts up on reels with all the characters, environments and props conceptualized and voices recorded, the Visual Development’s work is done and this project now boards the production train headed towards it’s final stop 2 years down the road on opening day. These thank you/departure parties were always an emotional release for everyone.
The first department on the project and the first to roll off is the team of storytellers and designers from Visual Development who after working together for up to 60 hours a week for 18 months take this welcome break to let off steam and relax.
Ron Clements falling out off his chair while others try to save him and save themselves
These projects played such a large dominant roll in all of our lives that most of us remember and acquaint our personal life details outside of work by associating what movie we were working on at the time. Our lives and our vocation were critically tied together.
This was the amazing life of an animation visual development artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation during that 15 year toon boom period. When all was said and done and I look back on what feels more like one long movie entitled “The Black Mouse Mermaid Down Under, Kingahontas of Notre Dame with HercZan and Mu-Groove 2000 of the Lost Empire at Hercules Planet”. We all felt very proud to participate in carrying on a legacy during a time when we were Drawn2gether.
(Please leave your memories and comments below.)