Jun 22, 2007

Disney paper circa 1989



How's this for an anemic post?
The above is a detail from the bottom edge of a piece of Disney feature animation paper from the summer of 1989. An intrepid friend was generous with some unused supplies(we were still at Calarts at the time) and I was the happy recipient of some drawing materials.
This is hardcore trivia, but apparently it was only for a very short span of time that this boilerplate warning appeared on every sheet of paper used by every animator, assistant and cleanup artist--printed not once but twice on each side of the center peg hole. Interesting. Well, sort of. The thing is, this proviso is really unnecessary--it's a legal fact that at every studio, every production drawing is always the property of the company, etc. etc. As it was this notice was soon dispensed with and the paper went back to its original blankness.

Incidentally the texture of this paper is quite different than the later super-luxe, slightly off-white bond we all lusted after at school and later at other studios. This one is a thinner, slightly rougher product.

I'd love to do a post sometime of the various papers and pencils--and pens--that came into and out of vogue at varying times at Disney's. We all know of the Blackwing and the Blaisdell Layout--and the ubiquitous Prismacolors--but what others made their marks in the hands of animators and story guys?

9 comments:

samacleod said...

Yeah I remember seeing some of those and thinking that was overkill of them to do that. I couldn't believe every page had one! Haha! Insane.

Anonymous said...

OMG, that paper SUCKED. Well, at least after the "buttery smooth" paper they'd come from...and went too. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I loved that Disney paper. I think it was from a company in Canada called Ingram. And with an "Ebony Design" pencil!! Like Butta'

Will Finn said...

i think it was the actual printing that ruined the grain of the paper. it was a classic waste of time and money for all the wrong reasons. fortunately it was very short lived.of course the mentality was eisner worrying that somewhere somehow people might make counterfeit disney sketches and profit from them. for a long time the studio excelled in spending a fortune to prevent losing a dime.

mark kennedy said...

Yeah, a friend of ours smuggled out a bunch of that stuff so I could animate my CalArts film on it - rather ironic, if you think about it. Everyone at Disney always said exactly what Will said above, that putting the words on the paper ruined the drawing surface. Some people at Disney drew on the reverse side. Anyway, once I was at Disney I got hooked on the blue pencils that came from Germany - Polychromos, I think they were called. Anyway, they were kept behind the supply counter so you had to ask Joe Morris for them, and he would only give me a couple at a time, and I never wanted him to know how fast I used them up, so I was always animating with tiny stubs on that scratchy paper with the watermark on it. Ha, ha, good times.

Floyd Norman said...

If you're as old as I am you'll remember the old five field paper. The stuff was no longer in use, and Disney was trying to get rid of the endless supply. They had tons of the stuff, and Johnny Bond kept me supplied. I can't tell you how many animated films I made using that "free" Disney paper.

The only drawback was having to use Disney's peg system, which was okay because I had lots of Disney pegs anyway. Shame they abandoned that system.

John S. said...

When I first started, the old Berol Boldliner was the pen of choice. They were black with a while tip on the cap. Then they changed them so the body was white and the cap was black. This version worked okay, but wasn't as durable. I still used them for years. Joe Mosier called the originals his "Blaisdell". He loved them and horded them by the box.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth DID Disney go from their proven, unique peg system to Acme pegs in the late 1980s? It was no improvement.

KBond said...

I would like to connect with Floyd Norman, my grandfather was Johnny Bond.