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March 1998, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 10 Mar 1998 13:23:11 EST
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Dana Polan writes:
> Dear Mark,
>         How nice to hear from you (and please convey my best to Susan).
>         I was in fact planning to write you at some time about this history
> project as there is an animation connection I wanted to ask you about.
> Have you ever come across the name "Boris Morkovin"?  He was a professor of
> Comp. Lit. here at USC who was enlisted to teach Photoplay Appreciation
> courses in the late 20s and into the 30s.  He is the first head of the
> dept. of cinema[tography].  The animation connection is that he also works
> at Disney--doing a course on story and gag construction for studio
> personnel.  There's a student at Harvard who's been working on Disney who
> told me about this.  The backstory is that Morkovin was very interested in
> cinema as form of moral uplift and as form of democratic education, and he
> very much saw Disney as creating a cinema that did these things.  Any info
> you have on this would be great.  And are there email b-boards on animation
> where I might be able to send out a request for info on Morkovin?
Sorry, I was in a hurry and didn't answer all your questions.  There are
e-mail bulletin boards on Disney -- easy enough to locate -- I gave up on
them a long time ago as sources of useful information.  They are very much
fan oriented, and not particularly good fan stuff either.  The Warner Bros
one (I think its alt.animation.warner-bros.) tends to have the best info,
but most animation groups are devoted to trivia.
And what
> are the journals on animation--esp. historical ones--that might have stuff
> on Disney in the 30s?
Slim pickings here.  Animatrix, which comes out of UCLA may yield some
material.  Contact Dan McGlaughlin at the UCLA Animation Program for info
on that.  The major scholarly publication in the field is Animation
Journal, which comes out of Chapman University.  Maureen Furniss is the
editor.  There is a book by Robin Allan on the influence of European
artists on Disney that is being published by John Libbey that should be
out soon.  It is based on Robin Allan's PhD thesis, from Exeter, I believe.
>         I will follow up on your Columbia leads.  I have not yet found much in
> way of materials on Patterson.  Freeburg's papers are at Yale, and I am
> writing to them for a detailed description of their holdings.  Do you know
> anything more about the White course you mention?  I don't know about this.
>  What is the full name?  Where do you think I could find out some more info?
I have a copy of Patterson's book, if you are having trouble locating it.
Also a copy of Epes Winthrop Sergeant's Technique of the Photoplay.
Obviously, much cinema education in the early days came from without the
academy, but had links to the trade publications (Sergeant's book being
the classic case).
This sounds like a great project.  I'll get back to you on the Disney
stuff, and let me know if I can be of further assistance.
> Thanks for all your help!
> Best,
> Dana
> ----
> Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
> University of Alabama.
Mark Langer
Email address: [log in to unmask]
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.