Ask Smitty

For foreign guests and those too young to remember, Filmation was an "animation" studio gone the way of the dodo.

The storyboard department was across the street and down the block. I've no idea why except, maybe, they were too rambunctious. If that wasn't enough, Storyboards were split between Action and Comedy departments. These were on opposite corners of the structure. As far from each other as possible yet still in the same compound.

I signed up for Flash Gordon and was thus an Action guy. Shortly after starting, our fearless leader, Will, gathers the troops and says Comedy needs help. A huge groan fills the room. Excuses start flying. With big-foot as my first love, I raised my hand and volunteered. You'd have thought I kicked the baby and ate their dog! I was (playfully) branded a traitor and shown the door.

My time in Comedy was even shorter than Action. Thrilled with Tom and Jerry as a first assignment, I went to town. Most of it came back red-lined (excessive violence and actual animation) and I was told to report across the street to Karl, the Storyboard Editor, in the main studio.

Karl holds up two sheets. Storyboards for Tom and Jerry in one hand, the Lone Ranger in the other. He's noticed both bear the same initials at the bottom. Are they mine? I confess. He tells me I work for him now.

And that's how I became a Storyboard Editor.

Happy Trails

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