The work I did on Scooby-Doo was all in pencil. Primarily storyboard work, but I do recall animating some in the early seventies and I think my studio, Ron Campbell Films Inc., might have sub-contracted some too, but memory fails me here. I could be mistaken.
As an animator one works primarily drawing what we call 'roughs', which is a loose rough drawing possibly in blue pencil that is 'cleaned up' by an assistant animator in preparation for 'inbetween' drawings being drawn by assistants or inbetweeners.
Storyboarding in those days was a lot less detailed than storyboards are done today, with a lot less attention to drawing 'on model' or even to scale. This was possible because we did careful and complete layout drawings in preparation for the animator. Much of this work is now done today by the storyboard artist.
For an animator to calculate the number of drawings he has done in his career is to ask him to first take a fistfull of Aspirin. It doesn't bear thinking about unless one is ready for the loony-bin. How can one do so many drawings and still live? You must calculate not just the number of inbetween drawings you did while learning to animate, you must also calculate the uncountable number of drawings you did as an aninimator and the even more uncountable number of drawings you did that you had to throw away. Then there is the complexity of the drawings. For example, the first job I ever had when first hired as an inbetweener was to do hundred of inbetweens of a caterpiller dying from a bug spray, each drawing had a caterpiller with a hundred legs and each leg had to be drawn...one at a time...carefully...
No. The question is unfair, and cruel, and I shall discuss the matter no more.
All my friends and many colleagues are dead or long since retired and disappeared into the wide open spaces of the American West. Write to Gerard Baldwin he might have some memories especially of the Smurfs (I worked with him on that) and perhaps he did stuff on Scooby. He might know others because he worked in the studio much more than I did as I had my own studio through a lot of this time period.
Can you tell me about your work for Disney (Bonkers, Goof Troop, Darkwing Duck)? Was the work there different from the other studios? Why?
Iwoa I had a lot of respect for, and Bill Hanna of course. Nick Nichols rates very high in my esteem and I worked with him at Disney's also, on Darkwing Duck. Bob Dranko was a great talent as a designer, and Cliff Roberts was brilliant as an ideas man and writer. Piere Culliford was a terrific artist (Peyo, creator of the Smurfs) and a very creative mind, and Yvan Delport was just this side of brilliant if you reserve the word brilliant for people like Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton. Shall I go on? I forgot to mention you Bernard, sorry. And Duane. Then there is Fred Crippen and Fred Calvert, and Phil Mendez and ... Norm and Al and Phil and Barry and and on and on....
When I ponder these old friends of mine I grow wistful, and wonder at my luck at what good friends and colleagues I have had...
Not much difference in the studios. It's always people who made the films for TV and the people often went from one studio to the next as projects were born or died.
This is an original painted drawing by Ron Campbell framed with vintage 45 rpmrecords and signed by Ron Campbell. The records are "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Yesterday"
How did you manage to weave yourself within the spirit of all these series, that are so different? Did you have any "Bible"? How did you work with execs and producers?
Every show has a 'bible' which is a guide that disparate writers must have to bring them all together writing about the same characters. Some shows one avoids because of personal inadequacies or even disdain, but if one is out of work one soon drops disdain and gets off the high horse. On the other hand I managed to work mostly on shows I loved, frequently giving up almost a decade of life for each. Such is the life of an old animation hack in Hollywood.
Never met a producer I didn't like. I was myself a producer, producing the animation for the children's TV show The Big Blue Marble, and other things.
VERY IMPORTANT especially in the Big Blue Marble.
Do you have favorite composers you worked with? Would you please share some memories with us?
It is many years now since I worked directly with musicians, and when I did so it was as a producer/director. Music for children is a wonderful field for musicians and a master of the form was a friend of mine (if I can drop a name) now passed, Joe Repozo, whom I first met while doing early Sesame Street shows. He composed the opening song to Sesame Street, a tune played on TV here in the USA every day for over thirty years now. He later did the music for us on a French/Canadian film I was line-producing called Smoggies, a show created by another friend just this side of genius, Gerry Potterton of Quebec. Like Woody Allen's girlfriend in Manhattan, I seem to know a lot of geniusus...
I fondly remember producing a rock opera for the story of King Midas with the golden touch, kissing his daughter good morning he reacts in horror, singing to a rock beat: "Oh, No!- What is this?- I have a golden daughter with just one kiss!!" Lyrics by Cliff Roberts, music and sung by Ted Neeley who had just played Jesus in Norman Jewison's film Jesus Christ Superstar. For some reason I still smile at those silly little words that seemed to tell the whole story...
This is an original painted drawing by Ron Campbell framed with a vintage 45 rpmrecord and signed by Ron Campbell.Multiple Emmy Award-winning animation director, Ron Campbell was born in Seymore, Victoria, Australia in 1939.
What was the importance of music (score) in your work? In humor? In emotions?
The Beatles were important in my early work, as I directed many episodes of the TV show in the early sixties and also segments called 'sing-alongs' -- bouncing ball stuff to early Beatles songs. I remember I Want To Hold Your Hand depicted as an octopus holding the Beatles wearing diving suits playing the song underwater...bizarre....
Young animator:- No matter how much your computers can do for you, learn to draw, paint, and design...study the masters and the moderns, read every day, study film, all kinds of film good bad and indifferent, but above all study literature.
Have you any projects to come?
Would that I did, but time has passed me by and I find peace now in painting Pop Art based on shows I have in one capacity or another had a hand in making. People like to sell them and buy them, and I like to paint them. We are all happy.
And what are the three questions you wouldn’t to be asked, and why?
This is a cute question. You want me to ask the questions AND give the answers??? Where did you get the idea for this question? The Devil?