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Reaperbryan

Don't ask me anything. Tell me something.

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Once upon a time, Warner Bros. was a movie studio, and they had an animation department. It was a very good animation department, producing cartoons with Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and many other beloved characters.

One day, an animator got an idea for a lunatic duck character, so he got with the lead animator and some writers, and they created a wacky, chaotic, frenetic character and called him Daffy Duck.

fg11447--daffy-duck.jpg.b5b646b9ebd30ff1bff6c6abcc3ec3b1.jpg They began work on Daffy's first theatrical short. A script came together, and the animators began doing roughs. It came together. Towards the end of final animation, they had the orchestra produce the final music, and got Mel Blanc to come do voice work. Warner LOVED Mel Blanc, because while he didn't work cheap, if you had Mel, you didn't really need much of anybody ELSE; Mel could do it all.

The morning he came to read the script for Daffy Duck, Mel stopped and spoke to Leon Schlesinger, the chief admin for the animation studio at the time, signed off on the payment paperwork, and headed for the studio to record Daffy's dialogue.

"All right," he said. "What kind of a voice does Daffy have? What does he sound like? Do you have any sort of accent in mind?"

"Well, he's a fast talker," said the lead animator. "Aside from that, and the "woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo," we didn't really have anything specific in mind. Go nuts."

And Mel did. He decided that Daffy had an enthusiastic tendency to jabber, and a rather thick lisp and tendency to spit while pronouncing his fricatives. "You're ... DETHHHPICABLE!" The animators LOVED it, and so Blanc hammed it up and recorded all the dialogue, collected his check, and left. The sound man edited everything into shape, and synched up the music, sound, dialogue, and film.

Finally, the finished product was ready to roll in the studio's tiny theatre. The animators and writers screened the cartoon, and agreed that it was very funny, and was exactly what they were aiming for... although a nagging feeling bothered the lead animator. Durnit, Daffy's voice was familiar. Where had he heard that speech pattern before?

A studio page poked his head into the theatre, halfway through the screening. "Mr. Schlesinger's on his way. He wants to see the new cartoon."

The lead animator's stomach plummeted about fifty floors. Leon Schlesinger. THAT was who talked with that jabbering lisp. Leon Schlesinger. Their boss. The chief of the animation department. The ultraboss and liason to the actual movie studio. Signer of checks and giver of orders.

Ohhhh, &#$%. 

And there was no time to change or fix anything. He was on his way NOW.

And Schlesinger walked in, ordered the film rewound, and sat down with cigar and clipboard, and the cartoon began again. Mentally, everyone else in the room began composing their resignation letters or pondering how to beg for their jobs, and at least one was plotting how to murder Mel Blanc.

And for the length of a cartoon, no one laughed. Nothing was heard that wasn't on the soundtrack. Not a sound.

And then the cartoon ended, and the lights came up. No one said anything. No one moved. No one breathed.

And Leon Schlesinger said, "Well, that'th thum good thtuff, there, boyth. I think that'th a winner. I wrote down thum noteth, here, but I like how motht of it played out, and I think we can have thith one in the can before Friday, no thweat."

And after a pause, he added, "And that voith wath hilariouth. Where'd you get that voith?"

Dead silence.

"Ah, it was something Mel came up with during recording," said the lead animator.

"Good ole Mel. Worth every penny we pay him!" commented Schlesinger, as he left the theatre.

Mel Blanc later recounted that he thought he'd come up with the voice out of nowhere; he realized later that he'd been doing an imitation of Schlesinger without even realizing it... and now he had to keep DOING it, lest Schlesinger wonder why Mel wasn't doing the funny duck voice any more.

To the day he died, no one ever found the courage to tell Schlesinger that his voice had unconsciously been hung on an insane cartoon duck.

daffy-duck-duck-amuck-promo.jpg.c6dc742c5585b5acefb4b1a5a14121ed.jpg

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17 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

What are the odds that he knew, and decided to prank the studio staff by pretending to be oblivious?  


If so, he was a better boss than most I've known.

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Along the western coast of the island now known as Britain, about twenty miles inland from the spot where the city of Lancaster would one day stand, there lies a hill.  It looms over the surrounding landscape; and one day in the distant past, an Anglo-Saxon interloper turned to one of the native Celts, and said "What's that place called?"

 

And the Celt said "Pen."  Which in his language, meant "hill".

 

"Oh, that's a good name!" said the Anglo-Saxon.  "But ... there's a hill there.  Let's call it 'Pen Dale'."

 

Which, of course, meant "hill hill".

 

Years passed.  Wars were fought.  Witches were hung from grim gallows at the base of that very hill.  And through the operation of time and universal human laziness of pronunciation, the name "Pen Dale" shifted and twisted and eroded away into just "Pendle".

 

"You know," people started saying, "Pendle's a good name.  But there's a hill there!  Let's call it: Pendle Hill."

 

Today, you can go and visit a rather well done historical exhibit documenting the 17th century witch trials that took place at Hill hill hill.

 

And if the past is prelude, rest assured that some day your great great great great great great great grandchildren will be visiting that same place.  Its name might be something like Pendhil Tal, or Penhil po dao, or Penil Pahāṛī, or even just Pennle Hill.  But what you can count on is that it will be called "hill hill hill hill."

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That brings to mind the works of Terry Pratchett.

In one of his Discworld novels, he talks about how when the Ankhians began exploring the world, they found out the names of various animals, places, and topographical features by seizing a native, shaking him roughly, and shouting at him in a language he might or might not understand, "WHAT DO YOU CALL THAT THING? THAT THING THERE? SEE? WHAT IS IT CALLED?"

And this is how various animals, places, and topographical features' names got written down and registered in Ankh-Morpork. Only later was it found that a great many animals, places, and topographical features now had names which translated as things like "Your finger, you fool," and "Who is this idiot who does not know what a mountain is?"

I thought this was a very funny thing. I miss Terry Pratchett.

Only later did I hear the story about the English explorer who was escorted through the Florida everglades by Spanish soldiers, making biological observations and writing them down for report to the English gentry. This was in a time when the British heard about "cotton," understood it as "like wool, but vegetable rather than animal," and promptly began imagining a sort of tree that grew sheep instead of fruit.

No, I'm not kidding. Google "vegetable lamb" if you don't believe me.

Anyway, at one point, the Brit saw this enormous swamp reptile sunning itself on a log. He goggled, and asked his translator, "What in all that's holy is THAT thing?"

The translator grinned; the giant reptiles often had that effect on out of towners. "Ah, senor, we call that one el lagarto." (Ah, sir, we call that one the lizard.)

The Brit promptly sketched the dinosaurian horror, and labeled the page Allagarto. Over time, the English word for this particular beastie lingual drifted ... into alligator.

Which made me wonder if the Spaniards were just used to gigantic man eating lizards, or if that particular translator was pulling the Brit's leg by implying that a six foot fanged lizard was no big deal...
 

Vegetable_lamb_images3_670.jpg.43ddee5aa769fab5278b5362f047e08d.jpg

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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There is also the shaggy dog story that many aboriginals took to calling the British The Alawi.

 

'Cos they would wander out of the bush and announce "We're the Alawi!" (Where the Hell are we?)

Edited by paintybeard
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8 hours ago, Clearman said:

@pcktlnt should be nervous...

About people wanting to lick up his belly milk? 

I think he's pretty safe.<_<

 

Heck. I don't think we even need a warning from Pingo not to lick the platypus. :wacko:

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10 hours ago, Darsc Zacal said:

About people wanting to lick up his belly milk?

 

But...His belly milk brings them all to his yard...

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14 hours ago, Darsc Zacal said:

About people wanting to lick up his belly milk? 

I think he's pretty safe.<_<

 

Heck. I don't think we even need a warning from Pingo not to lick the platypus. :wacko:

 

4 hours ago, Clearman said:

 

But...His belly milk brings them all to his yard...

 

And now I’ve got an image of a hedonistic @pcktlnt, wearing a toga and a crown of ivy, lounging on one of those low and long couches, with a pewter pitcher of heavy cream slowly pouring it down his front.

 

Thanks brain. I wanted to take a nap. Looks like I’ll be awake for awhile. 

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Pegazus, I could have lived the entire rest of my life in contentment without that image invading my brain. 

In other news, Thomas Edison did not invent photography, nor did he invent the motion picture, but he did enough tinkering with them that he was granted various patents on the machinery. Regrettably, he did not care for anyone else making motion pictures, and moved against rival moviemakers, both legally and otherwise, sometimes with lawyers, and sometimes with armed thugs.

This is why a great many moviemakers relocated as far from New Jersey as they could while still being in America: Los Angeles, California, a place known for its warm climate and extremely sunny clear weather, a thing of great value when one considers that the stage lighting of the time was seldom up to the needs of motion picture making of the time. At least one studio literally built a soundstage with a glass roof for lighting purposes, AND mounted the entire building on a turntable, so's to take best advantage of the daylight at any time of the day. (Edison had a similar building, the Black Maria, he called it, but New Jersey's climate wasn't as salubrious as LA's for moviemaking).

Edison didn't like this, but sending thugs to California wasn't cost effective. He did send lawyers, though, and is known to have sued Carl Laemmle more than two hundred times. Laemmle was the founder of Universal Studios.

The wildcat filmmakers, however, were numerous and distant enough that Edison couldn't stop them all. He did manage to crush his competitors on the East Coast, but California was a distant place and different culture. And that's why Hollywood remains in California, while the East Coast film industry is largely nonexistent (or was until the dawn of television).

debff1f2-5ecf-41cb-852a-e9061170cd02-banner.jpg.d687fe834dc25c32cdfc8c87e420a2b6.jpg(Edison's Black Maria film studio. A replica stands there in New Jersey today.)

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I spent YEARS, back in the eighties, hunting for a copy of this movie, The Intruder, aka Shame! Still have a copy on VHS.

Now it's available in full length, uncut, on YouTube. It's one of the more disturbing movies I've ever seen. Yet, I think it should be seen.

William Shatner, of all people, plays a fellow who comes to a small Southern town to speak out against integration, in the early sixties. He's a sort of racist agitator. Many N-words are hurled around. But that's not the part I found disturbing.

Apparently, they shot this film on location, and had many townspeople as extras and in small roles. And they thought Shatner was the hero of the movie. At least, until filming was almost done, and the local cops caught on... and ran the film crew out of town. But the versimilitude of the location filming and real people doing real things makes the casual racism and kneejerk ugliness downright horrifying to modern audiences. It seems downright surreal now. Corman was sure he'd made a winner... but it tanked, since releasing it in the middle of the civil rights movement didn't exactly make it entertainment.

Look it up on YouTube for an education, if not actual entertainment.

 

download.jpg

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