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What I learned Along the Way.

A year after Warner Bros seized and ruined Richard Williams great project the Cobbler & the Thief, I ran into Dick and asked him how he was coping. He calmly replied he was doing life drawing.

This impressed me. That such a master Oscar winning artist was not above getting out the old newsprint pad and conte crayons and sitting in front of a model again. I noticed that the best animators, Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, still make time to get in some life drawing. I also thought about Jack Zander, even at age 99 teaching himself to send and receive e-mails and surf the net.

Picasso once said:" If ever I did a drawing I was happy with, I'd break my pencils and give up, because I then would have begun to lie to myself."

I'm looking forward to the series I'm directing to learn new things as well as ply my normal skills. At the end of his life Beethoven felt he could have written better music, Leonardo regretted that he should have painted more. All you artists out there, it's okay to be unsatisfied with your work, but never fall into the trap that you know-it-all and think you above learning something new.

Birthdays: Sam Houston, Alexander Graham Bell, Kurt Weill, Desi Arnaz ( Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III ), Ted Geisel aka Dr.Suess, Mikhail Gorbachov, Willis O'Brian, Jon Bon Jovi, Karen Carpenter, Lou Reed, Jennifer Jones, John Cullum, John Irving, Tom Wolfe

1922- A 21 year old veteran named Walt Disney after getting out of the army began studying in the public library William Lutz's book "Motion Picture Animation and How it is Made". In Kansas City he and his brother Roy persuaded the owner of a small chain of vaudeville theaters to fund some cartoons. Today the Newman's Laff-O-Grams Company was formed. A year later the Disney brothers would move to Hollywood and start a new enterprise called the Walt Disney Company.

1923- THE FIRST TIME MAGAZINE. Founders Henry Luce and Claire Booth Luce were among the more powerful of the nations cultural elite. Conservative to the core -to the end of their days they thought Franklin Roosevelt and Civil Rights were big mistakes, they still experimented with LSD when it was thought by Harvard professors to be mind expanding. In the late 1980's the Time merged with Warner Communications to form Time-Warner, the world's largest media conglomerate.

1933- Movie "KING KONG" premiered at the new Radio City Music Hall in New York and the Roxy. It was the birthday of effects supervisor Willis O'Brian. Twas Beauty killed the Beast. No CGI around.

1947- Crusading Hollywood labor union organizer Herb Sorrell is plucked off the street in Glendale by gangsters posing as police. They may not have been just posing, many studios at the time hired off-duty LAPD at doubletime rates to rough up problem employees. Anywho, they drive Herb up to Mullholland and work him over, leaving him by the side of the road. Shortly after leaving the hospital Sorrell was jailed for disturbing public peace.

1971- Charles Engelhard died, a venture capitalist who’s wild investments and grand lifestyle made him the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s villain Auric Goldfinger.

1973- The Women in Film organization founded.

1976- Francis Ford Coppola began shooting his epic film“ Apocalypse Now” in the Philippines. The film was plagued by cost overruns, a typhoon and his Philippine Army helicopters frequently flying off to fight real guerrillas in the middle of shooting, but somehow it all got done.

1982- Science Fiction writer Phiilip K. Dick died of a stroke in Santa Ana California. The author of stories the movies Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall were based. Dick said he was at times possessed by a superalien who appeared in his mind in a beam of pink light. His bio is called I am Alive but you are Dead.