I was very limited in what I could do with flying saucers, because they're just a metal disc. I had to try and put character in as if they were intelligently guided.
I was never restricted. I was never told what to do.
Many times I felt like I'd do better than what the director did, but some of them got a little discouraged because they didn't have full charge of making the film, and sometimes there'd be battles of egos.
I know pretty well in the broad sense what I'm going to do, because I have to know that when we shoot the live-action, so that it'll synchronize. Then I know pretty well when I get to the animation stage, what that scene requires.
A lot of people thought my work was very tedious, and it can be if you look at it from that point of view, but I never looked upon it as tedious.
I took courses at USC in film editing and art direction and photography when I was still in high school.
I always worked with the writer, and the producer, and sometimes the director wouldn't come in until the picture was ready to go. It's not a director's picture as you imagine in the European sense of the word. It has to be laid out -- otherwise we couldn't make them for the price we did. I was responsible for laying out the special effects and making the picture practical.
Medusa was fascinating to work with because I gave her a snake's body so that she could pull herself with her hands which gave her a very creepy aura. I didn't want to animate cosmic gowns. Most Medusas you see in the classics have flowing robes which would be mad to even try to animate.
I brought in the stories many times. I don't just do animation.
I had to learn to do everything because I couldn't find another kindred soul. Now you see eighty people listed doing the same things I was doing by myself.
That's why I never became a director. I never had patience with people.
So our films had a lot more to them than entertainment value, and I'm glad that a lot of people recognize that now. People realize now the value of them as educational.
I prefer to work alone and do everything alone, even today.
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