In my previous Cartoon Research post, I promised some exciting news about upcoming projects–and I’m proud to finally share the first bit! Much of this year has been spent handling the release of my first Blu-ray/DVD collection, Cartoon Roots. That means assembling the cases, booklets; from packing and shipping out each copy to answering questions for reviews and articles about the set. It’s all been a true pleasure and valuable learning experience. Needless to say, I’ve wanted to move on to a second release, and many people out there have already asked me when I would be doing this. Now’s the time.
To backtrack a bit, my main pet project for the last few years has been researching and archiving the early animated cartoons produced by Bray Studios, which was the first successful animation studio ever founded. Bray Studios launched the animation industry as well as the careers of many future animation legends: Max Fleischer, Paul Terry, and Walter Lantz, to name the most famous examples. The studio produced more than five hundred animated films (including both comical and educational subjects) between 1913 and 1927, many of which are currently lost, and most of the surviving examples have simply been unavailable or given brief attention over the decades.
To pay homage to this important studio, and as a sensible second entry in my Cartoon Roots series of early animation releases, I feel an introductory Bray Studios Blu-ray/DVD collection is the best next step to take. I need your help to make it a reality, though (generally speaking, film archivists don’t make a lot of money–especially us independent ones!)…and that’s why the project has gone the crowd funding route.
If you’d like to hear more about what this project and release entails, and how you can help bring it to life, please head on over to its Kickstarter page. In case you’re wondering: a certain Steve Stanchfield will be helping on the production end!
My long term plan is to have many releases like this available for the general public, and I thank readers in advance for their help in making Release #2 a reality. If the Kickstarter is unsuccessful, the project will still go on, but for financial reasons, it could be delayed by a year or more–so let’s band together and act fast! Fundraising ends on September 9th, 2015. I appreciate the help!