More about "The Dream Machine" DVD2

People whose stories appear in the documentary.
Marilou Harrison: Lee Harrison's Wife
Marilou has been instrumental in helping me pull together the documentation, images, stories, and much much more that have helped make this film possible.
Quote from the DVD:
"I never knew if Lee was coming home to dinner, when he was coming home to dinner, or if he was bringing someone home with him.... like Chuck Jones, or Jim Henson"
Lee Harrison III: Computer Image Founder, Scanimate Inventor
Lee Harrison dreamed of creating a machine that would use the power of the computer to make animation. His company, Computer Image, built the eight Scanimate computers that for many years produced the only computer animation on television.
Quote from the DVD:
"I think we're in the process of being given some servant of the visual imagination that will allow us to communicate in a very marvelous and exciting way."
Ed Tajchman: Computer Image Scanimate Design Engineer
Ed helped me gather some of the video material, and let me interview him at his home in Dallas for over an hour. His insight into and history with Computer Image provide an invaluable resource in piecing together this documentary.
Quote from the DVD:
"Whenever we'd come up with a new machine I was always the first operator, because nobody else knew what to do with it!"
Dennis Kolehmainen: Computer Image Scanimate Operator
Dennis helped me put together the reunion of all the Computer Image folks in Denver, where many of the interviews were filmed. Dennis also helped collect and scan some of the rare photographs from the early days.
Quote from the DVD: (about clients)
"They were really searching... and they could see that we were on a fishing expedition a lot of times too."
Dave Holman: Computer Image CAESAR Operator, artist
Dave has contributed an interesting memoir appearing on this site and helped come up with a lot of the fascinating stories behind the scenes. His cartoons of the Computer Image staff appear in "the Dream Machine" also.
Quote from the DVD:
"I started in 1974, and Computer Image had just come back from its first foray into Los Angeles... pretty much with its tail between its legs."
Dave Cline: Computer Image Tape Operator
Dave was a tape operator at Computer Image. He had some great stories to tell aabout the early days at CI.
Quote from the DVD:
"It was a crazy place to work. It didn't pay very well, but I think they understood that to keep it going on not much money you had to cut people some slack."
Peggy Idso: Computer Image Comptroller
Peggy was in charge of the money, so she was at the center of the battle that raged between the creative, the technical and the financial factors.
Quote from the DVD: (about Lee Harrison)
"If he got in a panic over something at 3am he'd call me so I could be in a panic too."
Ron Shaw: Computer Image Creative Director
Ron worked closely with clients and staff to shepherd jobs through CI.
Quote from the DVD: (about Lee Harrison)
"He said it was all about communication. Someday it has to get to the point where you're able to think a thought, express yourself visually, just through this technology. There's got to be some way to connect the mind to what the mind's eye sees."
Larry Cole: Computer Image Technical Director
Larry worked closely with clients and staff to organize and orchestrate the complex layers involved in producing computer animation in those days.
Quote from the DVD:
"Working at Computer Image was probably one of the most rewarding and bizzarre career periods in my life."
Susan Crouse-Kemp: Computer Image Scanimate Operator
As far as I know, Susan was the only female Scanimate operator EVER.
Quote from the DVD:
"I pretty much just parked myself on thier doorstep until they hired me."
Jim Gable: Image West Tape Operator
Jim has gone on to produce DVD's for Sting, the Rolling Stones, and hundreds of others at his company Graying & Balding. He says the organizational skills he learned at Image West have served him well.
Quote from the DVD:
"When you can do anything, and there are no limitations, and there is nothing stopping you, THAT is the greatest limitation of all."
Sonny King: Image West Creative Director
Sonny's wry sense of humor always brightens everybody's day. Some of his nicknames for the various Scanimate Effects became the stuff of legend.
Quote from the DVD: (on Clients)
"If they're with you its good, and if they're not with you thats not good.... A lot of them weren't with us!"
Peter Koczera: Image West Animator
Pete meticulously kept a notebook which became the "Scanimate Cookbook", the closest thing to an operators manual that existed for the Scanimate. He has some great stories! Peter has some imressive credits as a digital effects artist.
Quote from the DVD:
"I knew I had gone commercial when I glowed toilet paper."
Ed Kramer: Image West Animator
Ed decided to work at Image West because you could do a job in a day, so he figured he'd get more jobs under his belt that way. Little did he know what he was in for! Ed now works at Industrial Light and Magic and has many impressive credits.
Quote from the DVD:
"I'd get off work and come outside and think: What a beautiful sunset! And I'd realize.... that was the sun RISING!"
Gary McKinnon: Image West Creative Director
Gary developed fabulous looking storyboards, and worked with clients and animators to produce many jobs at Image West.
Quote from the DVD:
"That was a lot of fun, trapped in a room with a client and some surly tape ops and TD's!"
Henry Kline: Image West Creative Director
Henry worked at Dolphin and Image West as a creative director on many jobs. He currently helps NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory visualize things.
Quote from the DVD:
"I had gotten Dolphin's demo reel and I didn't like it so I wrote them and said: With all that fancy equipment why can't you do any better... And they wrote back and said: If you know so much why don't you work here."
Jim Howe: Image West Tape Operator/Animator
Jim worked many long hours with Art Kellner, a Technical Director at Image West.
Quote from the DVD:
"I think it emotionally damaged all of us. And I don't think we've ever quite recovered."
Pete Freyschlag: Computer Image Sales
Pete had a background in art, but he was excited about the work Lee Harrison was doing with Scanimate so he came to work at CI and ended up in Sales.
Quote from the DVD:
"We sold a lot of junk! But the art was so new that junk wasn't available elsewhere, so we sold a lot of just terrible stuff, for way too much money, and people bought it and were almost happy that they'd gotten that."
Robert Scopinich: Dolphin & Image West Scanimate Operator
Robert started at Dolphin in New York and moved to LA, where he worked on numerous animation jobs.
Quote from the DVD:
"Most of us have gone on and taken on the new tools today but we still have those roots in this amazing machine called Scanimate."
Jim Ryan: Image West R&D Programmer
Jim liked to get to work before the traffic, so he arrived at 5am, usually to find the all-night crew bleary-eyed and tired but ready to show off the work they'd done.
Quote from the DVD:
"Usually Sonny would say: Oh my God, Jim's here, it must be morning!"
Mike Jackson: Image West Animator/Technical Director
Mike worked on many projects at Image West. He works producing high definition trailers for movies now.
Quote from the DVD: (Advice for Students)
"If you're into it its a great career! If you're just dabbling in it, think about doing something where you can actually have a life and a pension!"
Mike Saz: Dolphin Tape Operator/Technical Director
Mike worked on many projects Dolphin in New York. He has some great stories about Dolphin.
Quote from the DVD: (on Clients)
"After eight hours they were more agreeable, and after twelve hours, we could pretty much get them to sign off on anything because we had more stamina than they did."
Henrietta ("Hank") Jordan: Image West Sales
Henrietta knew everybody in Hollywood and could prove it - she had them in her Rolodex!
Quote from the DVD:
"He said he was taking inventory. I said those Roxodexes are MINE, not Image West's! I brought them with me!"
Dave Sieg: Your humble author worked as Chief Engineer at Image West in Hollywood from 1979 through 1984. I managed to keep two Scanimates running despite having no access to the engineers at Computer Image who designed and built them. (They were Image West's competition at that point!). I have assembled these DVD's to help document the dawn of Electronic Animation, and to tell the stories of the people who worked with these amazing machines.


Back to the DVD2 order page. Last updated Dec 2, 2005
All Images, Text, Motion Pictures Copyright, © 2005 David W. Sieg