Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two Old Pros

Here's a lovely shot of Al Eugster taken by Harvey Deneroff in 1980 at Kim and Gifford Productions in New York. Al was 71, though he could pass for his fifties as his hair was still brown and he was trim. I knew Al at this time, working with him on a forgotten Saturday morning series called Drawing Power in the summer of 1980. Harvey was interviewing Al, who was a favourite interview subject for many young historians curious to know about the golden age at Fleischer, Iwerks and Disney.
Here is Buster Keaton in 1965 on the set of Film, a movie written by playwright Samuel Beckett and directed by Alan Schneider. Keaton would have been 70 at the time. Alex Robinson's friend's grandfather shot this and other stills (visible here) at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. The other shots are nice, but this is the keeper.

Neither of these men were doing their best work at the time of these photos, but they were still bringing their talents to whatever projects they could find. Keaton spent time as comedy relief in beach party movies and acting in industrial films; Al was stuck drawing limited animation for TV, doing his own clean-ups and inbetweens. Both preferred to keep busy and stay in the game. Both were professionals through and through, trying to make the best entertainment out of whatever they were handed.

(Keaton link via Mark Evanier.)

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