Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jones and Freleng Interviewed in 1980

Chuck Jones (top) and Friz Freleng. That's a Blackwing pencil in Jones' hands and he spends the interview playing with it. I don't know where the Jones interview was shot, but Freleng's is in his office at DePatie Freleng. I met Freleng there in 1978.

For years, Elwy Yost hosted a show called Saturday Night at the Movies on TV Ontario. He would run classic films and TVO would send him to Hollywood once a year to film interviews that related to the films he scheduled. In 1980, he interviewed Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng.

Elwy was very much a fan, and not a particularly informed one. His questions were often naive and his reactions were overly enthusiastic. However, he did speak to a great many important Hollywood figures and was genuinely interested in their careers.

I have these interviews on VHS somewhere and remember being disappointed by how superficial they were. If I recall correctly, you could see Freleng's patience getting a little thin at times. However, how many on camera interviews are there with Freleng? Jones certainly received a lot of coverage in those days and had his stories down pat, but it's still nice to see and hear him again.

Michael Barrier has recently printed an interview with Warner Bros. director Robert McKimson from 1971. That's essential reading and frankly way better than Yost's interviews. If you hunger for more Warner directors looking back, though, you can watch Yost's interviews with Jones and Freleng here.

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