I recently received a copy of the new book The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis and the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic.
The large hardbound book of 292 pages is a facsimile reproduction of a detailed scrapbook kept by Herman Schultheis, a technician at the Disney Studios in the late 1930s, while they were developing Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and other classics of the art form.
|Effects animation used in Sorcerer's Apprentice|
Schultheis thoroughly documented every aspect of the production process, presumably to impress the boss someday, but the notebook was kept secret and was lost and forgotten for many years in a chest of drawers.
Meanwhile, in another human mystery, Schultheis himself disappeared without a trace into the Guatemalan jungle, so his story hasn't been adequately told.
link to video clip) in Fantasia were created in workable form, so no wonder they're so convincing in the film.
This book should spark a lot of ideas for working artists interested in exploring pre-digital film technology, and it will offer a wealth of insights for animation history fans. Given all the painstaking work that went into them, it's no wonder that the Disney features of the late 1930s were so expensive to produce. The marginal notes by animation historian John Canemaker add a lot to understanding each of the pages.
On a broader level for any artist, the book is a testament to the value of putting time and effort into research and development.
At Amazon: The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis and the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic