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 Posted:   Feb 3, 2012 - 2:20 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

To all art lovers and graphic design addicts,

I advise you to get a copy of the following art book:
Saul Bass: a Life in Film & Design
by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham
Foreword by Martin Scorsese
(Laurence King Publishers, 2011, 428 pages)

Amazon offers the book:
http://www.amazon.com/Saul-Bass-Jennifer/dp/1856697525/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328263958&sr=1-1

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2012 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Got this treasure from my wife for Christmas. Find a large reading surface to peruse it though. As the saying goes, "This isn't a coffee table book--it IS the coffee table!"

Minor thought--wonder what Bass would have come up with for his own film, PHASE IV, had Paramount allowed him to design the campaign. (That pulpy illustration of an ant crawling out of the palm of a hand that was used is pretty crappy.)

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2012 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Sorry-double post.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2012 - 11:06 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I'm still debating with myself about getting this book.

I'm sure the illustrations will revive a lot of old memories
of the years I worked at Saul Bass in the 1960s. A great
deal of now-classic work went through our offices during
that period, much of which will surely be part of the
pictorial record on view in the book's pages.

The memories of this time are all good, of course, and my
time there (and the profit-sharing program) allowed me---
at a relatively young age---to buy my own home in
Valley Village/Toluca Lake so many years ago.

In hindsight, I was very lucky in that, and in the tremendously
influential impact the work there had on my creativity and
various aspects of my later career.

I still find that lessons and impressions I gathered there
remain important to how I view and process artistic
elements in my life---even down to how I lay out my work
desk (when it's not cluttered! smile )

Not everyone gets this kind of artistic exposure so early in
their lives and only now---so many years later---have I come
to fully realize that.

I was very lucky to have known and worked with Saul Bass.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2012 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

I envy you, Manderley.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 3, 2012 - 2:06 PM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)



Manderley was lucky to be part of history.

Find a page from the art book.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2012 - 10:40 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I'm browsing this book from the library and learned for certain that Bass did indeed design and shoot the shower sequence of PSYCHO. There's even a reprint of the storyboard he created.

I guess it makes sense now that the details were pointed out to me, namely that it was in a very different style from the rest of Hitchcock's work. (Before I had doubted that he had done it.)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2012 - 4:17 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

I'm browsing this book from the library and learned for certain that Bass did indeed design and shoot the shower sequence of PSYCHO. There's even a reprint of the storyboard he created.

I guess it makes sense now that the details were pointed out to me, namely that it was in a very different style from the rest of Hitchcock's work. (Before I had doubted that he had done it.)


Saul Bass got in trouble when he said he directed the shower scene.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2012 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I'm browsing this book from the library and learned for certain that Bass did indeed design and shoot the shower sequence of PSYCHO. There's even a reprint of the storyboard he created.

I guess it makes sense now that the details were pointed out to me, namely that it was in a very different style from the rest of Hitchcock's work. (Before I had doubted that he had done it.)


Saul Bass got in trouble when he said he directed the shower scene.



Bass should have said, "Alfred Hitchcock directed me to design and shoot the shower scene in PSYCHO." smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2012 - 9:47 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

It's a great book, though- something I guess i wanted all my life.

And it finally debunked the myth that SB designed the West Side Story and Birdman of Alcatraz movie posters.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2012 - 2:37 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I'm still debating with myself about getting this book.

I'm sure the illustrations will revive a lot of old memories
of the years I worked at Saul Bass in the 1960s. A great
deal of now-classic work went through our offices during
that period, much of which will surely be part of the
pictorial record on view in the book's pages.

The memories of this time are all good, of course, and my
time there (and the profit-sharing program) allowed me---
at a relatively young age---to buy my own home in
Valley Village/Toluca Lake so many years ago.

In hindsight, I was very lucky in that, and in the tremendously
influential impact the work there had on my creativity and
various aspects of my later career.

I still find that lessons and impressions I gathered there
remain important to how I view and process artistic
elements in my life---even down to how I lay out my work
desk (when it's not cluttered! smile )

Not everyone gets this kind of artistic exposure so early in
their lives and only now---so many years later---have I come
to fully realize that.

I was very lucky to have known and worked with Saul Bass.




Well.....going way back now, the above post is what I wrote in February of this year. Soon after that, our own Preston Jones asked me if I'd actually seen the book yet, and I hadn't, so he invited me to dinner and a movie and showed me the book at dinner.

As I seem to recall, he very casually said, "Your name is in the book." I thought, "That's nice....I'll be able to find my name among the staff and show it off to friends!" So when Preston handed the book over to me, I first looked at the images of the art, many, many of which were so familiar---not just the movie work, but the corporate and product design work as well---and then I looked in the back to find my name among the staff. I was disappointed. There was no apparent listing of staff in the various eras, and so I asked Preston exactly where my name was listed. He said, "Oh it's in front.....I put a post-it note there." So I looked for the post-it note and there it was---but I was surprised to see it was in the written body of the extensive foreward to the book!!!

The author was talking about how employees of Saul's were often influenced by his work as their own careers developed---and then my name appeared, together with a paragraph quote from me about what creative impressions I had taken from my work there. It was a very interesting, and a very thoughtful statement, and---I thought---very high-falutin'. I must have been somewhere with my head in the clouds when I wrote it. But where, actually, did it come from? I didn't think it sounded much like me.

I'm still not sure of the source, but I believe it may have come from a condolence letter I wrote to Saul's wife, Elaine, upon his passing. She must have saved it and it later became part of the Bass Archives and now is part of the book. So, my little tribute to Saul is a part of the book, too, which is nice---and I am honored to be there.

I was 22 when I started at Bass in 1962, fifty years ago this year. Nearly everyone there was older than I was, so now, 50 years later, I am old, and nearly everyone else from that period is gone. So, it appears that I am one of the only remaining voices alive who can speak first-hand of that very fertile Bass period of the 1960s.

The publishing of this book apparently had somehow put my name out there, too, and so, soon after, I got an eMail from a someone I didn't recognize, asking me to contact him. It turned out he was a film archivist at the Motion Picture Academy. The Bass Estate had donated all the film elements and papers to the Academy upon Saul's death, and this chap was trying to organize the film elements and wondered if I remembered anything about some of the material he was going through.

I spent several hours at the Academy with him one afternoon and was able to help him a little bit, in at least mentally sorting through stuff. At one point he brought out several film boxes of random rolls of film workprint, and when I looked at the side of the boxes, they were carefully labelled in detail---and I recognized my handwriting---from fifty years previously!!! I can tell you it's quite a shock to see something like that turn up and be exactly as you left it fifty years before!!! Inside the box someone had apparently later left a carefully typed inventory of the contents which carefully explained everything in the footage and in great detail. Then I saw that the author had typed his initials on the inventory. They were mine, too!!! (At least I could look back and feel happy that I was efficient and thorough at my job---even at a very early age!)

As I was leaving, the archivist fellow said to me, "I've given your name to the head of the CineFamily group. They've borrowed some Bass material from us and are having a Saul Bass film festival weekend at their theatre over on Fairfax. They'll probably be calling you."

And so they did, and I was invited to come to one of the screenings and, during the break, appear onstage to be interviewed about my time at Bass. Also on the dais was a lovely man, a very talented man, named Pablo Ferro---a major title and production designer/artist in his own right---who had known Bass for many years before his death. Ferro is in his late '70s, but is still working, I believe, and is a total delight. We had such fun talking---for almost 40 minutes---about Bass and titles in front of the sold-out audience. A nostalgic evening for me.

When you appear as a guest at these sorts of screenings, people tend to come up to you afterward to ask questions, give you their cards about projects they're working on, or ask you to speak to their film classes. I got that this time around, too, but one of the more unusual ones was another author working on a book about Bass. Where the big coffee-table book is more biographical/career/work-oriented, this fellow is planning a book with more emphasis on the analysis of Bass' creativity and recurring motifs. Interesting. So he asked me to sit down with him one day and talk about working with Bass. Last week our schedules finally meshed and we had a nice chat, he got much material that he was writing down in his notebooks, and I got to talk about "the good old days." smile

So it appears this is my 15 minutes of Saul Bass fame---stretched very thinly into several months.

It HAS been very interesting to relive memories from a life 50 years past. I wonder how I'll remember today fifty years from now! smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2012 - 6:06 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Magic story, Manderley.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2012 - 9:31 AM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

Ain't life grand?

 
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