Tag Archives: repetition

Image of the Day: The Kid


"The Kid" hand-painted cel art edition by Chuck Jones

"I was raised in Hollywood when the great comedians were at the top of their power, and I soon realized that–just like our temporarily demented cat Othello–what they looked like had nothing to do with what they were.  It was how they moved that made them what they were…

"From 1918 to 1920, the Jones clan lived in an orange grove directly across the street from Hollywood High School on Sunset Boulevard.  if I thought about the matter at all, I would not have considered myslf privileged. 

"And, as far as I knew, any other boy in the self-same world could, by walking two blocks to Charlie Chaplin's studio at La Brea Avenue and looking through an open-link fence, watch Chaplin at work, which, I am sorry to say, I often found deadly dull.  I loved his films; so easy, so natural, so appealing to my sense of rebelliousness and anarchy, they were a complete contrast to the endless repetition of the filming itself, which I found almost unbearably tiresome.

"One evening I lost faith in both my father and Chaplin when my father came home to tell us that he had seen Chaplin shoot a single fifteen-second scene 132 times.  He was trying to perfect the little choppy run he used when he was being chased around a corner.  To simulate running on ice, he put down an oilcloth and oiled it, but his feet kept going out from under him–131 times!  Either my father was lying (a possibility I could not ignore) or Chaplin didn't know what he was doing (another possibility, which observation had taught me I could not ignore either.)

"Why," I asked myself, "not do it right in the first place?  Can't he learn how to do it by watching his own movies?"  Everything was always right the first time in the movies!"  — Chuck Jones writing in Chuck Reducks, Drawing from the Fun Side of Life