Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The Big Story. This brilliant short film was carried with the screening of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction upon its theatrical release in the UK.

Tim Watts (one of the directors and animators of the film) , a fellow Kingstonian alumni, came back to Kingston when I was studying there and gave a talk about his work, which included The Big Story. We even got to see pencil tests for the film which you can view by clicking this link.

Tim told us that originally they'd tried to contact Kirk Douglas himself to get him to do the voices but eventually got through to one of Kirk's sons (I cannot recall which) who said Kirk wasn't available to do the voice, but all was not lost. Tim and David where advised by one of Kirk's sons to get hold of Frank Gorshin and get him to do it because apparently, according to them Frank Gorshin could do a better Kirk Douglas than Kirk Douglas. As was testimony in a short clip Tim showed us of one of Gorshin's impersonation routines where he pretends to be both Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. For an example of Gorshin's talents outside of playing the Riddler in the Batman TV series watch the following clip.


paulhd said...

Wow. Genius. Both clips.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

There was talk at the time that Tim was going to do a feature in a very similar style with lots of Hollywood stars, think they got a screenplay written but not sure why the project never went ahead.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

When I was working at Passion Pictures, Tim and David had a room there for a short time where they were apparently working on the prep for the film. I heard (and I think read somewhere also) that the production was hampered by celebrities declining to be caricatured. Probably nothing more than 'water-cooler' talk, but it certainly makes sense.

Jo Bling said...

They're both jobbing again now, saw Tim in Annecy this year busking about. Wanted to go up to him and say what a big influence BIG STORY had been on me.

That Gorshin clip is wonderful. Supertalented mimic.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

You should have gone up to him and said. He's a very approachable guy.

Way back, when we were at Passion at the same time, I ran into him in the kitchen and said hello and that I remembered the talk he gave back at Kingston and he politely said he remembered me also. We'd been sat in a pub all afternoon (after the talk he'd given because he was also one of Brian Love's students, so we all hit the pub together) talking about Moby Dick and them whale bones in Whitby. Discussion of Mobey Dick as an animated feature came up.

Bentos said...

Dare I say the pencil test is better? But then I always think that pencil tests are better.