Gumbasia: The student film that began the legend.
December 29, 2006 11:12 AM   Subscribe

In 1920, Slavko Vorkapić, an artist from Vojvodina (now Serbia) emigrated to the United States. He roamed the country for a year and ended up in Hollywood where he became a master of special effects. He began to teach at USC where a young student, Art Clokey was starting his film studies. Art Clokey also happened to tutor the son of Sam Engel-- famous producer and President of the MPAA. Clokey, mentored by the special effects master at USC, made a little art film using stop motion and claymation. One day he showed his "artsy" student film to Engel. When it was over, Mr. Engel said: "Art, that's the most excting film I've ever seen. We've got to go into business together." That is the story of Gumbasia (video). And the rest is history (previously on MeFi).
posted by TweetleBeetleBattleBookie (5 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Unsurprisingly, Clokey experimented with LSD in the early '60s, when it was still legal.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:52 AM on December 29, 2006

Awesome that he ended up going on to do Davey And Goliath, the classic afterschool Lutheran propaganda show for children. Only Clokey could make a TV series about a boy and his familiar, and sell it to middle american christians.
posted by verb at 12:58 PM on December 29, 2006

Enjoyed Gumbasia. Thanks TweetleBeetleBattleBookie. It's was cool to learn how Gumby and Davy and Goliath (an old fav of my childhood) came into existence.

Clokey named Gumby after "Gumbo" the clay found at his grandfather's farm in Michigan.

Clokey Studio's stars and timeline.
posted by nickyskye at 5:27 PM on December 29, 2006

This is just about the coolest post I have ever seen on MeFi.
posted by squidfartz at 6:55 AM on December 30, 2006

Vorkapic is also important in the history of Hollywood filmmaking, because he's credited with inventing that Hollywood cliche of using double exposures and montages of newspaper headlines, calendar pages, etc. etc. to show the passage of time. Although some of Vorkapic's work seems cliched now, he basically mainstreamed Soviet montage for the Hollywood studio system, the first in a long line of avant-garde innovations eventually co-opted by commercial filmmakers.
posted by jonp72 at 5:06 PM on December 30, 2006

« Older From Jamaica To Toronto   |   Jens Soering appeals to documentary makers Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments