The Rest Of The Story

Posted by Tom Locke on November 19th, 2018 filed in Business, History, Life

Growing up in Toronto I was exposed to one of the great radio broadcasters of all time.  His name was Paul Harvey.  Chicago-based, Harvey had a syndicated radio feature titled “The Rest of the Story”.

In a unique presentation style, he would entertain, educate and surprise his listeners with little known facts about individuals and/or events.  His approach was to “set the table” by arousing the curiosity of his listeners with his opening remarks, then break to a commercial.  After that break he would proceed to weave his initial comments into an amazing, sometimes shocking ending, finishing with his catch phrase, “And now you know the rest of the story.  Good day.”

Well this past week in Vancouver, I was exposed to an extraordinary “rest of the story” in the animation world.  Having the pleasure to work alongside members of Women In Animation (WIA), I had the opportunity to listen to film researcher and author, Mindy Johnson, and legendary animator, Jane Baer, as they presented their findings and first hand experiences of the impact women had and the integral roles they played in the shaping of the animation industry as we know it today.  In doing so, they introduced us to Mindy’s new book, “Ink & Paint:  The Women Of Walt Disney’s Animation”.

Jane & Mindy

A leading expert on women’s roles in animation and film history, Mindy frequently writes and speaks on early cinema, animation, women’s history, and creativity. Her ongoing research and ground-breaking discoveries continue to cast light on the invisible narrative of women’s presence within the first century of the motion picture industry.

Mindy sums up her approach this way:

“We’re at a pivotal point in our industry for women. In order to change our future, we need to start with a clear understanding of our past. As I’ve been recently speaking/lecturing on the remarkable contributions women have made to animation – including the great Jane Baer and her landmark contributions to the popular animated art form – it’s astounding to see just how little is properly written-on, recorded, documented or known about the thousands of women who have shaped our animated past from the very beginning. Without this knowledge, we struggle – thinking we have to carve new paths to establish our place within this industry – when generations before have already blazed these trails for us. By continuing with my research, writing and speaking, I hope to offer women and men within all levels of the animation industry, a better understanding of the rich ‘her-story’ of our collective past, so together we can re-define our animated future.”

Mindy’s “honouring the past … inspiring the future” approach was well received by her audiences here in Vancouver.  She is truly focused on getting out this untold story of trailblazing women – one which educates, celebrates and elevates.

Breaking News

“ABC Studios has launched a new Alternative Division to deliver unscripted content, led by former head of Universal Television Alternative Studios Fernando Hernandez. One of the high profiles added to the development slate since Hernandez was brought in 10 months ago is Ink & Paint — an eight-episode docuseries that uncovers the under-recognized stories of the unsung women whose creativity, skill and hard work made Disney’s animated classics possible, based on the book Ink & Paint:  The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation by Mindy Johnson.”

If Paul Harvey was still with us, he would have had a field day with Mindy’s findings and might have paraphrased his famous signature sign-off this way:

“And now you know the rest of the story – to be continued.  Good day.”

 

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