Goodies from USC’s Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive

King Vidor being interviewed by Arthur Knight at USC

By chance I happened on the site of the University of Southern California’s Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive, which has posted a small number of items of interest in their Online Media listings. These include part 1 of an interview by film critic/historian Arthur Knight (my mentor at USC) with director King Vidor (The Big Parade, The Crowd, Hallelujah! , etc.) (see frame grab above); there’s also a film of a talk by legendary montage specialist and experimental filmmaker Slavko Vorkapich at USC, where he once served as chair of the Cinema Department  (he’s briefly introduced by Bernie Kantor who was one his successors).  In the animation realm, there’s a 1976 audio recording of an interview by a woman unknown with animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger  (The Adventures of Prince Achmed) done in England, where she lived and worked in the years after World War II.

Boris Morkovin at USC 1937

Then there’s what the Hefner Archive mislabels as

a photocopy of an animation course from 1935 led by Boris V. Morkovin, who worked for Disney and wrote the screenplay for “The Three Little Pigs.” [sic]  It appears that this course is one of the first animation classes ever offered at USC.

According to the USC Cinematic Arts website,

Animation instruction at USC goes back to the Spring of 1933, when Cinema Chair Dr. Boris Morkovin lectured on Walt Disney cartoons and had Walt Disney himself to the campus to meet with students.

A transcript of that lecture would indeed be lovely to have, but what’s posted is actually a Disney Studio transcript and summary of the first in a series of classes Morkovin gave at Disney on “Technology and Psychology of the Animated Cartoon (Studio Course),” November 14, 1935. The lecture series is not entirely unknown, and Hans Perk previously posted material on the class from the Disney Studio Bulletin, No. 12 (March 9, 1936) here and here.  Mislabeled or not, it’s still most welcome.

(The 1937 Morkovin photo above is from Michael Goldman’s book, Reality Ends Here 80 Years of USC Cinematic Arts.)

Author: Harvey Deneroff

Harvey Deneroff is a Los Angeles-based independent animation and film scholar specializing in labor history. He formerly taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design and was editor of Animation Magazine, Animation World Magazine, and Graiffit (published by ASIFA-Hollywood). He is the founder and past president of the Society for Animation Studies.

1 thought on “Goodies from USC’s Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive”

  1. I HAVE AN ORIGINAL PHOTO OF THIS MAN (BORIS V. MORKOVIN) TAKEN IN 1903. CONTACT ME IF ANYONE MAY BE INTERESTED IN IT.

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