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324/365 – Termite Terrace

Today I started my internship with Conan . . .

It’s official!

But let me back track a bit to give you some perspective about what happened today.  See, a long time ago, there was actually a place where art was organically produced as opposed to being cranked out by a totalitarian machine.  It as a place where workers were creatives, not employees. Job was a title that never quite fit the process they were undergoing.  There was a place where creative thinkers were left alone, allowed to let their creations become more than they could have ever imagined.

Okay, there were two places.

This place was called Termite Terrace.  It was where  Merry Melodies and Looney Tunes was founded, nurtured and eventually brought up to be legendary status.  Termite Terrace was a ramshackle collection of bungalows where Warner Brothers animators were exiled so executives could focus on more “serious” fare.  And so, great men like Friz Freeling, Chick Jones, Tex Avery and Bob Clampett would “story board” their amazing cartoons in front of these dilapidated buildings . . . and by “story board” I mean they acted them out – prat falls and all.  As a kid, growing up in Nebraska and worshipping Looney Tunes, this was true magic to me.

Tex Avery is the guy in the middle — he just exudes the style that would exemplify his cartoons.

So, today, some decades later, I’m in the middle of a studio tour at my new internship with Conan when I turn a corner and BOOM!  I’m confronted by that big, iconic WB Water Tower.  That’s when it dawned on me . . . I’m working on the Warner Brothers lot.  The same lot where my childhood heroes played and created so many years ago… It just  smacked me in the face like a boxer who forgot to put up his guard because it had been so long since he’d been in a ring.  All those memories — no — all those happy feelings I had when I was obsessed with Warner Brothers animation just leap right out of my chest.

What?  Your happy feelings don’t have ravenous teeth?

YES, I am so excited to be doing this internship with Conan.  However, this is a dark week at Conan — meaning they are not shooting the show.  So I have a lot of free time . . . and some of the summer interns took us on a impromptu studio tour.  That’s when it really hit me; this is hallowed ground I’m standing on.  My feet felt tingly — I know, that’s cheesy, but they did.

Sorry, John Madden, but no tough actin’ stuff is gonna get this feet tingle to go away.

I mean, we went to the WB Museum where I got to see all the costumes from the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy (Anne Hathaway, by the by, is TINY!) and that was a geekasim in and of it self.   Having a geeky animation moment that took me back to my childhood — that was a magic moment.

And I get 4 months to relish in it.

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