Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Great Story about the late John Dorman

The Prince of EgyptJohn Dorman (1952-2011). (Website)

"John was a wild man. Short in stature, huge in talent/skill/imagination, John was in every sense of the phrase a larger than life personality.
He was no saint, and I won’t try to portray him as one, but my God, how the man could draw. He was nothing short of brilliant, but his brilliance was always in the employ of other, lesser talents. I looked for samples of his work online & could find none to share, other than frame grabs of shows he’d worked on.

Poor, poor, poor representations of his awesome, original talent.

He could pull together the most amazing art crews & deliver fresh, innovative character designs, storyboards, & layouts for shows that…well, frankly, were undeserving of the time, energy, & talent squandered on them.

John was a Character with a capital C. He had a big heart, but one that was prone to break & often filled with aches & pains. His outrageous, oversized personality often put him at odds with others.

I have dozens of hilarious Dorman stories to tell, but too many of them either involve still living litigious @$holes or else innocent 3rd parties who might be hurt in the collateral damage.

So I will tell just this one, a mere middlin’ sample of John’s incredible legend:
While working on the animated Moses film, Prince of Egypt, John was assigned the task of storyboarding the parting of the Red Sea.

The Exec in charge had some Strong Ideas how the story should be told, or rather, re-told. Specifically, to make it more “female friendly”, the Exec ordered the scene written with Moses’ wife breaking his staff across her knee & telling him to have faith in himself if he wanted to part the sea.

John was not a very spiritual, much less religious man, but he knew enough about the Bible to know camel dung when he smelled it. Still, a job was a job & John needed the money, so he storyboarded the scene as written……but he also “plused” it a bit.

John turned the storyboard in and the Exec smiled at how well John had interpreted the Exec’s ideas, then noticed something and frowned.

“This is all wonderful work,” the Exec said to John, “but who’s this figure here? The one in the cape with the horned helmet and a big hammer?”

“Oh, that’s Thor,” John said. “I figured since you were [m]ucking around with the Bible I might as well throw him in.”

God bless ya, John, wherever you are…"

The Prince of Egypt Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes

Synopsis: An Egyptian prince learns of his identity as a Hebrew and, later his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people. More

Rated: PG [See Full Rating]
Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.
In Theaters: Dec 18, 1998 Wide
Directed By: Brenda Chapman , Steve Hickner


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