‘Persistence of Vision’ Trailer: The Unmaking of a Masterpiece

The only thing better than a ‘making-of’ documentary is an ‘unmaking-of’ documentary. ‘Lost in La Mancha’ immediately comes to mind as a particularly painful look at how Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote film crumbled under his own obsessive-compulsive vision and uncontrollable ‘acts of god’. It’s not so much the sense of schadenfreude that makes these stories great; it’s the passion and uncompromising quest to achieve one’s artistic vision that’s truly inspiring. The trailer for director Kevin Schreck’s film ‘Persistence of Vision’ hints at a similar — and seemingly more painful — story as animator Richard Williams attempts to create his masterpiece; a feature length animated film called ‘The Thief and the Cobbler’. He began work on the project in 1964 and it quickly became an obsession.

Striving to make the greatest animated film of all time, visionary animator Richard Williams of Who Framed Roger Rabbit toiled for more than a quarter century on his masterpiece, only to have it torn from his hands. Filmmaker Kevin Schreck has woven together beautiful animation, rare archival footage, and exclusive interviews with key animators and artists who worked with Williams on his ill-fated magnum opus to bring this legendary story to the screen. A tale of creative genius gone horribly awry.

The film screens this Friday, Nov. 9th at 9:15pm as a part of DOCNYC. If I lived in NYC, I’d be there. Unfortunately I don’t, so I won’t. Either way, I’m hoping I’ll get to see this one soon!