Richard Williams has been a huge influence over my career.
It started in 1988, when my parents took me as a child to go see Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I was already heavily into animation, learning to animate myself, and after seeing that movie, I really wanted to become an animator.
When I started my career in early 2000s, someone at the agency I worked for told me to look up The Animator's Survival Kit. Funny enough, I never knew the name of the person who directed the animation of Roger Rabbit, and low and behold, on the front cover, was his name: Richard Williams.
I studied the book, cover to cover, for years. I brought the book with me to whatever job I was on and did my best to apply the skills and principles that Richard Williams had acquired over the decades of his career. The thing about the book, is that it wasn’t just his experience, but the experience of the greatest animators in history. From Grim Natwick, Art Babbitt, Ken Harris and more, his book was like the bible in that it was information gathered through the generations. Over 60 years of experience, not including Richard Williams’ own.
During the course of my career, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to meet and work with some of the people who use to work at Williams’ studio.
They’d tell me some stories about what it was like to work with him, the good and the bad.
For better or for worse, Richard Williams’ life and career has made, and still makes, a very deep and lasting impression on me.
Here’s to Richard William’s and all his accomplishments and contributions.