A Dreamer Walking

Floyd Norman

Posted in Film and Filmaker Studies by Jacob on April 12, 2010

Floyd Norman started working at Disney in 1956 and has been around ever since. I just saw a video of him speak at The Art Institute of California (you can see the video Here).

Floyd is a legend story artist, and he has a very rich knowledge of the Disney Companies history. He was able to work with the legendary Nine Old Men (Nine Disney Animators) and he even was able to work with Walt Disney on the Jungle book. Floyd was at the Disney Studio during what many would call the Golden age, where Walt was alive and the company was making masterpieces like Marry Poppins and The Jungle Book. Floyd was there for some of the darkest of days where animation was on the brink of shutting down, Walt Disney had died and there was no direction the Disney Company seemed to be going except for down.

It seems that Floyd got infected with Walt’s philosophy of putting story first and through the good times and bad Floyd always tried to put story ahead of everything else in his projects. I was impressed with some of the films he worked on, such as The Jungle Book, Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He even went to Pixar to help with projects, such as Toy Story 2 and Monsters Ink.

Where most filmmakers jobs would be to write a story, Floyd is assigned to draw one. His illustrations are often just a few lines on small sheets of paper, in order to express a character or a surrounding. But, those lines have a great power. They are the keys to unlocking a story. A good story is the key to making a good movie. So you can easily say that Floyd and his story artist teams have the most important job in film business.

One thing that really caught me while watching the video of Floyd is when he said, “I am totally addicted to Storytelling”. I think this is key for any good storyteller, they truly need to get addicted to storytelling. Whenever Floyd reads a script he sees a story. Floyd has become an expert expressing story visually through his drawings. This is a magnificent gift.

What I admire most of Floyd is his ability to stay passionate about storytelling. A 50+ career in animation is hard, especially when you need to go through some of the things Floyd did. But it seems that Floyd has stayed true to what matter the most. “Story” is still King in his book.

One Response

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  1. […] Disney himself in the late 1950′s through the 1960′s (you can see the blog I did on him here). Floyd says on his blog , “[I call] this decision another bone-headed move that will send […]

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