Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10

Shhhh...

Don’t spook
him. He’s likely
to run!
The Drink
Tank 148
Well, the Drink Tank did an Dear Jean
unexpected theme issue last time and They found out. They’re calling in
the Corset Issue is still coming up (and all the prints.
if you haven’t sent me anything for it, Sorry.
you’re EVIL!!!) and I’m putting together Mark.
this one as I’m waiting for CNBC’s
show to start in the auditorium of my Jean Blanc Beaumont- The Guy in the
museum. Today, we had Bruce Jenner, Black Turtleneck
yes, THAT Bruce Jenner, giving a key- Jean Blanc was born outside of
note at a conference and that was OK, Montreal in June of 1959 to a librarian
though loud. They did play a bunch mother and a professional gambler
of fun music after they were finished. father. Jean spent his childhood
I could have stayed and watched Fast making stop-motion films with his
Money, but I chose a long lunch. super-8 camera using the voices of his
It was, afterall, the last work day Here’s some Fictional Non-Fiction younger sister, Esme. One of his short
before my Birthday. satire movie writing that is so fake films, Le Puppe Merle, found its way
And that brings me to the sub- as to be completely unbelieveable! to the festival circuit during his Junior
ject of birthdays. I love them. I know High years and Jean traveled with
it’s simply a sign of being another year Why You Haven’t Seen Stardance: his second film, McGusse’s Travels,
closer to the peace of the grave, but it’s The Movie around Canada and the US. He ended
a wonderful time! On July 22nd, 1989, Jean up going to the University of Toronto to
The sad part of my birthday was Blanc Beaumont sat, his elbows on study film, but while working towards
that it was the start of the SoCal fires. his knees, staring down at the piece his degree, Beaumont discovered
Sadly, M lost the house they’d just of paper that Mark Castner, his techniques for using computers to
recently built. The older house, built in roommate, had delivered a few minutes make animations. Jean ended up
the 1920s, survived undamaged. Luck- before. The credits had begun to dual-majouring in film and computer
ily, the folks were all still in Helsinki roll on Jean’s film and the audience sciences, graduating with honours and
so no one was hurt. It hard though as had begun the greatest roar of the managing to win two Student Academy
she’s been through a lot over the last night. A SIGGRAPH audience had Awards. After completing his degree
year and this is just another thing. never reacted so strongly to any of the at U of T, Jean headed to Stanford
At least they’re all coming back to the computer animated films shown before for his masters work. While at
states to get things ready to rebuild. the special interest group dedicated to Stanford, Beaumont made his first film
I’m going to see them at least once in the pixilated arts. Jean did not flinch, combining live action and animation.
the next few weeks. didn’t acknowledge any of the events Jean, a life-long science fiction fan,
And so this issue will be kinda in the screening room a mere fifty feet adapted Poul Anderson’s The Man
short with one long article by me, some away. All he did was stare down at a Who Counts. One of the first to see
Steve Green for ya and LoCs! single slip of paper. The Man Who Counts, Cyril Haynes,

Warning: This is Satire! Satire Ahoy!


set out for his PhD at the University studied animation himself, instantly
of Calgary. Shortly after arriving in recommended that he go to the higher-
Calgary, Jean took a job with Silicon ups at SGI and ask for some funding.
Graphics Inc’s Canadian division, “They were blown away,” Glass
managing a render farm on the over- said “he had people throwing money at
night shift. The Render farm had him back in the days when there was
been divided up into three shifts, each SGI money to be thrown around.”
working on a different production. There was a minor problem
Since the series that had been using that Jean had not expected. Spider
the overnight shift had been abruptly Robinson was not willing to give us
cancelled, there was no regular work the rights to the story for anything
for the overnighters on that segment of resembling a reasonable amount.
machines. Some early figures that folks quote
“Jean was bored when he started tend to be about 80% of the figured
working on Mass is a Verb.” Said his budget and after a bit of tweaking
co-worker, Pablo Sanchez. from friends, it was down to only 65%.
Jean’s close friend, dancer Beaumont then came up with an idea.
Metrica DeNucci, had been wanting to He again approached Robinson with
do a film with Jean for a while when he the idea of doing an All-Canadian
proposed recreating one of the dances film, with all of the actors, writers,
mentioned in Spider and Jeanne musicians, effects technicians and
Robinson’s book Stardance. Metrica crew being Canadian. He even went
reported in his fanzine Cyril Haynes is
liked the idea and the two of them so far as to say that not one dollar
In My Brain that The Man Who Counts
spent two days capturing her dancing would be spent in America. Robinson,
was easily the best science fiction film
against a green screen. The methods who was born in the US but has been
in more than a decade, even though
they used were surprisingly simple, a proud Canadian for many years,
it ran less than an hour. Haynes
mostly dancing and jumping with a bit agreed to a lower much figure and gave
and Beaumont became close friends,
of wire work done by throwing a green Beaumont the rights for a price that
often working on small computer
painted rope around the rafters in the was lower than even the production
projects together using Haynes’ access
warehouse and having it pulled up and expected. The National Film Board of
to computers at Stanford Research
down by Pablo. Canada also agreed to pitch in funds
Institute, where he was a technician
Their work was initially ignored, and equipment, lowering the prices
in the Artificial Intelligence Lab. This
since most of the workers did private even more.
allowed Beaumont access to the Foonly
projects when the cycles were “The Canada angle worked
system that had been used to produce
available, but after a few weeks he perfectly.” Said Glass.
the graphics for TRON, among other
showed his finished work to his friend Over the following six months,
things.
and boss, Kyle Glass. Kyle, who had Beaumont quit SGI and founded
After graduating Stanford, Jean
Warning: This is Satire! Satire Ahoy!
his own graphics company called under-estimate.
Northern Image. He found a small Beaumont
company based in Toronto that made managed to get all
workstations that could supply him his footage over
with enough high-res graphics stations 58 shooting days
to start his own renderfarm. He hired spread over 3 and
sixteen recent graduates of U of T a half months.
and Calgary and began the process The projected run-
of casting the film. Glass left SGI time was nearly 4
and signed on as the producer of hours, but Glass
Stardance. Metrica also came on not and others figured
only as the lead dancer and actress that could be
in the film, but also as a producer, trimmed to two
raising thousands of dollars for the and a half hours
film through he dance company with the right
connections. Beaumont went to editor.
respected filmmaker Norman Jewison After
and managed to convince him to shooting,
contribute a goodly sum to the project. Beaumont took
In the end, the group had raised his stars, producers and four of his with its 39 planned minutes of effects,
nearly 6 million dollars for the film and closest friends on vacation to Havana wouldn’t be finished for more than
Beaumont had acquired nearly the for the weekend. It was in Havana three years. He sent out more pieces
same amount for Northern Image. that he first received word of troubles to groups throughout Canada, but
Filming began on the 21st of with some of the shots, mostly simple wasn’t able to meet his expectations
March, 1988. Beaumont started problems of focus and framing, but within his budget using all the major,
out with the scenes that required some serious that would require and many of the minor digital effects
no effects, practical or otherwise. significant re-shoots. The one player firms. The investors group had said
Shooting in and around Vancouver and who was unavailable was Alan Thicke, that he must be able to show them
Toronto, Beaumont’s work was covered who had started shooting the latest a rough cut within 6 months, and
with great interest in all the large season of Growing Pains since they’d that was in serious danger of not
papers across Canada. The production wrapped his portion of shooting. happening. That was when Beaumont
worked its way up into a froth over Returning to the office, called his old friend.
the amount of footage that was being Beaumont discovered that he had been Cyril Haynes had moved on to
shot. Variety estimated that Beaumont over-ambitious in his plans. The first work at a smaller graphics company
was shooting 10-to-1 in shot to used round of graphic work was progressing called Not Practical at This Time
footage, figuring that it would be a at the rate of roughly three seconds of Productions, better known as NotPrac.
2 hour film. Other said that was an finished product a day, far slower than The group was quite small, surviving
he had expected. At that rate, the film on one or two projects a year and
Warning: This is Satire! Satire Ahoy!
simply and delivered a rough cut with had never
working on three days to spare. The investors, heard of
their own Robinson and the rest of the Crew NotPrac,
projects in were overwhelmed by the film. The so I didn’t
the down only request was a slightly shorter cut, know what
time using from the 195 minutes of the first cut to tell them,
the monies to a 125 or so. Beautmont reluctantly so I went
that came in agreed and asked Spider for some looking for
from the big advice on how best to accomplish the the finishing
Hollywood cut without damaging the story. After sheets that
projects. a couple of weeks, he had another Jean had
Beaumont cut which ran 130 minutes and that been using.
called everyone was happy with. After about
Haynes and 30 minutes,
arranged to drive down for a weekend. The SIGGRAPH Screening I had figured out what cans she had
Beaumont flew to Vancouver, then The finalization of the graphics and I had Fritz fax over the appropriate
drove to the Oakland offices of meant that Beaumont had to send notes.”
NotPrac. In the car were several out his materials to Haynes again. This was the beginning of
canisters of film that he had secretly This time he did not travel himself, the end. The following afternoon,
sent to Vancouver via FedEx. It was but instead simply shipped the reels Glass had finalized the screening for
that weekend when Beaumont made FedEx. The package arrived, but SIGGRAPH, but he had also arranged
the arrangements to have Haynes Haynes and NotPrac were working on for a tour of Northern Image’s facilities
use the NotPrac equipment to finish another project, so it had to sit for a for many of the investors and friends.
several minutes. Beaumont paid for few days. Haynes left the office for Beaumont, who was working with the
Haynes’ time with cash, then offered a couple of days due to his girlfriend music supervisor on the final score,
him a slice of the action on his next coming to town and the reels were was not in attendance. As they walked
film, which was scheduled to be an left in an office. One of the Interns, around, one of the investors got a call
adaptation of Robert Silverberg’s Lord Gloria Ryma, found it and noted the on their pager and excused themselves
Valentine’s Castle. Beaumont drove markings. Not sure what the work to the office area.
back and within a week, the footage was, she called the Northern Image “I never should have let her go
he had asked Haynes to work with offices and inquired as to what they off.” Noted Glass.
was complete. The total time it took were supposed to do with them. The The investor was Christina
to complete the six and a minutes number that had been placed on the Mornau, a Vancouver Lawyer and a
was less than thirty-six hours due to canisters was the private office line of former Miss Canada. The call was
the number of machines Haynes had Kyle Glass. from a client who needed her to look
access to. “I got the call, and I wondered over a contract immediately. Looking
Returning to Toronto, Beaumont what was going on.” Glass noted. “I around, she found the fax machine and
went quickly to work on the project
Warning: This is Satire! Satire Ahoy!
had the client send over the 12 page Christina Mornau was a different but he had already heard what the
contract. While waiting for the pages story. She started by contacting other NFBC had decided and simply claimed
to finish, she found the fax coversheet investors and telling them of what that he was asking an old friend for
that Fritz had sent to NotPrac, though she thought had been happening. Her advice. When asked about the film
she didn’t know what to make of it. theory was that Beaumont had found canisters that were shipped, he said
She took it with her along with the a way to get NotPrac money without it that they were for his viewing to see if
faxed pages from her client. showing up on the expense sheets and he had taken his suggestions right.
“She’s a lawyer. She knew that NotPRac had done nearly all the The most damaging problem was
there was blood on the coversheet graphics. She contacted Beaumont, still to come. Much of the work that
had been done was physically handled
so she started a feeding frenzy.” by Intern Ryma and her supervisor,
Beaumont said in a rare 1995 Ted Liang. The two had handled
interview. so much of the finalized effects
As soon as the tour that they would normally have
concluded, Mornau returned to been given credit in the film. Since
Vancouver and started looking they had been told that it wasn’t
over her financial reports from possible in this case by Haynes,
the film. She didn’t come across they simply arranged for an extra
the name in any of the official invoice to be sent to Beaumont for
expenditures that Glass had listed, ‘extra handling fees’, which would
and when she called NotPrac, be turned over directly to Ryma
she noticed that the number she and Liang as bonuses.
dialed was a California area code. “That’s what we’d done for a
She made a few calls to others in lot of other films” Ryma said in a
the investor groups and spread recent interview.
the word. This started a minor “We had done so much work
froth that reached the ears of a on Stardance that we deserved
number of people at the National some more direct pay” claimed
Film Board of Canada. They made Liang a few months before his
a number of calls and went over untimely passing.
the detailed expenditure sheet The invoice was sent to
and concluded that no money Beaumont’s office on July 1st,
had been spent on non-Canadian Canada Day. The FAX sat on
work and that they were probably the machine until the following
acting as unpaid consultants on morning when John Julius, an
the project. That was deemed intern that had been working for
acceptable and the NFBC said Beaumont for a few weeks, picked
nothing further. it up and settled it on the desk of
Warning: This is Satire! Satire Ahoy!
Lloyd Adcop, the accountant for the the Toronto and LA Critics awards that
project. He read the invoice and noting year, thought the nominators had only
that they wanted financials for the seen her performance that one night
production side completed before any in July. Don Cargo of the magazine
additional prints or promotion costs Tinker wrote that “Stardance might
came in, he paid it immediately. make Alan Thicke in to an actor who
Mornau, who had asked that she people take seriously instead of the
be notified when any spending over fatherly baffoon he seems to play.”
five thousand dollars came through, The prints were seized save for
received a notice almost three weeks the one that Beaumont had brought
later. The total amount was only 2,700, to SIGGRAPH. He considered running
but Accountant Adcop thought he with it, but he returned it the next
should let her know. The date was July morning. Beaumont went to Montreal
21st. There were less than 24 hours explained that the film was completed and was preparing for his next project
before the screening. She began calling and that there was to be a screening in when he found out that his funding
everyone she could think of and faxed a few hours, He demanded that he be had been cut and that on his projected
the copy of the invoice she had been paid the original sum he had requested budget, he could not complete the
sent. Seventeen 35mm prints had or that all the prints were to become project he wanted to make. He
been struck as well as four 16mm and his personal property. We couldn’t discovered three other smaller projects
several VHS copies. These last were make the decision to pay him that had to be similarly scrapped. Jean left
done through a small firm in Toronto figure, so we agreed to give him the Montreal and returned to California
and Beaumont thought he wouldn’t prints.” where he started working for NotPrac
need them until after the film’s The screening started fifteen full-time, eventually rising to the
release date came nearer, so he hadn’t minutes after the decision to give position of Head of Development. The
arranged to pick-up or pay for those Robinson the prints took place. The group worked on several small films
yet. The word went ‘round to Spider screening was incredibly well-received. that would play the festival circuit until
Robinson who was furious. The graphics were considered to be they were purchased by LucasFilm in
“We would have asked Beaumont cutting edge, and one person who 1996. Beaumont would then go on to
to forfeit his fee after he personally saw it years later claimed that no head up his own production company
paid for the work done in California. film until Jurassic Park came close called Callahan Films, a reference
That would have made us happy and to approaching the level of reality to Spider Robinson’s other series of
even Miss Mornau seemed pleased that they achieved with Stardance. comedic novel.
with that outcome.” Said National Metricia’s performance was noted Metricia DeNucci would star in
Film Board of Canada over-seer as well, particularly by those in the several small films and go on to be one
John McGill. “Mr. Robinson called audience who were a part of the larger of the principal dancers on the CBC
me directly and ordered that we halt film critics circle. DeNucci received series Unfit for Stage. She would later
all production of the film. When I several nominations for Best Actress in develop serious joint problems and

Warning: This is Satire! Satire Ahoy!


be confined to a wheelchair. She is into DVDs and those have been in complement to Dave Langford’s TAFF
currently the creative director of Ballet circulation ever since. Harry Shearer of report, The Trans-Atlantic Hearing Aid,
San Antonio. The Simpsons claims that along with and many other zine articles. He is still
Gloria Ryma would graduate the footage from The Clown the Cried knocking about, too. And I see from
from San Jose State in 1991 and go and the Rolling Stones documentary your credits on the last page that the
on to make commercials for local Cocksucker Blues, Stardance is one cover was by Jack Moreau; Ian Taos
car dealerships. Her first big break of the most important films never and Chris Hunter need more exposure,
was writing the screenplay for the released. too. Addresses, please; I am always on
film version of Gimme A Break. She the lookout for other artists to grace
would be hired as a punch-up script the pages of Askance.
doctor for many television programs I’ve seen his work, not nearly
and currently writes for Film Threat enough of it though. Good point. I’ve
magazine. gotta do more of that!
Cyril Haynes would stay with Being an English geek, I really
NotPrac until the buy-out, but would don’t understand a lot about scientific
go on to become a professor at CalArts. theory or topics, but I do understand
He would sadly pass away in early the basics of a fair number of things.
2000. Once upon a time I, too, subscribed
Christina Mornau would eveually to Science News, and I still save/
ask Spider Robinson to sell her the print articles I find on the Internet
prints so she could release them. that pertain to astronomy, physics,
Robinson has so far refused. linguistics, or what-ever that strikes
The film itself is one of the most me as particularly of scientific interest
traded underground films ever made. that could be helpful in my endeavours
The copies that Beaumont dropped to write publishable stories. Thus it
off for transfer to VHS (as well as is with a wee bit of trepidation that I
UMatic) were made several weeks approached Frank Wu’s article about
later. Beaumont received a call asking “Killer Germs in Space,” which is one
him to pick them up. He had not been Letter Graded Mail article I have read and saved from the
asked about the missing 35mm print Sent to Garcia@computerhistory.org last week or so. It is actually a rather
and asked that the print be sent to the by John Purcell! interesting subject, and Frank does a
NFBC and the tapes be sent to him Your latest issue sports a cover good job explaining it for non-scientific
in California. Beaumont held several that is reminiscent of the style of Jim thinking people like me. He even gave a
private screenings and then made Barker, a wonderful British fan artist couple good SF “what if” repercussion
dubs which began to circulate around whose work adorned many a Brit- possibilities here. Good job, Frank!
the world. In 1998, Beaumont secretly zine from the late 1970s and onward. Now I have a better idea of how this
had the UMatics that still had turned Barker’s artwork was the perfect microgravity and bacteria relationship

Warning: This is Satire! Satire Ahoy!


works. Would you ever have thought, communicators.
Chris, that Drink Tank could ever be And then there’s SaBean Morel’s,
considered educational? Neither did I. er, um, *ahem* “experience” with that
I’m scared at the very concept! scientific experiment. That certainly
Then again, that may not be sounded like a rather stimulating
so surprising considering how much study. *rim shot!* (Insert sound of a
emphasis has been spent in these quarter clinking on glass as it bounces
pages scrutinizing the anatomy of the off the party jar at a BArea SF club
female form. You little mad scientist, meeting.) But seriously folks, SaBean
you... failed to provide one vital aspect of this
I do what I can. study: were pictures/videos taken?
Like many other fans who All in the name of modern science,
watched Star Trek and marveled don’tcha know...
at the concept of the transporter, I asked her that when we talked a
teleportation is a long-term dream that few days ago. Sadly, she said that
fascinates us. In fact, I just read The make up any little bit of science she didn’t think so. I was bummed,
Galaxy Primes by E.E. “Doc” Smith and no one will question it because but at that point, she was really jus
in which the spaceship Pleiades pops of Star Trek. skin and bones. What’s interesting
here and there in the universe by the I also remember that on the is that I recently discovered a study
directed mind-power of its pilot.It is a History Channel program “How William that had the researcher listed! It
fun concept that is not well-executed Shatner Changed the World,” there had nothing to do with the AI tests
nor explained, but the book wouldn’t was a segment about the physics of she ran, but it was good to find.
work without it. I think Doc Smith making the Transporter work. All I Like you, I am no scientist, but
could have done well to read David can recall is that the scientist trying to I do enjoy watching old science fiction
Darling’s book before writing this figure it out said that it would require and fantasy films for the goofy mad
novel. That would have been a neat generating an ungodly amount of heat scientist lairs filled with all sorts of
trick considering he died many years and energy in order to make it work. gadgetry and electromagnetic doo-dads
before this book was published in However, even the rules of physics that fitzed and popped and zipped and
2005. Them’s the breaks. Time-travel don’t stop people from trying to dope it zapped, filling the air with the smell of
obviously would have solved this out. Ah, me. It can be fun to play with ozone and burning bedsheets. Egad,
problem. the physics of a show like Star Trek but it would be a lot of fun to have
I read a few things of Doc Smith and see how feasible its scientific and one of those old movie lab sets. Mel
when I first started at the museum technological assumptions can be. Brooks must have paid a nice amount
and was shocked by what he said There was a book in the 1980s to get that original lab set for Young
about computers. Teleportation is called Making Star Trek Happen Frankenstein, but it was perfect for
one of those things that’s really (I think) that talked about real that movie, and thank Ghu he did it,
easy to write about because you can scientists working on projects like too. Young Frankenstein is one of my
teleportation or phasers and hand-
top five all-time favorite movies. but the Minnesota Wild are having a And that’s all for today (Steve
I showed it to Evelyn not that long great season so far this year. As of last Green would nromally be my closer,
ago and she loved it. She likes to night - when they beat the St. Louis but he had to finish up the Novacon
recreate the roll in the hay thing Blues (great team nickname, by the Program Book and the needs of the
from Terri Garr. I think she’ll find way) - the Wild are 6-0-1, and in first many outweigh the needs of the
that very funny when she’s older. place in the very competitive Northwest me) and he’ll be back next time, I
Steve Green’s column reminds Division: the other teams are Colorado, promise!
me that there is nothing like a pub- Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. Next issue will be normal and
meeting here in College Station for Tough teams, all. the one after that will be the big 1-
local science fiction fans who are not Gotta love the Leafs! I’m proud 5-0.
a part of the TAMU student club, to say that the Sharks are atop That’s looking like it’s gonna
Cepheid Variable. Some day I would the Pacific division, though it’s be the Corset issue with stuff from
like to organize such a meeting. I do not nearly as tough a road. I’m Chris Garcia (that’s me!), Jean
believe that it would be a fun and thinking play-offs already! Martin (in her Drink Tank debut),
fannish thing to do. And that’s a wrap, I do declare. James Bacon (one of my strongest
I believe it is your DUTY to make Now to get back onto a little work on TAFF supporters and an all-around
that happen! Askance #5. Take care, laddie, and nice guy) and art from folks like Joe
Hey! Lloyd Penney is back, and remember the immortal words of a Olivos and Espana Sheriff. It should
now has a full-time job, too. Good for classic t-shirt: “Beam me up, Scotty. be a fun one!
him! Between the two of us - you for There’s no intelligent life down here.” And after that...I’m not sure.
producing zines he has to loc, and me All the best, I’m already working a little on the
for pubbing his fanzine review column John Purcell Third Annual Giant-Sized Annual
- we could keep him behind schedule And in the words of the T-Shirt I’m (which will focus on Comics, movies,
on loccing other zines for a good wearing today: Christopher Walken TV and more!) which will feature
number of years. I’m up for it, how for President! Derek McCaw as my co-editor for te
about you, Chris? issue.
No doubt! Art this issue was from
Lloyd is dead-on about knowing Selina Phanara (that’s her stuff
how to deal with winter’s nasty cold. over there <--), Kurt Erichsen, Dag
My many years of growing up and Spicer (the cover photo of me), Dana
living in Minneapolis taught me Luong (the Purple Lady), Misty
many a thing about how to handle Myers (Stardancer), Kathe Morel,
it, both in keeping your body warm Jame Litt, Allen Something (His
and maintaining the operation of artist name, he does mostly fractal
your car. It really gets nasty cold up stuff that’s in the collection of the
there. Plus, I also have been a long- museum) and Gary Bright (the little
time fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, red things).