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SDCC2012: Panel Report - Filmation and Lou Scheimer: Celebrating a Generation of Animation and TV Heroes

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Mangels showed some more slides featuring Filmation shows. He also pulled up a slide from the Warner Bros. short, “The Mouse That Jack Built”, which features Jack Benny as a mouse and one which Lou worked on the backgrounds.

Mangels asked Buzz Dixon how he got his start at Filmation. Dixon had just been discharged from the army in 1978. He applied to the USC’s film school and was accepted, but he received his approval in February and wouldn’t start until October. So, he decided to apply to all of the studios to get a job in the mailroom or as a driver, just to get his feet in the door before going to film school. He had been a journalist in the army, had written for the newspaper and done short stories. He started by applying at Universal Studios and eventually worked his way over to Filmation, where Arthur H. Nadel was their live-action producer. They were between projects and Nadel wasn’t doing anything at the time, so he agreed to meet with Dixon and talk with him. He found out Dixon had written short stories and Buzz gave him some as a sample. Arthur sent those to Lou, who was on vacation in Hawaii at the time.

Nadel then asked him if he could come up with some ideas for Space Academy. He put together some ideas for Arthur (that weren’t used). When Lou came back, he read the proposed ideas and told Arthur that he didn’t know who to hire, the guy who wrote the short stories, or the guy who came up with the ideas. Nadel told Scheimer that they were the same guy and Lou told him to get Dixon. Dixon said he never ended up going to film school and turned to Scheimer and told him, “You are responsible for my career in no small part and my wife will never forgive you.”

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