The third and final project on which Stan Phillips and I worked together (see "Choice Stakes" and "Water Follies" elsewhere in my collection on Vimeo) was this film on home electricity use and conservation. It is obviously modeled on the same structure as "Water Follies", largely because that's what the client, Southern California Edison, asked for. We had actually come up with and completely storyboarded a very different film on the same subject - but it required narration to adequately get the story across, and that proved impossible to sell to the folks who were paying the bills.
This was technically my first stab at directing professionally, and I had the good fortune to be working again with a world-class cartoonist, Mad magazine artist Paul Coker, Jr., who had also designed a number of Rankin-Bass TV specials and was a joy to work with. Stan stepped back from directing duties but exercised a strong hand in determining the content of the picture, and the resulting film went on to win several awards at ASIFA film festivals, most notably one in Zagreb which I attended in 1982.
Stan Phillips passed away on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, after a long career that encompassed nearly every aspect of the film business. He was my mentor, my teacher, and my friend; and, thanks to the invention of a medium we could barely even imagine in the 70s, the legacy of this earlier work can live on.
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