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Thursday, December 15, 2005

BRAY, John R.

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Birth/Death

August 25, 1879 - October 10, 1978


Occupation/Title

Producer, Director, Writer, Actor, Animator


Bio Summary

John Randolph Bray was the founder of Bray Studios, one of the first studios dedicated to animation. He did it all from producing and directing to acting and animating. Bray's goal was to have four units working on four cartoons at any one time, that way a cartoon that would take a month to finish only took one week! J. R. hired great animators like Raoul Barre, Max Fleischer and Walter Lantz. In 1914 John Randolph Bray and Earl Hurd are granted patents for animation systems using drawings on transparent celluloid sheets and a registration system that kept images steady.


Early Life/Family

John Randolph Bray began his career as an artist for a newspaper. He soon began selling cartoons to magazines. His first animated film was "The Artist's Dream," released in 1913. After signing a contract with Pathe to make cartoons, Bray set up his own studio with other artists. He patented many of his improvements on the animation process, realizing early on the business potential of these developments. One of these innovations was the use of translucent paper to make it easier to position objects in successive drawings.

He was married to Margaret Bray.


Education/Training

Alma College, Michigan


Career Outline

Comments On Style

Influences

Personality

Anecdotes

Miscellaneous

Filmography

(Incomplete, ten titles in each category)

Producer:


Vale of Kashmir (1936) (producer) 
Let's Talk Turkey (1936) (producer)
Wildman's Land (1937) (producer)
Our Bird Citizens (1937) (producer)
The Oregon Camera Hunt (1937) (producer)
Leaping Through Life (1937) (producer)
Jewel of Asia (1937) (producer)
In Nature's Workshop (1937) (producer)
Giants of the North (1937) (producer)
Youth Train for Aviation (1943) (producer)

Director:

Woods and Birds (1933)
Vale of Kashmir (1936)
Let's Talk Turkey (1936)
Wildman's Land (1937)
Our Bird Citizens (1937)
The Oregon Camera Hunt (1937)
Leaping Through Life (1937)
Jewel of Asia (1937)
In Nature's Workshop (1937)
Youth Train for Aviation (1943)


Writer:
Colonel Heeza Liar's Temperance Lecture (1917) 
The Bride of the Colorado (1928) (story)
... aka Bride of the Night (USA)
Woods and Birds (1933)
Let's Talk Turkey (1936)
Wildman's Land (1937)
Our Bird Citizens (1937)
The Oregon Camera Hunt (1937)
Leaping Through Life (1937)
Jewel of Asia (1937)
In Nature's Workshop (1937)

Animator
Colonel Heeza Liar on Strike (1916) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar Plays Hamlet (1916) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar's Bachelor Quarters (1916) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar Gets Married (1916) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar, Hobo (1916) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar at the Vaudeville Show (1916) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar on the Jump (1917) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar, Detective (1917) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar, Spy Dodger (1917) (animator)
Colonel Heeza Liar's Temperance Lecture (1917) (animator)

Cinematographer:

Little Friends of the Wild (1915) 
Woods and Birds (1933)
Vale of Kashmir (1936)
Let's Talk Turkey (1936)
Wildman's Land (1937)
Our Bird Citizens (1937)
Leaping Through Life (1937)
Jewel of Asia (1937)
In Nature's Workshop (1937)
 Youth Train for Aviation (1943)

Actor:

The Artist's Dreams (1913)
... aka The Dachshund and the Sausage
Gertie the Dinosaur (1915) (as J.R. Bray)


Honors

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1975


Related Links

Bibliographic References

Wikipedia Entry on Bray Productions
IMDB bio
Innovative Animators


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