An apology, two excuses (one pretty lame), and an advert...

I am sorry that things have been quiet on the blog front recently (apology - check!) The day job has involved a lot of writing in the past few weeks, some of which has spilled outside of hours so the blog has been a little neglected (excuse 1 - check!) And - phew, it was a bit hot wasn't it? (lame excuse 2 - check!) But on the bright side one of those writing jobs a little while back has now been published in that venerable film publication Sight & Sound, and it involves Halas & Batchelor. This months issue »

"How I came to work for Halas & Batchelor" - Jenny Reyn

I first got the hint of a woman called Jenny working at Halas & Batchelor during the war in this interview with animators Liz and Dick Horn. Liz, says that when she joined the fledging company it had just two animators (other than John and Joy) Harold Mack and "a lovely girl called Jenny - I became her assistant". The name was new to me and a bit of googling led me to this profile piece from the excellent Bear Alley website in which I learnt that Jenny Reyn was the professional name of an Edna Reynolds, later Edna Clarke »

Some of the lost women

After reading my post about "The Mystery of the Disappearing Women" Vivien forwarded this picture of some of them. There are some names on the back of the photo, but I knew four of them, and have been lucky enough to meet two of them. The front row is, left to right - Vera Linnecar, Elizabeth Horn (née Williams) and Wally Crook - all described in this post. In the centre of the back row is Beryl Stevens, and on her left was a possible "Eddie?". Beryl joined H&B around 1948 after a time at Gaumont-British Animation and »

The Halas & Batchelor Short Film Collection - coming soon

At the end of the month Network Distribution will be releasing 18 of H&B's best shorts on DVD and Blu-ray. We will probably be banging on about this quite a lot in the coming month, but we will try and keep it interesting and give some background on some of the lesser known films on the release. I was lucky enough to see a preview and wrote the following linked piece for Network's website with a bit of background about some of the films. It includes the phrase "it is a heady, psychedelic, mind trip into an alien »

The mystery of the disappearing women

Recent posts on the staff of Halas & Batchelor in 1946, and the section of Roger Manvell's history of H&B about the production of Animal Farm seem like a good prompt to look at the changes in the company around 1950. Those who read the 1946 staff profile will have noticed the high proportion of women who worked in the studio in the war and immediate post-war years. As the company was formed during WWII, many of the men with animation experience had been called up to the armed forces. The company built its staff partly from the »