Friday, 13 June 2014

Shooting a Haunted House

George Pal tries a bit of an elaborate camera move in “Jasper and the Haunted House” (1942). The camera is looking down onto the main floor of the old mansion. Then it trucks down and curves in to a head-on view of the front entrance. It doesn’t quite work. It’s bit much to combine that with the stop motion animation and the little sets that Pal’s staff built. The camera jerks, though you can’t tell that looking at the frame grabs below.

Pal’s name is the only one on the credits, so it’s tough to say who worked on this. Film Composers in America by Clifford McCarty reveals the score was done by Eddison von Ottenfeld, who was using the name William Eddison. Variety says little about the short, other than this in its August 28, 1942 edition:
George Pal closes his studio today to provide annual 10 day vacation for all employees. Producer just completed the Puppetoon short, 'Jasper and the Haunted House' for Paramount release. Pal heads for his cabin in the high Sierras.
The short’s national release was on October 23rd. It was the first Puppetoon of the 1942-43 season.

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