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Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [6 of 9] - Wm. Hosie Draft Memo to War Production Board

In our case, after collecting cels for a while we started to collect pencil drawings, then model sheets, then backgrounds and then I started to pick up photographs, scrapbooks and memos -- material that started to give you a feel for the Disney Studio "iceburg." Here's an excellent example... (By the way, I had searched for information about Hosie for years and was unable to fill in any blanks until I wrote Dave Smith last week -- see his note in the Database Notes -- Thanks, Dave!)

To limit non-war effort expenditures, the U.S. Government War Production Board limited Hollywood movies to $5,000 per set for construction costs. Using the Consumer Price Index, $5,000 in 1942 is about the same as $64,000 in 2007 (the latest data set year).

Apparently, when the Disney Studios forwarded their budget for Bambi to the War Production Board it included the costs associated with the Multiplane Camera. The War Production Board evidently disallowed those anticipated expenditures indicating they exceeded the $5,000 limit.

Below are the draft memos written by William A. Hosie (Publicity Department) that were going to be forwarded to the War Department as part of the Studio's argument that since the Multiplane Camera was going to be used for a number of difference scenes (or "sets") the real cost per set was much lower than the $5,000 limit.

World War II and its impact on all of America is dramatically underestimated today. These notes provide a glimpse into the far reaching restrictions that were imposed in all walks of life... (If any of you can decipther the hand written notes, please let me know!)

Wm. Hosie Draft Memo to the War Production Board

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

“Bambicopy Hosie” (1942). Three pages written by William A. Hosie (Publicity Department) providing justification for Disney exceeding the $5,000 per set construction cost limits set by the War Production Board. Two additional pages highlighting the similarity between Bambi and the original author. [Item: 8.5”W x 11”H] Acquired 2004. SeqID-1189

2/10/2009 email from Dave Smith: Hosie was William A. Hosie, who was in our Publicity Department from August 1940 to March 1947. I have no other information about him, other than he died in 1995 in New Hampshire.

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