SUGGESTIONS AND NOTES ON “SNOW WHITE.” Disney Story Conference, October 3rd, 1934
I have developed two passions in my life: Aeronautical Engineering and Visual Story.
As of late, VISUAL STORY has become the more dominant.
I first became passionate about story as film student studying historical documents while at The Walt Disney Studios in California.
The documents revealed singular advancements of visual story that Walt Disney and his Story Department developed in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
In this blog, to mix it up and hopefully keep it interesting, I’m going to alternate posts between the historical past and the practical present, with the hopes of better understanding and disseminating a visual story knowledge base.
It is a journey I’ve eagerly trekked for some time, and now I invite you to follow along. Where we it ends, I have no idea. And that’s a very important, salient point of creativity: the Disney Story Department had no idea where their story threads would end up when they started the process, other than someplace forward.
As my first post, I feel it befitting that we start from the historical past, and I have chosen Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
In academia, there’s always a struggle to find the truth [Ve Ri Tas]. As a technique, I was trained to use as many primary source documents as possible, so here, in this blog, I will be presenting and referencing a lot of historical Disney Story Documents.
Fortunately, many of these documents exist for Snow White. Early on, when Walt was advancing his story creation process through conferences and meetings, there were no records being kept, and much of the knowledge developed was either forgotten or misquoted, frustrating Walt’s efforts at rapid advancement. Thankfully for history, Walt understood that said advancement must have accurate documentation from which to build upon, so he ordered a transcriber to record all future story conferences and meetings.
While I do not have a recording of all transcripts made, I do have a clear majority, chosen by both happenstance and worth, and certainly enough to show the unique story creation processes he [Walt] developed and advanced.
The documents I post are very accurate recreations from elaborate notes and such that I accumulated while studying for my aforementioned master’s thesis, and this document is the earliest one I have, dated October 3rd, 1934, and titled “SUGGESTIONS AND NOTES ON ‘SNOWWHITE.'”
This document is rather simple in form, and you will see as I post subsequent documents, which I will do in chronological order, that they start to become far more elaborate in both the recording (every word spoken) and content (depths of discussion).
If you happen upon this blog at a later date, I caution you not to try to read all these documents in one sitting – it can become overwhelming and you will miss the nuances, i.e. the devil is in the details. I speak from experience.
Feel free to comment, as I would like this to be a learning experience, and much learning occurs in open discussion.
Without further ado, click on image below to open document…
I only found your blog last month and am slowly working my way through from the beginning. These are great to see. Thank you so much for sharing.
The thing that surprised me most about these particular notes was the joke at the end – with Sleepy finally outwitting the fly bothers him and how he does it. Imagine if that had made it to the final film – Snow White and the prince gaze into the distance, we see the castle in the clouds, the music builds, *Sleepy climbs into Snow White’s coffin*, and they all lived happily ever after!
I kinda wish they’d done it!