For the first post of 2011, I thought it would be appropriate to post a YouTube clip of my all-time favorite movies about finding your dreams.
I first saw the three minute short “The Wizard of Speed and Time” at a La Jolla, California, film festival in the early 1980’s. I loved it. Fast forward to about 1991; I happened to spot a VHS movie in a movie rental store’s bargain bin of the same name, and grabbed it on a hunch. Sure enough, this full-length feature film was an expanded version of the short I had seen years earlier, made by the same person.
From the ever wonderful Wikipedia:
The Wizard of Speed and Time is a 1989 low-budget feature film written, directed, and starring animator Mike Jittlov, as well as a 1979 16 mm short film, also by Jittlov.
In the original short film, a young man in a green wizard costume runs throughout America at super speed, much like the superhero The Flash. Along the way, he gives a pretty girl a swift lift to another city, gives golden stars to other women who want a trip themselves. He then slips on a banana peel and comically crashes into a film stage, which he then brings to life in magical ways.
Jittlov is a special effects technician, and produced all of the special effects in the film himself, many through stop motion animation.
This short film originally was shown as a segment of an episode of ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’. The episode was called ‘Major Effects’, and was aired to coincide with the release of Disney’s ‘The Black Hole’ in 1979.
The film segment then began to be shown at science fiction conventions around the country, gaining popularity, prompting Jittlov to eventually create a (semi) fictionalized account of how this short film came to be, in the form of a feature film.
1989 Feature film
Years later, Jittlov was able to remake the short, as well as incorporate portions of some of his other short films (such as Time Tripper and Animato), into a feature-length 35 mm film. The feature version recounts the exploits of a special effects “wizard” (played by Jittlov) trying to fulfill his dream of making a full-length movie. The tricks of movie magic are exposed; but so are the tribulations of the independent moviemaker working around the heavily-unionized Hollywood film industry.
Mike Jittlov never made another movie. Based on Amazon.com reviews and other un-sourced gossip, Mike lost a lot of money on his feature film due to Hollywood deal-making and cut-throat business practices. But, he had his dream, and made a movie that has become a cult-classic.
So, without further ado, I give you the YouTube-saved version of the original three minute film short “The Wizard of Speed and Time:”