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Tom Waits’ groundbreaking rotoscope film, Tom Waits For No One, to be restored for its 35th anniversary

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Tom Waits For No One, the 1979 John Lamb-directed short film starring Tom Waits performing “The One That Got Away”, has long been lauded by critics and fans alike for its groundbreaking use of rotoscope technology. Featuring the work of a bevy of talented animators, including many who’ve gone on to work for Disney and The Simpsons, the revolutionary clip was created using live footage filmed at Hollywood’s La Brea Stage that was then converted by hand into animation.

On September 19th, Lamb will launch a special Kickstarter campaign to fund a proper commemoration for the film’s 35th anniversary. The event itself is scheduled to take place next year on March 20th and 21st in Hollywood at Catchlight Studios, formerly the La Brea Stage.

A press release notes that the Kickstarter will help pay for “transferring the original live action footage of Tom Waits and the video pencil test to a contemporary format to be projected throughout the gallery; restoration and framing of original animation cels for display; and restoration of the Lyon Lamb Video Rotoscope used in the film’s production.” These unique elements of the film will be presented at the anniversary celebration for the first time in over three decades.

Additionally, the campaign includes a Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook, which is expected to feature “a bevy of miscellanea created, drawn, doodled, or collected during the film’s production, to include the inspired character studies, character turnarounds, storyboards, and set concept drawings rendered in hardback and soft cover.”

Below, watch the legendary Tom Waits For No One film.

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