Saul Bass Film
March 17, 2009
Why Man (and Woman) Creates
Tenacity wins!For years Royce Vaughn has been talking about a Saul Bass film he showed to his students at Project ABLE (Arts and Business Learning Experiences) in the 1970s. The animated “Why Man Creates” film was a huge hit with the teenagers, mostly drop-outs, mostly unmotivated young adults dipping their toes for the first time into the world of film, photography and videotape.
Over the years, Vaughn periodically sent up flares looking for a copy of the film that inspired them.Calls to the archives at Kaiser Aluminum which sponsored the production and then to Richard Kauffman* finally led to www.pyramidmedia.com.
Project ABLE ran for ten years with almost $250,000 in funding from the Ford Foundation with matching funds from the Rosenberg, Miranda Lux, San Francisco and Wells Fargo foundations, and produced films for clients such as the US Department of Labor. Almost thirty years later, Vaughn no longer has regular contact with the students.But in chance meetings with one who had become an engineer at KRON-TV and another who became a self-employed photographer, he knows some have succeeded in the film world. While the odds are great that others possibly have not, he maintains the basic tenet that money spent on encouraging young people to study creative arts takes them into new spheres of thinking, new groundwork for finding sustainable jobs, new respect for their ability to succeed.
"Why Man Creates" was winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film in 1968. With wonderfully animated humor, satire and irony, "it emphasizes the uniqueness and creative potential of each individual."
*Kaufmann's wife Tina also does original note cards, featuring photographs and watercolors of the Oakland hills. We especially like her "Poppies in the Diablo Foothills." Poppies are not only California's state flower, they're the California Collectors" Series logo.