Peter Ellenshaw

Matte Artist


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his hour-long Archive interview, Peter Ellenshaw (1913-2007) describes his long association with the Walt Disney Studios where he became a preeminent matte artist. He discusses the craft of the matte artist and how a matte is incorporated into a film. He talks about Disney's foray into television with the Disneyland series, and mentions his work on such segments of the show as Davy Crockett.  B-roll consists of Ellenshaw voicing-over descriptions of mattes done for various projects, as well as a few photos from his Disney years. In a thirty-minute interview conducted with his son, Harrison Ellenshaw, Harrison talks about his father as well as the work that he has done as a special effects artist in his own right, which includes the feature film "Star Wars." Karen Herman conducted the interview on September 11, 2003 in Santa Barbara, California.

"Walt Disney was a man who knew what he wanted and pointed the way he wanted it to be. Some producer told him 'But I've never done this before, Walt.' He said, 'Well, now's the time to find out if you can.' And it was. If you didn't find out, you'd find out that you didn't have a job!"

Highlights
Peter Ellenshaw on helping to create Disneyland and drawing the famous map of the park 
02:38
Peter Ellenshaw on working as a matte artist for the Disney feature film "Treasure Island"
01:24
Peter Ellenshaw on working on the feature "Mary Poppins"
03:22
Peter Ellenshaw on working as a matte artist on Davy Crockett
01:23
Harrison Ellenshaw on the opening of Disneyland
02:25
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in film; on his mentor; on getting his start as a matte artist on features in England
14:14
On coming to America and working on the Disney feature film "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"; on helping to create Disneyland with Walt Disney; on the Disney style
14:29

Chapter 2

On working on Davy Crockett; on the craft of matte painting; on working on the feature "Mary Poppins"
16:31
On his then-current work; on his painting style; on advice to aspiring painters and how he'd like to be remembered 
08:28

Chapter 3

On B-roll photographs from his career- in front of his map of Disneyland; matte painting of New Orleans for Davy Crockett; in his Disney studio with Walt Disney; with Walt Disney, Buddy Ebsen and Fess Parker; Walt Disney with Davy Crockett painting; in Monument Valley; a cyclorama camera; matte painting for the feature film "Spartacus"; caricature of Peter Ellenshaw
10:09
On his early life and influences; on his early memories of television; on the opening of Disneyland
12:42
On his father's work on Davy Crockett; on his father's work on Zorro; on following in his father's footsteps and becoming a matte artist
05:26

Chapter 4

On following in his father's footsteps; on his feature film career; on working with George Lucas on "Star Wars"
07:33
On working on Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; on how visual effects have changed since he started; on his father's legacy and advice to aspiring visual effects professional
10:28
Shows

Davy Crockett

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Peter Ellenshaw on working as a matte artist on Davy Crockett
01:23
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father working on Davy Crockett
03:27

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys

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Harrison Ellenshaw on working on Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
00:58

Xena: Warrior Princess

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Harrison Ellenshaw on working on Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
00:58

Zorro

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Harrison Ellenshaw on his father working on Zorro
01:16
Topics

Advice

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Peter Ellenshaw on advice to aspiring artists 
00:23
Harrison Ellenshaw on advice for aspiring visual effects professionals 
03:47

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Peter Ellenshaw on his early interest in film and his mentor 
03:06
Harrison Ellenshaw on following in his father's footsteps as a matte artist
00:43
Harrison Ellenshaw on following in his father's footsteps and becoming a matte artist 
02:11
Harrison Ellenshaw on comparing his and his father's work and his father's legacy
02:05

Television Industry

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Peter Ellenshaw on advice to aspiring artists 
00:23
Peter Ellenshaw on how effects have changed since he started in the business 
00:34
Harrison Ellenshaw on how visual effects have changed since he began working
02:26
Harrison Ellenshaw on advice for aspiring visual effects professionals 
03:47
Professions

Art Director/Set Decorator

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Peter Ellenshaw on the craft of matte painting 
04:08
Peter Ellenshaw on his style and the tools he used
01:28
Peter Ellenshaw on advice to aspiring artists 
00:23
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father's style and the way he worked
03:34
Harrison Ellenshaw on advice for aspiring visual effects professionals 
03:47

Designers

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Peter Ellenshaw on his early duties at a studio and learning his painting technique 
02:52
Peter Ellenshaw on the craft of matte painting 
04:08
Peter Ellenshaw on his style and the tools he used
01:28
Peter Ellenshaw on advice to aspiring artists 
00:23
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father's style and the way he worked
03:34
Harrison Ellenshaw on advice for aspiring visual effects professionals 
03:47
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Harrison Ellenshaw on his father working on Zorro
01:16

Western Series

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Peter Ellenshaw on working as a matte artist on Davy Crockett
01:23
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father working on Davy Crockett
03:27
People

Walt Disney

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Peter Ellenshaw on Walt Disney's involvement in the day-to-day operations of the studio
01:19
Peter Ellenshaw on Walt Disney's involvement in his matte painting
03:26
Peter Ellenshaw on the death of Walt Disney and its effect on the studio
02:39
Harrison Ellenshaw on the opening of Disneyland
02:25

Peter Ellenshaw

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Harrison Ellenshaw on his childhood memories of his father's career
02:15
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father's style and the way he worked
03:37
Harrison Ellenshaw on the opening of Disneyland
02:25
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father working on Davy Crockett
03:27
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father working on Zorro
01:16
Harrison Ellenshaw on following in his father's footsteps as a matte artist
00:43
Harrison Ellenshaw on following in his father's footsteps and becoming a matte artist 
02:11
Harrison Ellenshaw on comparing his and his father's work and his father's legacy
02:05
Harrison Ellenshaw on his father's work on the feature "Spartacus" 
01:20

George Lucas

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Harrison Ellenshaw on working with George Lucas on "Star Wars"
02:27

Fess Parker

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Peter Ellenshaw on working as a matte artist on Davy Crockett
01:23

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