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Talk:Youth 68

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Categorization

This film is currently categorized as a Henson Film. The description on that category says: "films personally directed by Jim Henson". However Youth 68 was not directed by Jim Henson; it was directed by Jon Stone (Jim Henson was the producer/writer). There are other films produced by Jim Henson (and Muppets, Inc.) that were not personally directed by Jim (such as Number Three Ball Film which was directed by Frank Oz) but they are not in the "Henson Films" category. Would Henson Company Movies be a better home for this? Is there a better place? Or should we re-define what "Henson Films" means. -- Brad D. (talk) 22:51, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

We should redefine what Henson Films means. Henson Company Films suggests inclusion of Buddy, which is not what this is. I just updated the category description. —Scott (talk) 23:17, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I think the new definition you added complicates things - it category now says: films "largely overseen by Jim Henson". Jim oversaw Number Three Ball Film, The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppets on Puppets, The Witches... -- but he didn't direct them. Should these films be moved in there now? -- Brad D. (talk) 00:02, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I see what you mean. Jim largely oversaw everything. I'm not sure how to describe it right now. —Scott (talk) 01:34, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I think what Scott meant was overseen in the sense of being the prime creative force and almost wholly shaping the entire vision as opposed to crucial involvement or just an executive role, so in that sense Number Three Ball Film and Witches definitely don't qualify. The Muppets are a different matter but it's already a given that Henson was a major force in those made during his lifetime, and originally, the idea was to keep out the Muppet/Creature stuff out anyway, prior to this discussion and an argument that they should be included for Oz, and so they were added for Henson as well, but this category was conceived as a place to house the experiments, the shorts, the animated inserts, the TV stuff, and so on, so Youth '68 clearly fits in right with those and is so treated on the rare occasions it's screened, and not with Buddy, Witches, or even The Muppet Movie (or Dark Crystal for that matter). The mild complication is really just that Youth 68 is so seldom seen, but from all accounts, as producer and writer and using his connections with NBC (he'd already done the White Paper thing), Henson was the auteur for this (auteur in film theory meaning prime creative force and the one whose vision controls the entire project as opposed to a more equal collaboration, even though auteurs have collaborators; usually the director *is* the auteur, and unquestionably so with writer/producer/directors, but in this case we have writer/producer and the vague "special script material" which could mean the voice-over quotes which are in essence an aural montage or so it seems or could in fact mean other film elements as well, but without seeing the film it's hard to know, but regardless it fits the auteur criteria as nicely as it does with, say, Walt Disney's earliest features, though he was never the actual director and often as not the actual director had less to do than the directing animators and so on, but Disney selected the project, oversaw each and every element from storyboarding to voice casting and often directed the story development even when he wasn't billed for it). It seems reasonable to suppose that Stone directed primarily because so much was documentary (or because of the length). That's not an argument that can be made about the others, except the Muppet movies in the sense that he was the man behind the Muppets, but he didn't direct, he didn't script, and so on. On the whole, I think this would be an argument better worth revisiting if someone who's seen the film or attended that event could make a strong argument that, say, Stone conceived the idea first and was really the auteur. This wasn't a Henson Company Movie and there's no real need for a "Jon Stone Films" category so right now this is the most logical place. At this point, I think dispensing with the Muppet/Creature stuff as we did originally would help. There was talk of turning Oz films into just a chart anyway (sandboxed but never fully replaced) and I'm in favor of dropping Crystal and Caper from here (which also would mean recategorizing the long commercials or Meeting Films but that's easily done, and not all of those which seem to have been directed by Henson were here anyway, and likewise one or two, like Stretchel, may actually have had another director for all we know) or just dealing with that in a separate list page (i.e. "List of all Muppet/Creature projects personally directed by Henson," but with a less clunky name, though really all that's already on Jim Henson or should be, but something like that would be a better way to dispense of the problem and make it clear what this category really is about while still pointing readers to anything from Crystal to the Fraggle Rock episodes he helmed). The Floating Face, though we categorize him as a Muppet, was an outlet for the experiments with film and montage which appeared behind him, so those entries fit in and feel like they should remain in a way that Caper doesn't. How's that? We can then fiddle with the definition a bit but it won't really be a matter for dispute that, as experiments in filmmaking and representing a particular outlet and approach outside of puppetry alone or the work widely associated with him, Youth '68 is a Henson film in much the same way that Time Piece, Cube, and even the King of Eight and such are so we can leave it in as just a slightly different exception and, with the field cleared, probably find a better summary (or even just point to whatever the talk consensus is for the definition, which we've done before when needed). Though again, it would probably help if more of us had seen the durned thing, but it can always be revisited in that case. That's one way to deal with this anyway, and to my mind at least the simplest and most logical. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:47, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with everything Andrew said. —Scott (talk) 01:53, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the bulk of what you are saying. It seems the purpose of the Henson Films category should be shifted to focus on Jim Henson's Early Experimental Films. I think we should focus the category on Jim's Exeperimental Films - such as The Cube, Ripples, Time Piece, and Youth 68. And take out the stuff like The Great Muppet Caper, Labyrinth, King of 8, and Shrinkel & Stretchel.

So I suggest that we do a few things to re-focus the category.

1) Merge Category:Frank Oz Films into Sandbox:Frank Oz Films, and loose that category all together.
2) Dump the Muppet, Creature and Sesame Street films from the Jim Henson Films category (we have a filmography of Jim's directoral credits on his page -- no need to recreate it via a category too).
3) Make the category for the early (pre-Sesame Street) experimental films produced/directed by Jim that don't feature Muppets. It might also help to rename the category -- "Early Jim Henson Films", "Experimental Henson Films", "Jim Henson's Experimental Films", "Experimental Films" or something to clear up that this isn't just for any Jim Henson film.
Basically that would leave the following pages in there:
Cat and Mouse, The Cube, I Know Who I Am, I'm Nobody, The Idea Man, Memories, The Organized Mind, The Paperwork Explosion, Ripples, Time Piece, Wheels That Go, and Youth 68.
Jim's other directoral work fits elsewhere - in Muppet Films, Creature Shop Films, Commercials, Sesame Street Inserts, Industrial Films, Muppet Shorts, and such. No need to have a Henson Films category that just re-created the filmography in the Jim Henson article. -- Brad D. (talk) 23:28, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
The animated inserts were just as much experimental films, though, and of course were done at a time when Henson was basically an outsourced supplier of material (albeit more than most of the others) to Sesame Street, so I don't see a reason to drop them. I'm not even sure an awkward renaming is needed, just a brief description; this isn't a common problem after all and a see also if need by can be added. If we do rename it (it was an early category), a simple "Jim Henson Films," to more clearly delinieate the man from the company, and a description would work. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:34, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Keeping the non-Muppet Sesame Street stuff if fine with me. But I do think that Number Three Ball Film should be included - although it was not personally directed by Jim, it was done by the Henson group and some official Sesame sources even list it as "Henson Ball High Wire #3". The Sesame Street producers commissioned a bunch of people/groups to create inserts; and, outside of providing the Muppets, Jim and his group made some films for the show - producing the Baker Films, Number 3 Ball Film, Doll House, 1-2-3-4-5!, and others. Frank Oz may have done the actual work directing it (just like Stone technically directed Youth 68), but Jim's fingerprints are all over it (either by overseeing, advising, producing, or just assisting). -- Brad D. (talk) 00:02, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not getting you at all, Brad. We know Oz made it (directed, built the sculpture, and so on, thanks to the interview), but "fingerprints all over it" are assumptions, whereas we have detailed accounts from Oz on the film (which had previously been misidentified as being directed by Henson). Yeah, Heather Henson has a cameo in it, but otherwise for all we know Jim Henson said "Hey, Frank, do this thing" or Frank Oz said "Let me do this" Or Cooney asked Oz and so on, the hypotheticals are endless, but it really seems from the on Oz account of it that it was Oz doing his own thing just like King of 8 was Henson doing likewise. This is as opposed to clear credits for Youth '68 and the occasional magazine account and so on. So it's not a comparable situation in the least, and if it was "just assisting," then it really doesn't qualify, and putting it back in this category would just add to fan confusion and inaccuracy (I did just edit this specific page, Youth '68, so it's clear in the first sentence that Stone directed, but Henson's specific involvement is noted in the credits and beyond a doubt; with the ball thing, we're assuming and guessing, and the only official Sesame source using "Henson Ball" is the DVD which could have been mistaken for all we know). By the same token, we haven't created pages for, say, Sam the Snake from the first episode, which has Henson's voice, but otherwise we don't know anything about his specific involvement so it would be incorrect to list it as a "Henson Film" without knowing more. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 03:33, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
This conversation is starting to get hung up on other details. Let's go ahead and merge what we agree on and start a new conversation about the Ball Film if it's needed. —Scott (talk) 17:09, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I took out the articles and changed the description as discussed, so I'm taking the talk box away as I see the Ball Film discussion has moved here. —Scott (talk) 01:08, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to get too off-topic, but somebody mentioned that we haven't create d apage for Sam the Snake. I'd like to point out that I did create such a page, which eventually became a redirect to Episode 0001 (though it probably should be a redirect to Sesame Street Letter Segments, which has a section on Henson's clay animation works). --Minor muppetz 21:35, April 17, 2010 (UTC)

Attention

I know this film is available at the Museum of Television and Radio in Los Angeles (since I was an idiot and passed over watching it in favor of some Eureeka's Castle episodes, oy). Perhaps some one who has seen it in it's entirety can elaborate on it, as it has interested me ever since I didn't see it that time.. --Cantus Rock 12:35, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

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