Art titles original production …… is art that was actually used to make the film. There is a wide variety of material that comes under this heading from original cels and drawings to storyboards and maquette.
Whilst you may think that there are hundreds of thousands of cels used in the making of a film there are a lot of reasons as to why there are so few that are collectible. Firstly of course if the character is depicted behind part of the scenery then his drawing and cel will be adapted to allow the background to appear as foreground.
When you have a scene involving more than one character each 12th or 24th of a second will be made up of several layers of cels that are interchanged at different moments according too the action happening on screen. Therefore you might have a single cel that had others with it on screen. Finally there are only a few cels that really depict the character in a perfect pose, others might have the eyes closed or be extreme expressions and these are less sought after.
Each cel is reproduced from the original pencil drawing and was transferred by either hand inking or Xerox copy onto the face of the celluloid, thereafter it is hand painted before finally going beneath the camera for its part in making the film. you can own a piece of the film, what you see on the screen is your art.
Before a cel can made there has to be a drawing, these come from the hand of the artist, the action is created right there in his mind and transferred onto the paper. These drawings fall into several categories, there are rough drawings which are later copied by other artists into 'clean ups’. There are key drawings where the head animators draw the key poses and then in between artists create the drawing from one key to another, again rough and clean ups.
All the rules apply as we described for production cels, if the character is coming through a door there will be many drawings made and just a few will show the character in a worthwhile pose to collect, the rest will show the character ‘keyed’ into the background which might be the door open.
There are forgeries out there in the market and all of these pieces need a certificate of authenticity for your protection. Provenance is everything, make sure you know what it is you are framing and hanging in your collection.
As you might expect there are only a few backgrounds compared to many cels, the background for a scene may well have thousands of cels shot on it and therefore if you have cels and the background from a scene you have what is called a 'master set up’. These can be either exactly as it appeared in the film, therefore a ‘key set up’ or a ‘non key set up’ where you have both cels and backgrounds used in the film but they did not appear together in the film. The fun of collecting can be to find cels that suit the background and put them together…..not easy!
Master Set ups have the highest values, many from the very early animated shorts go for incredible values. The backgrounds are stunningly painted and are works of art in their own right.