Terry Gilliam reveals how he created his Monty Python animations

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/29/terry-gilliam-reveals-how-he-c.html


IIRC, GIlliam would record the audio after filming the visuals – (also IIRC) the reverse of how it’s usually done. (I haven’t finished watching the whole thing so maybe he mentions this)


Montage != cut-up. I’ve gone on about it, at some length, here.


Wait, so you are saying that at some point, a giant foot is going to come down and squash Bitcoin? I think that’s what you’re getting at, but I just wanted to be sure.


I think Gilliam consistently says cut-out, not cut-up, in the video.

Note, my hearing is not 100% reliable.


This seems like a copyright nightmare, but perhaps people didn’t care so much back then about stealing pictures.


it’s the visual equivalent of sampling… as long he uses pieces that are unrecognizable, or changed enough from their original context to be essentially unrecognizable, it probably is just fine (although ethically suspect?). he’s still creating new artwork using previous things, that passes muster to me.


Hey Mark! (Like he is gonna read this…)

I highly recommend picking up Terry’s Gilliam’s book on animation:



Terry is a very stable genius.


I’d think that would fall under fair use - or whatever they had/have in the UK.
Where it starts to get sticky is when someone gets closer to using full blown copy-written material like selling a shirt with Levi’s on it…
Check out this shirt -

yeah, that’s hard. all the star wars stuff would be a siren’s call to disney lawyers for sure, even if the person drew them themselves, but the Robert Indiana artwork riff falls more into fair use for me, because this is so removed from it. his work is so iconic and embedded in our brains that it doesn’t take much reference for everyone to just get it. but i’m no lawyer.

I forgot to add something after “check out this shirt”
They regularly sell stuff like this. I have the shirt below. Pretty sure that when you’re clearly doing satire, etc… it’s still fair use. I would think shirt.woot would have been stopped a long time ago.
If someone sells something that’s damn near the same as you CAN buy on the Disney/Star Wars site, they’d have a problem.

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yeah, i have no idea how to suss out what crosses the line, particularly when it gets into stuff that is so infused in the cultural shorthand that it’s impossible to separate the two.

And @frauenfelder did say “cut-out” the first time, but when I saw “cut-up” in that context, then slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch…


I think the line is somewhere when you borrow or steal artwork and then make money off it. People with product only sue when the other guy is cashing in, the rest is just cease and desist letters and threats. I support non-commercial fair use… with attribution.


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And now (for something completely different) I’m reminded of a Japanese music video with an homage to Gilliam’s animations, but I can’t manage to find it. I think it was for a Polysics song, but I’m not sure.

EDIT: I found this one with elements of Gilliam’s style, but that’s not the one I remembered.



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Terry G tells a lot about the how & why of his animations here:

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Mid 70s: watched The Flying Circus religiously.
Early 00s: learned Photoshop.
Thanks Terry! :grinning: