book review: THE LION AND THE GIRAFFE by Jack Couffer
The author of this colorful memoir may not be a household name, but he’s been involved in everything from Walt Disney’s The Living Desert to Out of Africa, from Disney animal movies like The Incredible Journey to Never Cry Wolf…and he has great stories to tell.
Couffer was a naturalist and a seaman before he ever thought of looking through a viewfinder. It was only by chance, when he attended USC on the G.I. bill after World War Two, that he became friendly with a fellow student named Conrad Hall, who persuaded him to try a cinema class. He fell under the spell of the celebrated montage-maker and teacher Slavko Vorkapich, and before long, he, Hall, and another newcomer were filmmaking partners. Couffer’s tales of trying to break into the business—and how the three hungry newcomers bent and broke rules to do so in the 1950s—are evocative and still instructive today. How the trio made its first dramatic feature (Running Target) on location, with—
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