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Groundbreaking ‘Tom Waits for No One’ Film Seeks Funding for 35th Anniversary Restoration

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It languished in obscurity for decades before finally finding an audience on YouTube. Now, the early music video ‘Tom Waits for No One’ is poised to celebrate its 35th anniversary in style.

Filmed in 1979 by director John Lamb, the clip used Lamb’s own Lyon Lamb Video Animation System to take live footage of Waits singing ‘The One That Got Away’ on a Hollywood sound stage and help artists trace it into hand-drawn animation. Although there really wasn’t much of a place for this type of short film in the pre-MTV era, the sheer amount of talent brought to bear on ‘No One,’ coupled with the innovative techniques used to finish it, made it noteworthy, even if most people never had a chance to see it.

Lamb won an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement in 1980, and many of his crew members went on to bigger things, including animators who went on to do work for Disney and ‘The Simpsons.’ Now he’s preparing a 35th anniversary celebration for the film, including a scrapbook, a fresh transfer and a commemorative event scheduled to take place on March 20-21, 2015, in Hollywood at at Catchlight Studios — the former La Brea Stage where ‘Tom Waits for No One’ was originally filmed.

A Kickstarter campaign to help cover costs associated with the event is scheduled to begin Sept. 19, but in the meantime, fans can get more information (and see ‘Tom Waits for No One’ artifacts) at the movie’s Facebook page and official site.

Next: Tom Waits 101

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