Working at Amblin Entertainment on the Universal Studio lot

Amblin logoBy early 1986, ‘Who framed Roger Rabbit‘ was being developed under Amblin Entertainment direction on the Universal Studio lot… although the title, ‘Who framed Roger Rabbit‘ had not yet been finalized.  Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price had written a couple of treatments for Roger Rabbit during their time on the Disney lot in the early 1980s.  Zemeckis brought them to Amblin.

Mike Peraza juggled concept/development work on ‘DuckTales‘ for Disney Television and work on concept art for Disney Features.  For a few weeks he also did concept work on Toontown at Amblin, but eventually he was asked by Disney to work full time on ‘The Little Mermaid.’  Joe Ranft was hired by Amblin after returning from having worked on ‘The Brave Little Toaster‘ with Jerry Rees in Taiwan.  Mark Kausler soon joined him at Amblin.   They worked on developing the Toontown sequence in a trailer located just outside Bob Zemeckis’ office window in the Amblin complex on the Universal lot.  The live-action storyboard artists, David Russell and Marty Kline, were in an adjacent trailer.  Hans Bacher and Harald Siepermann came to Los Angeles in June 1987 to further develop and refine the Toontown sequence.

Amblin postcardThe Amblin complex was built in a Mexican hacienda style.  The building in which Zemeckis worked had a sign saying, ‘We Make Movies While U Wait.’

Amblin hacienda

Amblin lobby
Amblin lobby
Bacher, Seaman, Zemeckis, Price at Amblin
Hans Bacher with Peter Seaman, Bob Zemeckis, and Jeffrey Price at Amblin in 1987