The title screen for Th.
Th was a storybook movie produced by Ted Phillips. It was Ted's first known movie, his first recorded use of storybook animation, his first production to feature opening logo sequences, and his first ticketed screening. Th was never recorded, so the story is only extrapolated from photographs. Th was presented to an audience of five members on October 30, 1992, at the Moses Division of Montefiore Medical Center[1] in the Bronx, New York during his second round of chemotherapy. A recreation was released to the public by Cracked Egg Studios for Th's thirtieth anniversary, on October 30, 2022.

TV-MA: GV


History

Ted and "sub-intern" Felice, his doctor during his hospitalization 10/25-10/30/92. Ted makes tickets for Th.
Th was a series of images drawn by Ted Phillips to commemorate the last day of his hospitalization at Montefiore Medical Center from October 25-30, 1992. (He was there for his second round of chemotherapy that was part of his regimen.) He invited only a select few from his ward, giving each a hand-crafted ticket, and five audience members were in attendance.

Ted and "The end" of the movie Th.
Since this slideshow was a series of pages, Ted had them taped to the wall in their stack. During the presentation, Ted narrated each image, and Kathy Phillips removed the pages as the story progressed, until finally, the "And" page was removed to reveal the static page.

For a long time, scholars believed that Th was the first production Ted Phillips was ever involved in, and dated it as occurring during Ted's first round of chemotherapy June 10-26, 1992. On December 29, 2008, archaeologists discovered a series of photographs depicting Ted at the hospital creating Th, photographs which were dated October 30, 1992. Since scholars had also determined on the same day that Ted produced a few films during August 1992 (with the help of the insert for Ted's Tape), it was assumed that the previous thinking was flawed and that Ted must have created Th after he created Deep in the Woods, among others. However, further analysis in mid-April 2022 revealed that it was actually the insert for Ted's Tape that was flawed, due to background elements relating to The Flood, which took place in December of that year. This new analysis reinstated the claim that Th was Ted's first production.

Ted, the Universal Logo as it appears at the beginning of Th, and a ticket for Th.
The photographs were also proof that Ted spent a long time working on his cels. This new information might suggest Ted noticed that his drawing abilities could have applications in his films and explain why Ted eventually began using panoramic backgrounds in projects.

For a long time, Th was considered to be a Lost Project. Since the old camera was in the possession of John Phillips at the time of the performance, it is theoretically possible that a tape was made; however, it is not believed that he was in attendance.

In 2022, a renewed push to preserve the Cracked Egg Studios archives led to the discovery of additional behind-the-scenes photographs that provided evidence of the total number of cels in Th, as well as the content of those cels. Ted Phillips used all the found photographs to reconstruct the cels and produce a video adaptation of Th, released on its thirtieth anniversary, October 30, 2022.

Title Significance

Not long after the first performance, audience members began mispronouncing the title in recollections, sometimes like "thing" and sometimes pronouncing each letter individually, historically leading even the creator to occasionally mispronounce it. However, whenever it was debated, Teddy Phillips insisted upon the official pronunciation, though he rarely elaborated.

The title was derived partly as satire of titling conventions in media overall, which tend to use the format "The Noun." For Teddy's movie, he wanted to buck this trend, not including a noun, and not even including an entire "The;" hence, he named it "Th."

Cultural References

  • The RKO Radio Pictures logo at the beginning of Th.
    Some recently discovered photographs reveal that there were indeed logo sequences mimicking that of Universal Studios[2] and RKO Radio Pictures[3].
  • The title screen for Th is drawn in the style of most of the opening credits sequence from King Kong (1933)[4]

Trivia

  • When applying to film school, Ted Phillips described Th in his portfolio:
    Ted Phillips said:
    A series of graphic representations of the inner turmoil of a Leukemia patient.

References

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