If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter
Let's make some funny pictures. -Tex Avery
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. -Howard Zinn
When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. -Chuck Jones
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus
A man should never neglect his family for business. -Walt Disney
What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi
Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about. -Chuck Jones
Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. -Buddhist Proverb
Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.
Hi guys! Chance Raspberry, Simpsons Animator here with my pals Larry Whitaker (Tiny Toons) and Luis Escobar (The Simpsons). We've started a limited series of podcast meet-ups called The Corner Booth, specifically for animation fans, artists, and enthusiasts like YOU!
The goal of our debut podcast here is to encourage and hopefully inspire the creation of a stronger, more graciously confident group of artists (now and in the future).
PODCAST #1: Confidence In Yourself And Your Art!
If you missed our first meet-up on Dec 13th, 2012...FEAR NOT! You can opt in to be notified about our next one, listen to all our FREE podcasts, and stay up to date on what's going on behind the scenes of the animation industry by checking out our official website @ TheCornerBooth.net! PODCAST #2: Looney Tunes - Then & Now COMING SOON!!!
Thanks and Happy New Year, everyone!!!
~ The Corner Booth
That's a great idea and an excellent first conversation. We've talked about the subject before at length and I'm glad to see you guys addressing topics that you won't find too many in the biz addressing.
Plus you recorded this at the Coral Cafe!
Nice job Chance and thanks to you, Larry and Luis for doing this. Looking forward to seeing how this develops. Good luck!
You're on AN's homepage for this date.
Dedicated article here.
A suggestion I have for The Corner Booth.
You're off to a good start subject wise with a topic that can distinguish the series. The thing I'd like to see, in addition to perhaps some of the safer and more lighthearted topics that you'll be showcasing such as Looney Tunes, is a focus on some of the more pressing issues we face as a community.
There's plenty of talking heads out there in the animation world who play it safe. With the obvious exception of AN of course. And for good reason. This community can turn on you as we've seen with the Animation Guild, Cartoonbrew, and a few other pockets here and there. You have an opportunity to do something unique, and that is to push the envelope and really ask some serious questions and discuss groundbreaking subjects that others would avoid.
I challenge The Corner Booth to challenge the community with topics of discussion that aren't just feel good. I'll be happy to help in this regard and participate if I know that you guys are going to be doing something in addition to retrospective looks at the past that we get from animation historians as warped as some of them may be.
See that! There ya go! A perfect subject for The Corner Booth!
Animation Historians - The good, the bad, and the dreadful.
This is something that the community needs. Everything is too safe and comfortable. There's no challenge. No leadership...
There ya go! Another subject with potential! Animation Leadership - What is it and does it even exist?
I'm excited about what you and your compadres are doing Chance. Make the most of it and good luck!
I thought about this and realized that if you guys went too far with bringing up topics that the community would find too uncomfortable, they may do to you what they've done to others who hold a mirror up to ourselves. You run the risk.
Let's say you discuss a topic such as...
Why did only 21% of the union artists in the biz bother to vote on their own contract in August 2012?
Would you fare better with safe, feel good subjects? Or would you get a bigger following with subjects that deal with the reality of things? Fantasy or reality?
Someone like me would have nothing to lose. I'm far along the independent road and it wouldn't make a difference. But this is something to consider on your part.
Maybe if you did it in a lighthearted easy going manner it might work better and wouldn't be perceived as an attack.
In any case, looking forward to what's next.
Hey hey, fellas!!
Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts on The Corner Booth! Also, thanks for featuring the thread on AN's homepage, Charles. I like your ideas and equally look forward to seeing how the project unfolds. To you and all those who enjoyed this first podcast, our NEW one just hit the web!
You can check it out on AN here or at the official Corner Booth website. The topic of discussion is Looney Tunes: Then & Now.
Best to you both (and your projects), Charles and Snake, and to all of you here on AN. Keep creating!
Hey Charles, thanks for the feedback and suggestions. We're trying to avoid going negative in our podcasts. We won't sugar coat the industry but we're not going to attack it either. We also won't be getting into animation politics. It's too easy, once your inside, to forget why you got into the industry to begin with.
We want to ATTRACT people not repel.
If you listen to any "animation fan" podcasts, you remember and hear all the GOOD things about the industry that are STILL true.
That said, topics of discussion in The Corner Booth are going to be dictated by what our audience WANTS to hear not what WE think they should hear.
If someone want us to talk about the Union, we will. If someone asks us about animation leadership, we will. But we won't be doing it just because we think it's important. It's possible we will talk about those things simply because YOU brought them up and you want to hear us talk about it. We will always attempt to take a positive, no blaming, what are the solutions, position. We're trying to empower people, not demoralize.
But again, we will answer questions from the listeners, and make them topics.
The next podcast will be about marketing yourself as an artist. Someone asked us our advice on how to best do it. It's recorded and all it needs is editing.
All this being said, not all animation podcasts play it safe. I highly recommend you go listen to my pal Raul Aguirre Jr's podcast Man vs. Art. He fearlessly speaks his mind about what he likes and doesn't in animation and art with a satirical VERY edgy slant.
Here's an episode he did on: Man vs. Art Episode 69! Developing animation for TV vs. Creating your own animated short.(http://manvsart.com/man-vs-art-episode-69-developing-animation-for-tv-vs-creating-your-own-animated-short/)
You may like his style and what he has to say. You MAY even want to contact him and discuss stuff on his podcast that might blow people away. He's audience is already conditioned to hear controversial stuff.
Hey Luis, welcome to AN and thanks for checking in. I saw a couple of your videos and liked what you had to say. Good luck with the Corner Booth. I think what you guys are doing is great.
I've been working AN for 14 years next month and one of the things that I'm continually amazed at is how animation artists take any kind of honest, objective and sometimes harsh yet constructive analysis as an attack. That's a huge part of the problem with this community. You have to walk on eggshells all the time. It's ridiculous. I want to be in a community of strong artists who aren't afraid to at least have an open discussion. Like the guys I remember when I first came into this business. Artists were rugged. Now they apologize for their portfolios and behave like fanboys.
It's not an attack against the community to suggest we look in a mirror and face who we are and where we're going.
How is it an attack to call out to artists to unify for over a decade and a half?
Being positive and encouraging is always the way to go at all times. But ya gotta diagnose a dysfunction before it can get better and the next generation of artists should know what's up with stuff.
The Corner Booth is showing leadership. I say push the envelope with core reality based let's take a look at ourselves and do a better job kind of topics guys.
The future of animation is forming up in very advantageous ways for content creators. This is the most exciting time in the industry that I can ever think of. Compares to the Boom of the 90s only this boom among artists who can operate independently at some level in their career. Artists are making more money with crowdfunding than working at a job. There's never been a trend in animation like what we're seeing now. It's a great time to position yourself for the new era we're entering into.
Good luck and keep it happening!
I think I TOTALLY understand where you're coming from.
I'm going to write what I THINK you're saying using my words. Your saying you want artists to wake up and leverage their own talents and power and not be slaves to the industry and the studios. Right?
If this is what you mean, then I'm with you.
BUT using the term "fanboy," as derogatory, isn't helping. I'm a HUGE fanboy. This is what got me into drawing to begin with. I'm a nerd AND a geek and I'm PROUD of it.
Second, using the term "rugged" as if it equates to being courageous, is also not helping. I'm NOT rugged, but I'm taking risks, other more "rugged" guys are not. It requires brains, strategy and fearlessness to get ahead. Like Steve Rogers in Captain America when he was a scrawny wimp who got beat up a lot but kept getting up anyway.
There's a difference between criticism and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. One makes you think and improve, the other just pisses people off and they stop listening.
This is the type of conversations I had with people at the Union party last week. I simply asked the people who I talked to, who were looking for work, why they were looking for work rather than creating work? Why where they looking for someone to give them something that they could give themselves? When they asked what I meant and how to do it, I told them.
I pointed them to the sources that would help them start thinking. I didn't attack the animation industry. I didn't attack the studios. I didn't attack the system, nor the producers.
The system makes money. It's the purpose of the system. We work in the system to make money too.
They pay us what we're worth. If we were worth more, they would pay us more. But no one ever bothers to make themselves worth more. We are one trick ponies. All we do is draw. We don't know how to make money off our own drawings. If someone ELSE does, they DESERVE it because we're to lazy to figure it out.
You don't make money producing something, you make money SELLING it. That's why the people who are good at selling have more money than the creative people. Yet selling is an learnable skill and artists don't bother learning it. Who's fault is that? Not the studios.
There's a reason they treat us like a commodity. We haven't shown them any reason for them to think otherwise.
And complaining doesn't increase our value in anyway.
If we learn MORE than just drawing. If artists learn to leverage their assets and make money off them, THEN we bring value to the market place. Then there's no question what we're worth.
There's no way to fix, complacency. BUT if someone is desperate enough for a solution, THEN they may be open to new and different types of actions.
I can dig a lot of whats being said. It is about focusing on yourself and expanding your value. I think Charles and AN basically has always said that so I'm kinda confused by the tone of your reply to Charles...do you think he's complaining? What he's talking about isn't constructive? Do you think Charles pointing out the corruption in the industry leadership and the monopolies he sees that hurts the prosperity of employees, is a negative tone? An attack? Considering how he's always followed up with how to work around it. I mean, he was introducing ideas a decade ago that people are just catching onto now.
I mean, don't take my tone wrong here. I'm just confused. For the record, since we don't know each other, I'm independent and have worked for the big studios. My experience is pretty vast and varied.I know the game in LA pretty well. So I can TOTALLY dig where you're coming from when you say theres options to make work and economies outside of looking for jobs...but most people just want jobs.
Do they have no value? Are they not worth it? as you say. because they haven't shown they are worth it? The way I look at it, if you're working then you're worth it...why would these companies do you a favor hiring you if you are not? And if there is corruption or incompetence in the leadership of those who establish pay scales for the average employee or establish the rules of the employee playing field is it negative to point it out?
I know I gotta rep. Might even be considered one of those complainers or as GregB calls me, a bitchfest. or sumtin like that. hahahaha...but I'm not trying to pick a fight.
I dig much of what you say, but was confused to some of the tone. One hand sounds really self empowering but then says stuff about how artists aren't worth it unless they do more..maybe I read it wrong.
Again, I come from the school of since I've always wanted it done a certain way then I had to work harder then the people collecting pay checks...but man, if I broke down and became an employee I would want to feel like I'm worth what I need to sustain...I mean, the dudes selling it don't learn to draw, are they worth more cuz they know how to sell??...I've done both, so I know the value of the balance.
SNAKEBITE, I'm glad you called me out. I was wondering how I was coming across and until someone responded, there was not way of me knowing.
Okay, so let me clarify. Yes there's corruption and abuse in the management of some companies. There's also a ton of lazy artists. So there's bad in both ends. Neither side is impeccable here.
I also ABSOLUTELY believe that Charles has been ahead of the curve. He's had it right from the start.
SO, what am I saying?
I haven't seen or talked to Charles in about a decade so I can't actually speak to what he's currently saying or how he's saying it. I was replying to what I was THINKING he was saying in his post. If I'm saying what Charles usually say too, then I have no disagreement. I was also replying to some of the terminology he was using.
I understand some people just want a job. I also don't think there isn't value in the work they do. I wouldn't use the phrase, "do you the favor hiring you." YOU working for them SHOULD be the favor. BUT that's the problem.
The law of economics 101. Supply and demand. There is a surplus of great artists in the animation industry right now (supply). The demand is minimal (very few jobs). I absolutely do not believe the most "worth it" are the ones with jobs. Although it's slowly getting to that point. Even so, the "worth it" are still not going to make as much money as they could because of the supply of artists companies can draw from. For "people [who] just want jobs" the only leverage they have is experience. And sometimes that's not enough. More leverage than that is needed now a days even for "people [who] just want jobs."
I'm sure since you've said you've been around, you've had experience hiring people to do work for you.
You probably have your own business and have employees. The people who are REALLY bringing value to you, you pay more so you can keep them around. You don't WANT them to go anywhere. They are too valuable. They solve problems faster than you can. They save you time and therefore money. Without them, you couldn't make, nearly as much money.
The artists you work with who simply do the job and can be easily replaced don't get that treatment right? You can replace them easily. Most artists are replaceable. They don't bother to bring anything to make themselves stand out.
Those are the guys that tend to complain the loudest. Rather than think, "what could I do to make myself more valuable?" they just blame the company, the boss, the system,...ANYONE but themselves.
No, it's not negative to point it out. Justice is justice. As long as you're not being lazy about what you contribute either.
In the long run, if you manage to get a higher pay scale for what you do by doing so, it's still not going to help you if you're really bad at managing money, are out of a job, or you are simply mediocre and are ACTUALLY getting paid what your worth.
It's best if you don't even have to worry about it at all by not having to be an employee. It would be "ideal" if you can get paid for WHO you are than WHAT you do.
Like Picasso. Yes, he did great art but his name was worth more than the paintings. He could ask for thousands for a scribble on a napkin because of who he was.
Why quibble over an extra ten dollars an hour when you can make your one minute scribbles worth thousands of dollars?
That's something to strive for.
Am I being super idealistic? HELL yeah!
If you shoot for the Sun, you might still hit the Moon, and that's no small feat.
Honestly though, I really believe that blaming others for your misfortunes is de-powering and I would avoid it.
You can't change the world by pointing fingers at other people and bitching. It's a waste of time and energy.
You CAN look at yourself, see the mistakes you've made and see the flaw in your characters and own up to them. Then decide to change for the better.
As long as the problem is outside yourself you can't do much about it. But if the problem is in you, you can. Then YOU get the power and responsibility to change. Then you can change YOUR world, and in doing so, maybe you can help change the rest of it.
I also, believe just about everything Jim Rohn says :
thanks for the great reply. Like I said, I agree with much of what you said. The sentiment has been echoed here for years.
Yes, I have had a business. Small business. Did what I could. Would of wanted to pay everyone more. And dealt with lazy and proactive people. The laziest was my partner at the time and lazy leadership makes everyone lazy. Usually the pace is set by the people who call themselves leaders....and what sucked is it was harder to motivate others when my own partner wasn't willing to do anything...thats when people started to talk at the water cooler. But I didn't find anyone easy to replace. Good workers is hard to find and like I said when one of the leaders is lazy or corrupt then even the good workers want to move on.
And I was pulling all the extra weight and started to be the loudest voice of criticism. So in that case the hardest worker was bitching the most. It happens believe it or not. hahahaha
I mean if what you're talking about only applies to the lazy bitchers then what about the hard working bitchers? seriously. I find that the hard workers have gripes too and are dismissed...I guess its the mentality that only lazy people bitch.
Picasso napkins weren't worth s*** until he was dead me thinks...but I wasnt around so I could be wrong.
But hey, I strive for the one minute scribbles worth thousands so your model is my model.
But I have had my fortunes and misfortunes. Something, I stress sometimes, those misfortunes are malicious put upon me by others. Ultimately its my responsibility to get out of the situation caused by the misfortune but sometimes people are mean...sometimes industries are mean to their employees.
Charles and AN has always pointed out these types of issues as anecdotes as to why its important to do your own thing. Its the core of this site. But there are those who still just want to be an employee.
But I totally hear ya man. I'm all about solutions for self, taking responsibility for my own actions, blaming myself for my situation...but as a scout I don't find it negative to go ahead of the caravan and coming back saying, hey, there's a bunch of mad crazy dudes monopolizing the water supply. They abuse anyone that tries to drink out of it and even though its a huge water reserve with lots to share they keep it for themselves...and that we should try another path...ya know?
And I would never call you super idealistic...I would call you realistic. Cuz I don't shoot for the sun, I am the sun, the moon and the stars. and so are you. I have all feelings and sometimes anger is good to tell me to stop doing that thing. ya know?
In any case.
"Then YOU get the power and responsibility to change. Then you can change YOUR world, and in doing so, maybe you can help change the rest of it."
Super word to that! Love it. this sums it up right here...but don't forget, changing ones world can also mean pointing out whats wrong with it and whos wrong in it. And I can say that many people can relate to whats wrong. With pointing out the problem, you have the solution.
"Then YOU get the power and responsibility to change. Then you can change YOUR world, and in doing so, maybe you can help change the rest of it."
I'd like to remix this if you don't mind.
-Then you realize you have the power to evolve yourself and your world. In doing so you become part of the worlds evolution.-
No disrespect intended. I dig what you're sayin...
I just have a personal problem with how certain words are applied. It's probably because I'm crazy or something. I'm ok with that.
Part of being part of the solution IS pointing out the major problems. Not to say, get caught up in it. I know I have in the past, but it lead me where I am today.
I just randomly came across this Dave Chappelle clip about why he took off to Africa..I think its relevant to this topic...and entertaining as well.
My brother, I think you and I are speaking the same language.
I don't mind if you changed the way I wrote what I wrote. In fact, you've convinced me of your point about speaking out.
I LOVED what Dave Chappelle said in the video and I'm glad you posted it.
AND the thing that changed my mind was exactly what you did with my words. It's NOT what is said, but HOW it's said.
Dave critiqued and pointed out problems, yet he did so in a very sincere charitible manner. The things he didn't like, he truly hated, but you didn't feel the hate. He wasn't angry even though those things obviously made him angry.
I think, too often, when a critique of a corrupt system is put forth, it's not the message that is being said that comes through, but the attitude and the emotions of the person who says it. The message gets lost and only the impression of the "HOW" it was said remains.
When Dave said what he said, you couldn't help but listen. He was passionate yet calm. He told you the truth, but he didn't try to smack you with it. It didn't feel like abuse.
So yes, I think it's good to point out the problems. You are completely right. But it's HOW you do it, that makes all the difference.
You rock dude! I'm glad you called me out. We should have lunch sometime.
yeah man, its the tone. In the age of internet words are translated and read by others, with their tones. I know I have had countless times where the tone in my head was different then how it was read. Could of been my issue with how I construct sentences, but with the internet its easy to get caught up in HOW people read what you write.
I really aught to start to cut videos of myself talking so people hear HOW I say stuff.
In the Dave Chappelle link I even felt like he just scratched the surface. He didn't address stuff as much as he was leading us to think. Although what he did address was VERY affective it still felt like he cut it short....After all, as in the case with the video, Dave was addressing students...and students just have completely different views on the reality of the situation...Although we live in a generation where they don't need to even pay attention to hollywood to make a living, the illusion is still there.
George Carlin was another master who pointed out problems..his "HOW" was extreme but I feel it still touched people.
I think each of us needs to speak our truths. Good, bad...in whatever tone that is true to you. Even if its harsh. I've always appreciated truth speakers...cuz I can't stand HOW people hide the truth. HOW people cover up what they did with happy talk or innuendo.
I mean, you should of dealt with HOW people addressed Charles, myself and AN when they didn't like HOW we talked about the general way of things in this industry. Their HOWS were very malicious and mean.
I think whats under attack is us individuals. The people who build the industry. The foundation. Its hard to keep quite about what one sees when what one sees is injustice.
But like you said, the only way one can truly communicate problems is to present solutions. I have always been inspired by people like Charles solutions. I was fortunate that we became friends in our affinity for solutions.
thanks for being open and having great points!
Honestly, I have no idea how anyone has treated you, Charles, or AN. I have not been informed. I'll take you at your word that it was not very nice.
From my experience with you guys so far, I'm pretty sure you guys responded with the charity and respect you were not shown.
But speaking of injustice, I don't think this sort of thing is unique to us in our industry. I think it's a big problem in all work forces.
I started a new Topic under the Business forum:
I'm curious what anyone has to say about it.
I'm hoping to start topics like these, in that part of the forum, so we can start helping and empowering each other in creating businesses.
It seems to me that AN is the place to talk about this stuff.
hahaha, well you give me too much credit. I didn't always respond with good tones...but its all good. I believe in the balance. Sometimes you gotta let people know how you feel...everyone has a breaking point. lol
and you're right. the injustice is not unique to us and our plights. But I know I address these issues on broader terms then JUST the animation industry.
But I'm just one dude. I don't represent AN but I do represent ON AN.
Glad to see the conversation continuing productively. I refrained from replying cuz frankly I felt that pretty much anything I say would be taken as an attack or would have been offensive or something. After years of this it just breaks down to not being worth the time it takes to type a response.
Much more interested in posting about crowdfunding campaigns to tell ya the truth and focusing on the many positives that are going on. Plus spending a lot of time finishing up an ambitious creative project which I'll be launching online soon.
I've been practicing what I've preached and teached for a long long while. Read the Articles That Started This way back in Feb 1999 to get a grounding on what AN is about and where we've come from. AN made history and continues to service our community.
I was looking to offer suggestions as to what the Corner Booth could be focusing on. Subjects that push the envelope. Hope you guys can get into that cuz that's where I'm coming from.
Anyway, good luck with what you're doing. I think it's great. AN is a natural venue for what you're communicating.
Felt that anything you would say might be taken as an attack?
That's UNPOSSIBLE! Nothing like that could EVER happen on the internet.
I totally get it Charles, no problem.
I think we'll be talking about what you want us to be talking about in our podcast. Just not the way you might expect. You've been at this for so long that you think talking about it is "pushing the envelope." I just find it natural. At this point in time, talking about becoming independent has become the norm.
I think what you hoped for in your articles is in fact coming to pass. By the way, I really liked them. Had I read them when you wrote them though, I don't think I would have been ready to listen. I was in a different head space then.
Have you ever written about who you think are the best examples of good Animation Producers? Examples of guys to emulate? Men who successfully hit the balance of business savvy and artist? I'd be interested in reading that.
There's a long history of great artists who where REALLY lousy business men and producers.
As awesome as crowdfunding is, an artist with no knowledge of money management, is in more danger of jacking himself with it, than producing his art.
Like, if an artist raised, say, $200,000.00 for a project. That would be awesome! It would be exactly what he need. But what if he didn't incorporate before the did so? That would be seen by the government as personal income. They would tax it and take half. He'd end up with only $100,000.00. Plus what percent the crowdfunding site would take.
So then he wouldn't have enough. He needed the other $100,000.00.
If he manages to finish the project anyway. It may not have turned out well as he wanted or promised. He gives it to the audience who paid for it, who's disappointed. And what if the project doesn't go anywhere from there? Everyone loses, and it's all because of a tiny lack of business knowledge.
The artist moves on. Learns from his mistake and does a better job next time. But still, kinda of a waste of time and resources. Something that could have been avoided.
I understand this is hypothetical. Worst case scenario, and well...me thinking negative. BUT any artist can learn some of the business stuff easily enough.
When you talk to artists about crowdfunding, do you bring up this foundational stuff for them to think about so they don't burn themselves?
I think it's important.