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More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Greg B » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:53 am

Not to take away from Charles' thread about Dreamworks layin' people off but I'm getting peppered on Facebook with posts about people at other animation companies getting laid off and even entire companies shutting down.

I should have known something was going on when I kept getting people asking me for jobs in comics or doing online comics stuff. They do this s*** whenever they get the boot. I don't hear from them when they're eating high on the hog working for Disney or Dreamworks or SONY but soon as s*** gets raggedy all of a sudden they show up in droves.

Why there are layoffs is bottom line. Stuff didn't sell. Can't blame Michael Eisner for this one. It's the wrong projects were picked, the wrong people were picked the wrong administrators were picked. Remember, last year Marvel saved Disney not Pixar as I had predicted for over a decade. Marvel will continue to save Disney for decades. Disney's animation department will thrive if it focuses on Marvel properties and ORIGINAL stuff from non traditional storytellers.

That's the only reason why now more than ever I would want to work for Disney because I know exciting things are going to happen.
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Charles » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:33 pm

I know someone who hasn't been laid off in animation since at least 1989.

He gets his contract renewed every three years. He has to run for re-election first and cuz nobody bothers to get involved he wins with usually around a 20% turnout of union membership at election time.

He says things like "you can't change law" and he blames artists for working free overtime at union studios cuz they won't file a grievance exposing themselves to potential blacklisting.

He believes that artists should get screwed with their first deal cuz that's how we learn our lessons.

He's berated artists at union meetings and treats them with incredible disrespect and even borderline contempt. That's what I witnessed.

Nothing changes. He doesn't encourage change. Has absolutely no new ideas for the future or solutions to the problems artists face in the present. I've never seem or heard him encourage artists to get involved with their union, attend meetings, run for office. And...

He's not an artist yet he runs the animation industry's union.

He's remained continuously employed at one place with benefits for 24 years. While artists deal with the reality of our industry, he doesn't have to worry about any of that.

We need to start seriously addressing many issues in our community.
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Greg B » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:46 pm

Well my point is where are those throngs of animators that had their jobs saved via the efforts of AN during the wars? Nobody else stuck their necks out like AN did. No, they turned on AN.

I've seen it far too much with artists. You help them and they stab you in the back. No wonder no one has any sympathy for them.

I can't tell you how many students and assistants I've trained who went on to major success in film, television, comics and only one acknowledges me and has my back.

Animators ain't angels that's for sure. They're gonna have to solve this one on their own. I ain't gonna be in the sequel "Riot on Cell Block 11 part 2".
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Charles » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:50 pm

That's why I sleep on my stomach brother Greg. Can't roll over on my back cuz of the knife handles sticking out. ;)

I here ya loud and clear. This has been a major disappoint for me and it continues to this day but it's getting better. Mostly cuz I've adjusted my thinking to let it go.

I've got former students who've taken classes with me and who've been on a campaign to tell their followers they're self taught. :shock: :lol:

And of course there's all those lost souls from the site who not only turned on AN, they think we're the enemy. Twisted individuals.

What have I learned over all these years?

The executives are A problem but they aren't THE problem.

The animation community is the problem. They refuse to acknowledge the dsyfunction. Complete denial year after year.

I know people IN animation, artists who no longer want to be in animation because of... artists. And frankly I can't say I blame them. In fact just today I had a long meeting with a close friend who's been in the biz nearly 30 years, an "A" list top shelf who wants out because of this.

We're gonna have some fun with the issue very soon. Who knows, maybe it will help. Maybe it won't. Maybe it'll change things. Maybe it won't. We'll try and we'll see what happens.
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Greg B » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:47 am

Here's a prime example Charles.

My hometown just announced they intend on opening up lots and lots of low cost housing for artists along the scenic east shore of the Hudson River. I was surprised at this as I'd not been home in over a decade. Had to come home and figured I'd retire here but California is calling me back.

I talked to the committee behind the proposal to open up housing and told them I could send and army of top artists into town because most of us work via the web. Nearby are famous art communities like Woodstock and New Paltz. I also told the city officials we needed more money for the police. It could turn out awesome. We're only 75 miles north of NY City so there's fun to be had. Will it work? We'll see but at least like AN it's a community thing in the right direction a way for working artists and their families to get low cost housing in some really historic buildings and save some money and get some work done. We have four major colleges, Vassar, Marist, Dutchess, and the CIA ( Culinary Institute of America ).

So all you can do is forge ahead and try to help but if artists think their fudge don't stink they'll end up in some.
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Charles » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:50 am

Excellent! Excellent!

That's sounds really exciting. It's the way of the future brother Greg!

Something I've noticed when it comes to artists who think their poopoo smells like a field of flowers...

Everybody in this biz gets humbled. Sooner or later thou shalt be humbled. Might as well develop a balanced view of oneself early on and keep on the good side of your colleagues. You're better off that way in the long run.

Thanks for shining your light Greg. If there's photos or video available of what's happening please share.
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Greg B » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:37 pm

Well I was surprised that several of the arts council leaders from my part of the country piled in and friended me on Facebook. Good to see I still have a rep. I used to be a premier artist in the Hudson Valley for years.

They key with this new venture is to get artists affordable space and see how much capital can they generate for the city. Lots of brainstorming ahead but I think I can connect the artists with the business sector, the three major colleges, sports, entertainment centers too.

In addition, in my county alone there are more movie stars than in Beverly Hills. For some reason when actors get big time they make a bee line to Dutchess county. We've lost count as to how many celebrities live here now.

I don't know how long I'll be here but at least I can help out some how.
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Greg B » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:52 pm

I can't believe it. Just today another veteran animator crossed my door ready to pack it in in California and move back east.

He's giving up because the corporate action is stagnating and unreliable. Highly frustrating. He's in his forties now and realizes he has no intellectual properties of his own to market.

Sound familiar?

How many times have I warned you guys to take that time off and make up your own stuff? Didn't Charles just post about this?

I'm looking at animators in their 50s and 60s without a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of after decades of working at the studios. I don't know why they didn't save money as they were working steadily for those years. Without their jobs they're gonna lose their homes if they have em' and health benefits.

Sucks but welcome to reality.

I've sat here for the past 14 years since AN started having had to bury a half dozen professionals who died without jack s***. What a miserable way to go. Your name on the credits of multi billion dollar animated movie properties but no legacy to call your own.

Can't blame Michael Eisner for that.
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Sikanda » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:03 pm

That's so sad. I hope it works out for him. This makes me curious though. I have heard about those contracts that say anything that is even drawn on your own time is even owned by the studio. How true/enforced is that?
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Re: More animation layoffs? Can't blame Michael Eisner

Postby Charles » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:40 pm

I'm not sure if they still do it but there was a time when your employment contract with at least one major studio included ownership of the work you do on your own, on your own time and outside of the workplace. As I understand there was even a clause that gave them the right to ownership of your dreams.

My last portfolio submission which was by request from the studio involved a clause that basically said they own the images in your portfolio. I crossed it out and initialed it stating that the images in my portfolio were the intellectual property of other companies since much of it was work related.

When I called to pick up my book I was told to wait as they were making copies of it. I never gave them permission for this yet they did it anyway. I guess they wanted to keep a file on me. Or maybe they were thinking they were copying something they owned. ;)
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