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Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:26 pm

I don't get the same impression as you do EAllen. Maybe it's because of his diction. My obvious frustration with the Guild as SteveK claims, is more along the lines of indifference to them. Aside from that one article concerning Scott Ross that was brought to my attention by the Entertainment Economy newsletter, I haven't been to the Guild's blog in a long time. Probably about a year. Sometimes I try and bring up the Guild in discussions at my school and at Cal State Northridge but nobody cares to talk about it. Students see the guild as something they'll have to deal with when the time comes for them. Aside from that, there really isn't much interest in the Guild as a subject of discussion. I find people get more enthusiastic when we start to talk about the prospects of an independent union.

Frankly, I don't see sincerity in this move to organize, nor do I believe in the people who run the show there. I think this attempt at organizing is just a money grab. I don't feel the Guild really wants to help artists who are dealing with inequity at a non-guild studio. I just don't get the feeling that they really care. If they were sincere they'd address the issues that exist at their own studios first.

The guild will go on whether or not they do a good job or not. If you want to work at their studios you have to join. There isn't a free market mechanism in place where there's an option of choice. If there was, we'd see a much different attitude coming from them. There's no pressure for them to change. It will always be business as usual, along with their accusations of hatred and vitriol while their trolls engage in personal attacks under the guise of free speech.

As I said before, SteveK is coming from a point of ignorance about AN and I don't think he even understands the obvious frustrations and indifference that his own membership has towards his union. I feel sorry for him in a way, as I think the job he has before him as guild organizer is daunting. Maybe he'll be successful at it, but he'll get farther if he listens to people and asks for suggestions instead of towing the party line. I don't see that happening with him based upon the time he's spent with us. It's more of the same. He can answer questions about the way that things are, not about the way things can be.

Open your mind as well as your mouth.

As I said before, good luck to him.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby skynet » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:10 pm

Believe is a strong word. My beliefs are not up for discussion here and have nothing to do with this. I commend you on your delicate methods of manipulation and distortion, or maybe you're not aware of it. You're very good at it either way. It's not very polite to transform someone's words into something they were not quite saying in order to pursue a motive.

Well, I regret that you believe that is what I believe. "Looks like" does not mean "believe" as far as I read it. Remember, I'm just pointing out some of the things I see here. I have no connection with the Guild because it has nothing to do with me, but I know people who have had to deal with it. Other people's perceptions that I acknowledge may not be my own. I am an AN bystander watching the turn of events and have no personal concern with how the Guild operates. I'm more concerned with what happens here though.

Your positive actions are not what would cause any trouble here. It is strange that you would think that, although an occasional overblown opinion may not be so positive or accepted. If in the future you can refrain from casting any judgment upon anyone, contradicting yourself or your "actions" in the forum, manipulating peoples words, and then proceed to do what you say you're actually here to do which is answer questions about the Guild, then you are always welcome. Even if you mistakenly create negative images here you may still be welcome, within reason. AN has had much open-mindedness and patience for everyone as long as they make an attempt to be polite and real.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:43 pm

Skynet's a warrior!

Wow, Skynet's post really took me aback. There's a lesson in what Skynet wrote above, but I'm still mining it!

Charles, SteveK basically is just coming into his own as Organizer. Even leaders of countries take time to really find their voice, to formulate their approach to issues they were chosen to deal with. As you said, Charles, nothing easy about that.

But this is what I see. sorryguyz had questions on unpaid overtime at Studios that SteveK wasted no time answering. Sure, he could've B.S.ed a response, misinforming sorryguyz in the process, but there was (near as I could tell) nothing SteveK wrote that seemed even a little bit ambiguous. Guild policy of requiring anyone filing a Grievance to use their real and full name in the process is not that much different from requiring pros participating in an industry forum to use their real names when authoring posts, and abide by fair rules and regs.

Could the Guild be more proactive in this area of curbing unpaid overtime? Of course and even the Guild has admitted such in the past, but largely Guild signatories that do just about anything to win Studio work have the ball in their court. ILM recently took a stand after PotC 3: At World's End had a post schedule so ridiculously compressed that some artists took their frustrations public. Even Gore Verbinski didn't shut up about the way Disney refused to negotiate deadlines or quality requirements. Shots which were only a bit better than Draft quality got a FINAL (then partially obscured using volumetric solvers) because the artists simply were not allotted enough time to polish it the way they usually do. The release date held despite Hell and High Water. And yet, we have a not-as-well publicized situation where the Guild gets some of the blame for this, and . . . whaaaaaa? Hope someone can enlighten us on that one at some point.

We talked about the "race to the bottom". Richard Kerrigan wrote about it on his own blog, in very candid detail. And yes, there are situations where the Guild has failed to mediate or arbitrate a matter towards a desirable conclusion, a matter for a future topic since I'm attempting to keep this post at a reasonable length. But again, SteveK is just getting into this mix, and I kinda feel we might not be giving him as much of a benefit of the doubt a guy in his situation usually gets.

I was enlightened by your previous response, Charles, which went into detail about how your students feel about Guild matters. If I were them, yeah, at that point it wouldn't matter so much to me either. I hope they begin thinking about these matters now so they will be better prepared to deal with them when the occasion arises.

Again, Charles, you're dead on when you advised us to keep our minds open. Great advice.

Keeping our minds open permits the influx of ideas we never knew existed. Good ones and bad ones. Still, it's the path to liberation.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:39 pm

I'm all for benefit of the doubt...but I doubt there's any benefit.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:29 pm

Haaaa, Bite, and you said you weren't a wise man!

Your above post strongly demonstrated wisdom and reasonableness!

As time goes on, things will come to light and we'll understand and wise up. I'm anxious to learn from SteveK and about the challenges that'll inevitably find his lap.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:43 pm

I have to come back to say that I'm kinda where Adrian is at with all of this. Even though I have personally worked in animation, I still have a big disconnect where I sit in all this. Because I'm not really relying on this industry. I love the medium too much to approach it the same way other people do.
So I certainly don't want anyone telling me how to do it, or what dues I should pay even though I see no benefit to the bigger picture...but hey, lots of people like the idea of a Union..I say the only way we can all come together to help each other is to be totally self sufficient. No man owning the other. Working together for mutual benefit, treating each other accordingly.

Corporate statues in the guise as law, unions. These are all illusions. The fact that we need one to get affordable health care just smacks me of a larger problem. But they all benefit from each other. If we had awesome affordable health care as a US citizen, do you think we give two shts about unions? I mean, if thats pretty much what it is.


We've been told that they can't tell your employer what to do...like, if your employer wanted you to work 24 hours a day, the Union has asked me what I would do because they didn't have an answer for that kind of problem...so, I really don't see what there is to entertain at this point other then calling it out. I never used them anyway and I've done some cool ass work.

Besides,We all worked really hard for this platform, I figure why not use it.

I'm coming from a place where if people can't see what a scam it all is at this point, and maybe always has been, then they deserve what they get.
Step outside the box and work on new solutions, is
the challenge I gave myself.

I'm doing my best to build my own thing. I know life throws curve balls, and I might have to freelance animation gigs again to get by..but the idea is to build capital to fund my own productions.
My intent is to raise the bar. Because it needs lifting.

After 18 years dealing in this business one could call me the Professor of PeePee and PooPoo Antidotes. I think I qualify considering how much we have to deal with it in the animation industry/community.


After all, its only people. Not some super secret science mystery. It's not hard to figure it out. They make it sound so difficult. It's just people.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:54 am

Bite, as Charles said earlier, there'll always be Unions for as long as the destructive forces of greed continues to infringe on the basic fundamental rights of human beings.

When working with the Studios, or taking $-for-hire work and it's on a project-by-project basis, sometimes just laying out a set of stipulations isn't enough. There'll be a need for guys to have your back, and it would be fair to give those guys something fair and equitable in return for insuring that your rights are protected.

These abuses need to be curbed. Rights abuses will never be eliminated from the equation, but they need to be minimized to the point where they're not severely impacting the health of artists.

I'm sure the point of lawyers or managers will be brought up--as in, without a union, I as an artist can still make it with a manager or lawyer--but again, we have seen or experienced so many situations where the artist still got screwed even though a previous relationship with the same guy doing the screwing was successful. And that's sad, when it's the exception that an artist is not screwed over by an individual providing representation, but that's how pervasive greed and selfishness can be, even in business. No surprises at all.

Again, as technology advances and business models change, there'll be less of a need for Guilds and Unions, and I'm hoping for (and working towards) a better alternative (in time there will be); again, I defer to Charles on Union matters as he has worked in the industry longer than I've been alive.

And as you guys know, I hope AN is the answer to many of these issues!
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:36 am

You see, the way I read your opening quote from Charles is different then how you read it. I see it as there's a reason why Unions will always be around as long as there is abuse...because Unions are part of that abuse. They help perpetuate the abuse and keep people from working on real solutions. because real solutions are found outside a system like a Union. And as long as you work for them, a union shop following the union ways, then you will always be abused. IM not so HO.

that doesn't mean I can't see the good people working for the Union. Much like I know there is good people in government...but the greatest trick the devil played was that he didn't exist and got good people to do bad things...I mean, if you believe in the devil and god and stuff...just sayin.

I feel like individuals keep abuse from happening. Not Unions. Unity comes from strong, self sufficient, self sustaining individuals balancing each others lives through proactive stances while participating with each other.

The Union is basically a club. You have to buy into it and follow their rules and deal with their infrastructure who's major flaw is their dogma and lack of evolution.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:18 am

Heh, it's funny that SteveK basically said that much when he wrote . . .

. . . what we have absolutely no control over is an artists fear. . .If someone wants to be abused, we have to sit idly by and tell them they have the option not to be.


Haaa, Bite, some artists have to be told they have the option to fight for their own rights!

And Bite, according to your own experiences in the comics industry, how many artists were you surrounded by who could be counted on to be strong enough to stand up and speak out against all the wack s#!t that went on? Quite a few AN Nights I was shocked by the stories you told from the podium of weak artists bending over in the face of some oppressive situations!

On their own, how many artists are well-versed enough in labor laws to get monies owed to them in situations where they worked overtime and wasn't paid for it?

Spot on about the Devil analogy. And again, not even I'm saying the Guild is the end-all, be-all answer--but, and this is a strong but, all of their very obvious flaws considered the Union, and all due respect to Scott Ross, won many monies owed to a league of artists . . . and those situations don't exist in that exact form anymore.

Without the Union, what do you think, given the sheer amount of artists willing to take money or perks to shut up about the situation over doing what it would take to prevent such situations from happening to begin with--how do you think the Studios would behave without a Guild or a Union checking their every move? If the Union subscribed to these behaviors, why then aren't these behaviors more prevalent? I'm sure there's still cases (like what went on at Meteor and Fake, even before they were called out on not having monies to pay their guys), but again, the Union as entity-in-concert with scandalous Studio treatment of the artists = a reduction in frequency of incidences? Again, whaaaaaa? And compensation for hours not paid--whaaaaaaaaa? What Union would investigate a matter, find their partner guilty of not paying an artist on a project per a grievance and get the money? That would be tantamount to two robbers knocking a bank over, then one of the robbers returning some of the money to the same bank saying to the clerk, "Sorry, we took too much!" Again, doesn't compute.

That said, I agree Unions look the other way too many times, on matters they shouldn't have. I must elaborate on your Devil reference again, Bite, by saying, "The Devil you know . . ."
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:03 am

AND this is exactly where I am, brutha Enoch. Know the nature of the devil you know...And act accordingly. This is my position. I know the real and I will not participate...my participation is reserved for that in which I believe in.

You're right. Artists, generally, don't fight...and they can back stab too. But thats fear based and I forgive them...well, most of them.lol...So to join a system of people who don't general stand their ground and then put too much faith into a system that keeps them the status quo all seems too counter productive to me. I'm stronger finding my center and then rolling with small niche groups of fellow bad ass mutha fukas like me. Is that ego? HEY, leggo my ego, mofo! I say I'm just embracing who I am. Whatever that might be will only work for me.

We could speculate and say without unions it would be worse. But then again, without Unions it might be better too...I mean, if your doctrine is "you need us to keep things from going to s***" then that makes me mighty suspicious of your intent...thats how we went to war unjustly, thats how we went into 100 trillion dollar debt and bailed the culprits out with our childrens blood, thats how our oppressors oppress us...with fear and doubt. I say, we have more potential then that.

Strength in numbers, sure. But be careful how many numbers you have because you might find you're only as strong as your weakest link...and when that link is suppose to be the leadership then you're done.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:43 am

All good and valid points Bite, to be sure.

(As an aside, I think this is why so many believe you'll end up leading a movement as opposed to just towing the line on one . . . you're being the change, as you were telling us to be . . .)

At least in this industry, the Union began with the best of intentions--not necessarily as this arrogant "you need us" bulls#!t SAG, AFTRA and even WGA have reportedly pulled on occasions. They're still--y'know, if you put them side by side with Teamsters (and pretty much any Union entity in Chicago :D prob should take it easy on them), this Union comes off looking like Doctors Without Borders by comparison.

And again I think it's necessary to take into account that there are some artists who have a lifelong goal of working with or for the studios, and that was a goal of mine before I wised up (still, not that I'm adverse to working with Studios, but it's no longer a main objective of mine), and I don't think they should be ridiculed or chastised or criticized for that. Maybe they'll have to sign up with the Guild, maybe not, the Guild to the best of my knowledge hasn't forced anyone to sign--but, that's for them to decide. For themselves.

Again, some of the artists who signed with the Guild are some of the most fearless people (one guy, can't write his name here, but one guy reminds me of you Bite) who have ever made the decision to work in the animation industry. They could be their own Guild, their own Negotiating Entity--but then they'd have less time to focus on their creative endeavors. More time negotiating and filing grievances and less time working on the art--sounds like a bad deal to me, Bite. And yet, that would be the situation.

I think it's less of an issue with fear as to why some artists choose to deal with the Guild and more of a convenience. It's, "as a Union, this is what we can do for you" type thing. If you like it, cool. If you don't, that's cool too. Here's the advantages of signing; here's the disadvantages if you don't. No horror shows, no bad cop intimidation tactics like the ol' days, no Popeye Doyle-style showdowns--just the facts, ma'am.

My position is still that, in a situation where so many artists want to focus on their art (understandable) or are just too afraid of coming out and taking a stand because they can't do it anonymously--they got families or mortgage payments and the like (understandable to an extent), in a situation where the aforementioned are the facts of life and the minuses of working in this industry, Union stewards may be inadequate from time to time but a bit far from being a weak link so weak that the artists who depend on them can't get over on the regular because of it.

Jussssst a bit of a stretch to make that comparison, but again considering the amount of unemployed Guild members who are artists, not as much of a stretch.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:21 am

ENOCH
Well, the Union gets members no matter what . They have the monopoly. But the fundamental argument I always hear in defense of the Union, besides benefits, is the speculation of what would of been without them...or what might be. To me, thats fear based propaganda.

Especially with what we know now and what we are capable of. That kind of thinking keeps everyone in the past. I believe we're all bigger then that...even the ones that just want to be employees...thats fine. We're all needed. but you can still think you're bigger and be an employee at the same time...and I'm not talking super ego, I'm talking loving yourself and knowing what you are capable of.

(takes a huge hit from bong)

and what if C A T really spelled Dog...and Dog backwards is God...Woooo...I kid I kid


I know, when I speak this way people become cynical, thats why I kid myself. But to me there is nothing about a club that interests me when it comes to being able to work and afford health care. Seems like another branch of the problem and these days I like to go to the root...or the herb...did I tell you guys that there is a medical marijuana facility attached to my gallerie? yep! thats right.

So yeah, I don't know about heading up any movements...the great spirit knows I don't want anything to do with heading up anyone elses movement...head up yo movement....hahahahaha, that sounds awful..like some fetish porn movie. jeebus

Union
Head Up Yo Movement

a story of people, fuking each other for a long time

it's brilliant, we could retire off this movie!!!
..man, it really lends itself to all sorts of clever sub titles..but I won't go there. Out of respect for Charles..but I got to say, the concept inspires.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:53 am

Everyone has their own opinions and feelings when it comes to the subject of organized labor in animation. What I want to impress upon our community and especially to those whose propaganda involves spinning accusations that I'm against the Guild/union, is that I am an ardent supporter of organizing. Whether it be a union or a guild or what have you in name, I believe we're better off organized.

I support the Guild, I'm just not a big fan of the person or peoples that control it the way they do. They make personal issues out of criticism of the Guild. And although I'm ardently on the side of its general membership, I don't see its membership being very pro-active, nothing near what they could be. I see a lack of imagination in dealing with the issues members have within the Guild itself and also in matters that could bring others into the fold. I'm not inspired by the Guild, and it's hard for me to believe in the sincerity of an organization that blacklists us. Especially after the track record we have of helping to invigorate the union in animation.

All of it and more has bundled up into a big ball of apathy. Aside from a few members, there's no Guild presence at any AN Night and never has been. A perfect place to recruit and organize, or at least lay the seeds for a positive view of the Guild, and they basically boycott us. Perhaps they don't want to face a crowd that is more substantial than the numbers they get at their own meetings, a crowd that has some hard questions to ask.

And what about April 1 as Animation Day? When it comes to Guild support you can friggen fuget abowt it.

They can get away with this kind of stuff when people have no choice but to join. But if there was a choice, it would be a far different story.

We call for unity, they call for... I don't know what they call for. I don't know what they represent anymore other than a benefits management company.

To me, as long as the Guild is seen in this context, the Guild makes sense. Beyond that and it becomes something of an anachronism.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:27 pm

As first Kevin, then SteveK said, Animation Nation is kind of a non-issue with them. The AN subject is dropped as soon as it is raised.

As long as we're perceived as professionals moonlighting as unenlightened, uncivilized savages :lol: who can't hold a sophisticated public discussion without having it degenerate into name-calling and other assorted displays of juvenilia, we won't be taken seriously on the level that pro organizations usually are. Again, that seems to be the perception and it won't change until there is an aggressive commitment towards defusing the tensions that exist. Does it really matter who gets this ball rolling? TAG obviously screwed up somewhere along the way, why can't that screw-up be addressed in a thoughtful, considerate manner, opening the door to a thawing of grudges?

Bite's comment about speculating on a situation without the Guild as propaganda is thought-provoking, to an extent. I don't see it as propaganda; I see it merely as good situation vs. not-so-good situation. Not even a worst-case scenario outlook--just, hey honey, you want this Lexus? How 'bout settling for a Kia?

Ultimately artists prefer to focus on their art. If they need a Guild to help them do that, why would that be perceived as propaganda? They could live without them, and even SteveK and the Guild says about as much. The artists can live without the Guild. But what's the trade-off? What do they have to compromise in order to allow for such a situation to exist? How will they and their ability to be artistically productive be affected? Again, there are ramifications we can't even see through the foggy window that is our anxieties about Union behavior.

And that's my point. Why can't we allow for a more optimistic viewpoint than the ones we expressed if we admittedly are unaware of unfavorable--not even frightening--but unfavorable situations that could exist if we took the Guild out of the equation? Given what we know about conditions in the industry before the Guild (which were truly frightening), a time when women would put distance between you and them if you told them you worked in the animation industry, what exactly is the appeal of having less time for art, and more time for self-representation or inadequate representation?

Keep this in mind, this is coming from someone who has no plans to join a Guild (other than Animation Nation). And since the argument over whether the Guild should exist is moot (and even kinda foolish) why aren't we seeking ways to co-exist harmoniously and respectfully with the Union?

Doesn't that say more about us than it does about them?

Again, Charles has basically ended this argument by saying artists are better off organized. We're better together. Sounds like a plan. Let's continue to work towards making that a reality sans all the strife and backbiting currently permeating our environment. And let's not take any more of our energies away from making art than is necessary.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:07 pm

This is what I'm saying. And correct me if I'm wrong, Enoch, but it sounded like you were still entertaining this notion that it might be worse without the Union. This is whats been sold for a long time. Propaganda to me... That was my point. Thats fear based. The idea that we need an organization to be organized. Religion doesn't necessarily mean religious and the legal system doesn't practice law. Unions don't always mean unity.

Personal feelings aside, I always saw Charles and AnimationNation as a door wide open to them. No matter what questions and suggestions we have on our end.

We're a non issue to the Union? Right. sure.
Methinks the lady doth protest too much.... Everyone read that sht awhile back right? If not, go back in our archives and see how a non issue we are...

But my point has always been that the Union has nothing to do with what we're doing. One of the subjects me and Charles think differently on. I've always supported his desire to work with them but I haven't seen the benefit other then spreading awareness. Me and Kevin are cool, Steve's impression was brief and revealing. And everything else has been poopoo peepee...because I'm an expert on poopoo and peepee....especially with the scent of duedues.

So I never saw anything to "work out". For what? I don't think we need them. I think our power as creators is deep. I think needing a Union is continuing to lower the bar..thank you everyone for lowering the bar. I like to focus on the more progressive and positive nature of what we are capable of. We give these people power, just like we give our government power. By buying that they are in charge and they care for us. I can take care of myself thank you very much, communities can help themselves. They don't need clubs to buy into for protection.

I'm not saying I have all the answers for everyone, screw that, I'm just saying this Union thing is wack and maybe Charles ideas about their leadership lacking is valid..I mean, I've experienced and seen it happen.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:26 am

Well, the Guild is something of a non-issue here as well, it's SteveK that brought it up with this thread. And EAllen, if indeed this comes down to... "unenlightened, uncivilized savages who can't hold a sophisticated public discussion without having it degenerate into name-calling and other assorted displays of juvenilia"... We're not the ones hosting trolls who call others whose message they don't like douchebags, or calling people who question the Guild haters. Or calling disenfranchised members disgruntled. Or dogs chasing a caravan. This is all Guild rhetoric.

The discussion standards on AN are way more than a cut above the Guild's. The problem is with the Guild. Even their own president resorts to insults and name calling. Who can take an organization like that seriously. They get away with it cuz people have to join to keep their jobs at union studios. If not for that, they'd have no choice but to engage society in an appropriate manner, or risk going out of business.

The Guild showed their colors with their behavior in recent years. Too much foolish pride and inflated egos.

Hey Guild... UNITY... remember that word? Can't get your one dimensional minds around that concept. Kinda like a vampire in the sunlight. Don't turn away, I know it hurts, but it's what you're about, or supposed to be about.

Doesn't matter anymore. It is what it is. Good luck to all.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:49 pm

Well, Bite, this is what we know and has been documented--

-The Guild has gotten artists monies which were owed to them, much more than if the artist were to independently pursue the matter.

-Artists cannot be forced anymore to work overtime. That's a grievance as well. (Sure, not doing it can result in blacklisting, but even this occurrence happens far less than in the past.)

-Works submitted in portfolios to Studios, either as part of a pitch or for evaluation-for-hire purposes, cannot be used later as the basis for nor as a compliment of designs which are to be included in a motion picture intended for general release unless the artist(s) responsible for those designs are compensated and accredited or employed outright. The Guild has taken a stand against this behavior and were successful, although Charles has a story involving the Guild about what the Studio can really do with artists' portfolios that does not paint the Guild in a favorable light.

-The Guild has also been successful in enforcing various workplace condition stipulations which led to the end of the existence of those particular situations. Unless an artist is willing to come on here and talk about the current state of workplace conditions in the animation industry, it's safe to call the previous unfavorable conditions a thing of the past.


And there's much more, just search the TAG blog and then Google, Dogpile or Bing the subject. I'm sure Mr. Hulett has written thoroughly of these things; others have as well.

Bite, you couldn't be more right. Unions don't always mean unity. In that case, it's not a Union but sets of haphazardly, inharmoniously assembled artists who congregate occasionally out of a sense of duty, and to retain their ability to work and be in good standing in the industry. As you educated me earlier, they like their lifestyle so they drink the Guild Kool-Aid.

I won't argue that some artists make choices based on the amount of fear they have, but I do believe the primary reason is convenience for the rest of the artists who decide to ally themselves with Unions. Convenience, which is oftentimes lacking a fear element but is saturated with greed and a general inconsideration for one's fellow professionals, is the catalyst for many decisions, moral or immoral. And I implore you not to mis-read the above as a generalization of the concept of convenience--what I'm getting at is that like everything, there are situations where convenience-based decisions are harmless and fruitful--and situations where the most favorable outcome come from decisions contingent upon how much each party will compromise, or are willing to endure with inconveniences. In these situations the atmosphere is casual, and not tense with fear-based anxieties so palpable you could cut it with something sharp.

You can make good deals. Or you could make better deals.

Or you could make the best deal.

People scared of not making the best deal? That's a fear. Although, I argue that's more of a concern since the artist knows about her/his alternative options.

The artist knows what options she has. But artists more often than not are ambitious, and if they see what they perceive to be an opportunity to rise in the industry--and then they see a roadblock that threatens to derail them--then, they'll do what it takes to be where they wanna or gotta be. Again, these groups of artists don't fear the roadblock--they tend to see them as mere inconveniences--they will just find a way to get around it. Some will travel on the path of least resistance, which often leads to an alliance with a Union.

So again, this notion that the Union is some sort of an imperialistic entity in the industry, spreading propaganda (even smear) campaigns and fear-mongering, so forth is, I feel, a bit exaggerated. Even the Guild has often stated artists don't need to align themselves with the Guild in order to make a living in this industry. It would just make those artists ineligible for benefits offered by the Guild.

I may be missing something here, but that hardly constitutes fear-mongering.

And again, talking about comparisons to the Guild to some imperialist nation or corporation, no one in a country subjected to imperialist rule is immune from oppression, and yet we have an industry in which artists like you, Bite, are able to get away with saying some pretty incendiary things (funny as s#!t of course :D ) on a public forum about the Guild and Unions in general without suffering dramatic career repercussions as a consequence. Under the rule of Imperialistic nations or Big Brother Corps, the consequences could mean the difference between you waking up in the morning (or not waking up at all) with guns pointed at you . . . and you just waking up with a scary-looking cease-and-desist waiting in your mailbox or inbox from some lawyers.

Just sayin'!



Charles, I'm overjoyed that your postings have become milder recently. Before, even I shuddered a little, even after you were making some valid and legitimate points about Guild behavior.

But again, what're the odds that the Guild wouldn't take exception to being described as having "one dimensional minds", then making the unfavorable comparison to "vampire(s) in the sunlight"? These are a bit more gentle, which I'm amazed at seeing. But again, I'm worried these words can be used to illustrate an example of Animation Nation's conduct, and that it would not be taken lightly. This would be counter-productive to an effort to be civil.

I repeat, I look forward to a time when we can communicate with each other with mutual respect and not condescension or malice.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:30 pm

I'm not really impressed with the notion that since I can "get away" with saying something I should see the progression of things...and I certainly would NOT give the Union credit for me getting away with sharing my opinion or anything of the lik.

Oppression has evolved.

This has kinda blurred into my personal philosophy about life in general, but once you take the pink pill, the third pill in morpheus' pocket, then you just don't see the same way. So many more options to building ones reality.

Sure, the Union says stuff like, "Hey you don't have to align" but the reality is if people want to be successful "employees", as you pointed out, they have to find jobs at places they can find some sort of illusion of stability. THose types of illusions can usually be found at big studios who are all Union...so, yeah, one doesn't "have to" but thats kinda smug coming from people who hold the monopoly in the industry.

I just don't see it anymore. We all know too much to believe we need a club to continue the habit of being human beings with each other. MAYBE and I mean, maybe at one point it was needed..but everything I hear and everything I see are always two different things about the good in the industry.

Copyright protects my ideas from being stolen if studios rip them off from my portfolio...not Unions.

I don't think fear propaganda is an exaggeration. I think its plagued our country, our world and so establishments like a Union will only perpetuate that. The idea that without them everyone would be mistreated and abused is kinda sick. The idea everyone excepts that is kinda sicker. A reflection of the mass hysteria of our current time line.

It's just people. Not some mystery...well, not for some of us at least.

Even this new Union rep asked me what I would do if my employer wanted me to work 24 hours a day because he said something to the effect that the Union can't tell companies how to schedule their time...???

It's just people working with people. Are we not aware enough where we still need to pay someone to remind everyone else to be humane to each other? Where we have to pay some third person, to make this other bill we're paying for, cheaper?

Does this really make sense to people? If so, then I am certain the mothership dropped me off on the wrong planet.

People say, thats the way its always been...wha? how the hell do you know? You time travel? if so, hook me up, I need to go to the future someplace where the mothership comes back to pick me up. But history books don't always tell the truth..and they only go so far back...lol

The Union IS some big corporation, Enoch. Tied with other corporations. The intent is to profit. They don't care about you. They might have nice people working for them, some not so nice, but the bosses of the bosses..yep, they don't care. You pay your dues? thats what they care about.

Smoke and mirrors.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:52 pm

Man, all this hate and vitriol aimed at the Guild. How can they endure it!

Just having some fun guys.

EAllen, I understand and appreciate where you're coming from, but I think you're missing the point. First off, if the Guild is actually doing its job, then perhaps that's reason to celebrate. If it's doing its job, then what's the big deal? Why are we making a big deal about a union that is actually functioning as a union? That alone underscores the long standing frustrations that many people in animation have had with them. The Guild is supposed to work for its members.

As far as name calling goes, well, I talked about this on the old forums and it comes down to the double standard the animation community has towards this kind of thing. It's okay for the guild to engage in personal insults, cuz it's freedom of speech according to them. And it's okay for other industry blogs to engage in personal insults, cuz for whatever reason, the community seems to be forgiving and tolerant towards them. But when it comes to me and/or AN, it's a whole nuther matter.

I've helped bring alot of people into this industry. And most of them, the very great majority, all became union/guild members. Yet some guilders continue to portray me as a guild or union hater. The guild has forgotten how much we've done in support of the them, forgotten and distorted the history we have together, trivialzed the significance of the movement which we have in common.

I have strong opinions and side with the artists instead of the ruling elite. For that I've been subjected to way more than my share of abuse for whatever I've done to piss them off. I've been blacklisted from long ago for my views that artists should in control their own industry. It's not executives that have done this, it's friends, or people I thought were friends. Fear and anger makes some animation folk do strange things it seems.

There's a lot of power in what we preach, and controversy makes people in animation uncomfortable. The passive aggressive nature of many people in this biz tends to make them strike in ways that are contrary to who they really are. They're not bad people, in fact, they're great people, but they have issues with themselves which they project on others. It's difficult to understand and even to explain. You have to have hosted an industry message board for 11 1/2 years to really comprehend it. Forums are tough, and if you're an outspoken individual like I am, peers can be pretty darn cruel and unforgiving.

So I'm past the point of apologizing for the sake of peace, past the point of appeasement, past the point of caring very much about what they think. As I said before, it is what it is. They're going to hold onto their grudges and I'm going to keep speaking my mind. I'm with the artists. That's who I care about the most.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:16 pm

I thought I'd go back into the old forums and feature links to happier days when AN's relationship with the Guild was solid and we didn't have to deal with the nonsense that's been brought into the picture later on.

A reminder that it wasn't always the way it is now.

Here's the Guild's president Kevin Koch inviting everyone to the Guild's Holiday Party in 2002.
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ulti ... 392#000000

Here's Jeff Massie from the Guild inviting everyone to the Guild's Holiday Party in 2003.
http://www.animationnation.com/cgi-bin/ ... 1;t=006970

This is Steve Hulett's post announcing pictures from the 2003 Holiday Party posted on the Guild's website.
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ulti ... 201#000000

This is me announcing the Guild's Holiday party in 2004.
http://www.animationnation.com/cgi-bin/ ... 1;t=009522

Here's Kevin Koch the Guild's president inviting everyone to the 2005 party.
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ulti ... 924#000000

Here's photos I took of the 2005 party.
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ulti ... 926#000000

Here's photos I took of the 2006 party.
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ulti ... 913#000000

Here's photos I took of the 2007 party.
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ulti ... 847#000000

Here's photos I took of the 2008 party.
http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ulti ... 397#000000

Good times.

Please take note of all the hate and vitriol.
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