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.
Three weeks from tonight, at the headquarters of The Animation Guild.
1105 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
Sponsored by Women In Animation.
The discussion will feature from the Guild: Tom Sito and Steve Hulett.
From the the community of writers: Craig Miller.
Representing the Independent view: Charles Zembillas - yours truly.
This will be a significant discussion. Everyone is encouraged to be there. Especially leaders and those who aspire to leadership.
WIA members may attend for free. All others, a $10 fee will be charged. Proceeds from this event will be going towards the Phyllis Craig Art Scholarship that WIA awards each year.
Please do not park in the Guild's lot. Those spaces are reserved for students of their school, the American Animation Institute.
Friday evening, October 21, 2011.
From 7pm to 10pm.
Feel free to bring along your camera and videotape this event.
It's not just going to be four people talking to each other. This will involve everyone. If you're pro-active, if you're looking to get involved in the future of the animation community, if you have something to say and have something to contribute to the discussion on the evening of October 21, 2011, then make it a point to attend this event. Your participation will be valued and appreciated.
Less than two weeks from now, you'll have an opportunity to participate in this very special event sponsored by Women In Animation. Come to Burbank on the evening of October 21 and contribute to the betterment of the animation community. Your presence will make a difference. See above for details.
Ten days from now. Be a part of a landmark event sponsored by Women In Animation.
October 21, 2011
It will take place at The Animation Guild.
1105 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
Starts at 7 pm.
Please refer to the first post for more details regarding this important industry centric discussion.
You're welcome to bring a video or audio recording device.
Last time I was part of a panel at the Guild, it was September 30, 2008. Before the panel, I sat in on the meeting. I reported what I saw, which I didn't think was good based upon the behavior of one of their leaders, and it became a matter of my word vs. theirs, and an excuse for the Guild to blacklist AN.
Let's record this event and make sure that what is said and discussed is there for all to experience as it happens.
A week from tonight.
October 21, 2011
It will take place at The Animation Guild.
1105 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505
Starts at 7 pm and goes to 10.
Women In Animation members free. Non Women In Animation members $10. Proceeds will go towards the Phyllis Craig Art Scholarship.
Please park on the street and not in the Guild's lot. It's reserved for students of their school.
So bring your camera and a positive attitude, and be a part of this important event. Things can change for the better, but only if you get involved.
This Friday night.
This is nice graphic. Less than 48 hours away. Bring your video cameras folks.
I'm up in the Bay so I won't be able to make it.
Hope it goes well, and am curious to find out what is said.
Looking forward to the day also (as usual) because it is my birthday.
Happy Birthday Jeff!
Yep, the debate, argument, whatever it's gonna be called, is only a few hours away at this point.
Please bring a video recorder folks if you plan on being there so we can share this with the rest of the animation world.
I'll be leaving for the event soon.
This will be a significant meeting ladies and gentlemen. Hope you can make it.
If you show up bring a video camera to record it. We don't want to repeat what happened three years ago. You'll want to record this for posterity.
Be sure to park on the street and not in the lot unless you're a student of the Guild's art school.
Keep in mind, there will be a $10 cover for anyone who's not a member of Women In Animation. The cover charge will go to their Phyllis Craig Art Scholarship.
See you there brothers and sisters.
Now that it's over and I've had an evening to reflect on the way this event went down, the word that comes to mind is... surreal. In two words, very surreal.
I don't think it's possible to convey my experience and impressions in writing. It would take too long and there's much that I have to say. More than can be related in leaving written comments here. I've got an idea as to how to proceed with this so I'll follow up later.
If you missed the event, you missed something very special. I think the people in attendance realize just how significant and eye opening it was, on many different levels.
I will say this, from a personal perspective.
If you thought this union is troubled and dysfunctional, you would've seen that dysfunction in exceptional glory last night. Maybe something positive can come from the debate, but if it does, I doubt it will be from the Guild. This is an organization that is entrenched in its inability to comprehend itself, in its inability to understand how its perceived by the vast majority of the animation community, and is at a loss as to where to go from here.
This is an organization that is not open to reform, is not open to new ideas, has no ideas to offer, and is totally lacking in leadership. It was almost painfully obvious in the way things went last night.
I didn't get into half of what I wanted to get into during the event. Of what I was able to cover, I hope that some of the suggestions I made will perhaps be considered, but frankly I'm not holding my breath. To me, I feel the Animation Guild is a group that is going nowhere fast, and they seem to be fine with that. There's no pressure on the union to change or do things differently. As long as animation artists are forced to join when they find employment at a union studio, or are still forced to pay them even though they choose not to join the union once they get into a union studio, there's simply no incentive for the Guild to do things any differently than what they know.
They do a good job managing benefits and retirement plans, but beyond that they're a stagnant body. Hostile, defensive, insecure, with a tendency to see anyone outside of their organization as the enemy, especially if its people who are critical of them. Even if its other animation artists and people they know and are friends with otherwise.
I might add that Women In Animation billed this event as "Union: An Argument", and that's what they got. It was funny how at one point their tempers started to flair and things got very lively. I mean, very lively. It's all good, but while it was happening it was, well, surreal.
One more thing. We had a lot more people show up from the AN side. Very few people from the Guild were there. Hardly anyone. I counted around 35 to 40 in attendance altogether, including the panelists, which I think is a good turnout considering that WIA was charging $10 at the door. It was well worth the money I'd say, and contrary to what one would expect at an event like this, nobody left until the show was over.
That's my report for now. As I mentioned, I'll follow up later to convey more of the details of what was discussed and further relate my thoughts and impressions.
Thanks to the people who came to the debate, and thanks to WIA for organizing it and inviting me to participate. Good times.
The Union has already put up a run down of the event on their blog.
http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... panel.html
Yeah, and it's more of their propaganda as expected. Here's Steve Hulett's account of the evening...
Tom S. outlined the history of unions in Cartoonland, from the Fleischer days to the present. Craig Miller described how the Writers Guild of America came to represent animation writers in the 1990s, and Yours Truly provided information about contract negotiations, organizing non-union houses, and what the Animation Guild has worked to accomplish over the past twenty years. Charles Z. talked about independent operators in animation, how he came to form Animation Nation in 1999, and how TAG blog comments should be moderated.
For one thing, Gary Montalbano, a 25 year veteran union member, brought up the character assassination that the Guild allows to occur on the comment section of their blog. He's the one that first suggested moderating their comments in a professional manner like every other self respecting blog. I brought it up at the end as part of a series of comments I made that were suggestions as to what the Guild could do to improve itself, especially in the areas of an outreach program which is non-existent.
No mention of that by Mr. Hulett, nor of my suggestion of starting a second union for independents and other animation artists who can't get union benefits.
The leadership of this union is absolutely dreadful and this write-up by their business rep underscores just how bad it is. I saw it in action last night and now that this poor account of the evening has been published on their blog I'm more convinced than ever of their dysfunction. No wonder so few people bother to get involved in this organization. Can't say I blame them.
According to Steve Hulett, in order for the Guild to moderate the hate posted anonymously on their blog, they would have to bring up the issue to their executive board. That's right, an official union meeting to discuss moderating comments on the blog that he controls. And he said this in response to what Gary Montalbano brought up, not me.
By the way folks, much of the evening has been videotaped. So unlike my previous encounter with the Guild on September 30, 2008 when it came down to my word versus theirs, this time we can look at the video and back up the account that I'm relating here as well as everything else that went down that night.
Yeah Charles I have to say that I can't totally disagree with you. The answer to my question at the end showed me just how much its like when my kids were younger and they would fold their arms and scream nooooooooo!!!! when I would try to get them to eat something new.
I did have a little hope that this meeting might open some cracks to change though after I left.
It was my birthday so I decided to celebrate to support my dear brutha Charles in his continued quest to deal with difficult people while spreading a positive self empowered message.
I believe Unity comes from self empowered people.
I'm not just a business owner, tattoo artist...I've worked in comics, animation and video games for almost 20 years now. I have a great amount of experience working in a vast majority of art fields in Los Angeles...and although I don't join Unions I believe in Unity...but the people I'm united with are all self empowered and knowledgeable in not only their art but their business. I'm a problem solver and empire builder and I work in the business of giving others platforms to be seen.
I'm passionate. I have ideas and I share them...I can't stomach defeatest people who call themselves leaders.
If I was a Union member I would be disgusted by my so called leaders...hell, I'm not a Union member and I was disgusted...
granted, I'm sure they are not use to anyone challenging them in their own house...
they changed the rules of the night. I was invited to come and film..like I always do. There were two other people filming, but TOm Sito pointed me out as someone who needed to be made an example of since he didn't like the level of my questioning.
BTW guys, you are a blanket corporation...not separate Unions like you tried to paint...IATSE owns you all...bla, but you knew that...Spinners! ha
So the forum was open. Free to union members, 10 dollars for non..I paid for me and my lady...AND I didn't even get a slice of pizza...WTF?
I was called an asshole by one of the Writer Union reps who was on the panel..don't remember his name...Sito got angry and said I can't post my video..watch me...there was no sign or anyone saying I couldn't and when Tom called on me to ask a question he said "you with the camera" and its all recorded so he was aware of what was going on..sorry Tom if you lost your cool, but be a man and lie, I mean lay in your bed.
Jerry Beck yelled "shut up" from two seats away in the audience with me and then flipped me off...all on video..fuckin awesome!..I got loud but never lost my cool...these so called leaders can't say the same.
Tom said, "this is why I don't do these things anymore, I lose my temper"...well Tom...time to find your temper homie. take control. Don't let it rule you. Reactionaries don't make good leaders, only good revolutionaries. hahahah
all and all. it was awesome. Just another confirmation to me how a union organization is a broken and old one...even though their behavior seemed really childish...but I'm not surprised..last time 12 years ago it was Steve losing his cool with me..this time he was the only one that didn't even want to engage me other then to tell me how muchI need to learn followed by a long anecdote about how some other artist tried to change s*** and it didn't work out....awww, what a great bed time story...sweet dreams kiddies! hahahaha
so yeah, good times, old stuff.
And yes, once I opened my mouth my intent was to fire s*** up...thats how I do..but, I kept my cool..unlike these so called "leaders"...what a shame that these type of dudes are in power..if it was my tribe, they would of been kicked out a long time ago..
strenght in numbers??? not if you're only as strong as your weakest link..and that link is your leaders....good luck everyone!
More misconceptions and personal character assassination on the guilds blog by people who weren't even there.
I have worked in animation since 1997 and its sad to see how many sheepish people are impressed by so called "leaders" they call class acts...pashaw. I will posting video in the next couple weeks as soon as my schedule opens up so I can do final edit.
The WiA panel was interesting but I'm sorry that you didn't use it as a forum to discuss the problems you have with The Animation Guild. I heard you complain that it's hard for entrepreneurs and that you don't appreciate anonymous attacks on their blog in reply to your posts. And I agreed with you that anyone posting should do so under their name and not anonymously (which is why I am surprised to see these forums filled with people posting under the cover of handles).
I wish you had taken the opportunity when I and others asked what you feel is wrong with 839 to express it. You had lengthy answers but they didn't seem to have any specifics in them. I really did want to know but didn't hear what you thought they do wrong or what you want Animation Nation to accomplish.
Your associate Snakebite did little to acquit himself well. He's full of passion and loud voice but coming up with things others should wave a magic wand and accomplish -- all the while protesting that he doesn't want to get involved -- and shouting over people when they try to reply to him does nothing to make people want to listen to his suggestions. His description of what happened that evening doesn't quite match reality. Even such points as where Jerry Beck was sitting -- normally mild-mannered Jerry Beck, who was driven to telling him to knock it off by his yelling over people -- wasn't two seats away from him. He was across the aisle and down the row and a few rows forward. If he can't even keep that straight -- a minor issue but one he bothered to mention -- it's no surprise he doesn't get other facts about the evening correct.
When you see the video Jerry was only a couple seats away from me. Again the video will support the reality. I'm sorry if you didn't witness it correctly but the video will correct you.
I'm not Charles associate but his friend and someone who believes in his message. That panel did nothing but fill the air with anecdotes about men who tried but failed. Defeatist tones with similar attitudes.
Everytime Charles wanted to focus on solutions he was talked over with more of the same anecdotes...so I thought I would join in because it seemed like a big game to me.
In my video you will hear me acknowledge that true change comes with long and hard work and I was willing to join in the battle, because I already am in it...but not join the union. I don't have to join a club in order to join a fight.
I was totally confused as to what that panel was. Originally Charles told me that the WIA wanted him to be the spokesperson for their beef with the union but it ended up being Charles against the union...I feel the WIA left him hanging to dry...
but whatever I said and however I said it, passion or whatever you want to call it...I never called anyone a name, swore at a person or flipped them off...leaders shouldn't lose their tempers, their should find it.
It was obvious to more than just a few people at the event that this is a corrupted union.
It's a company union that doesn't want to rock the boat with the studios. Their priority is to keep everyone in line. They're not interested in doing anything different and would rather engage in attacking individuals who are coming from an angle of goodwill and support than to make even the smallest gesture of reform for the betterment of their membership, the community in general and the future.
Here's some of what's missing from Steve Hulett's assessment of the evening.
My suggestion of finding a way of bringing independent artists into the Guild's benefits program.
My suggestion of the Guild sponsoring an art scholarship similar to what Women In Animation do.
My suggestion of initiating an outreach program to the art and animation schools of Los Angeles County.
My suggestion of the Guild sponsoring a film festival.
Simple things they could do to improve upon things and build good relationships with the next generation of artists.
I also invited everyone there to the next AN Night this coming October 25, which is tomorrow evening. After we spend time with our guest Tina Price we'll be talking with someone from the United Steelworkers International, the largest and most powerful union in the world. There's the possibility that we could form an alternative union and be amalgamated into the USWI.
My suggestion of moderating the comments on the Guild's blog were in line with how the Guild is perceived in general, which is very poor. They could improve their image by doing something about their blog.
Most of the talking that night was done by the three panelists affiliated with the union. What they discussed were rules and regulations and ancient history. I went along with what Linda Miller, the MC for the event, was posing for the most part as to the questions she was putting forth.
The event was very boring for the first 45 minutes to an hour, as the three union panelists were doing almost all of the talking. Things started getting lively when they were being challenged by Snakebite. That's when they started yelling and acting childishly. I said over the microphone this behavior was unnecessary. The ones acting like the biggest fools were Tom Sito and Jerry Beck.
When things settled down I suggested taking the conversation into a solution oriented discussion.
It's remarkable, predictable, and regrettable that this union would spin the evening's happenings the way they have. The comments on their blog are as ridiculous as the idea that they have to have a meeting of their executive board to get some sort of control over the comments that are posted there. I hope they do cuz I can see a time when they're going to get hit with a lawsuit if they don't do something about the character defamation they allow to go on.
What's just as remarkable and predictable, is how the people posting about this event on their blog weren't even there.