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Posted by Charles on May 28, 1999 at 03:18:53:

For the benefit of newcomers to this message board, I'd like to set some things straight as far as L.A. animation artists are concerned.

There's an old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge another. Unless you've actaully come to Los Angeles and experienced our animation industry by living and working here for an extended period of time, please refrain from insinuating that we are anything less than penultimate professionals. Animation artists in L.A. are not only world class talent, they are world class people and world class workers.

How many of you who have lived through months of crunch time on a feature? How many of you have designed pre-production art for two, sometimes three television episodes a week for an entire season?

Show me one place in the western hemisphere besides L.A. where an "Iron Giant", a "Tarzan" or a "Prince of Egypt" are in production? If Viacom's headquarters are in New York City, why did they set up Nickelodeon Animation in Burbank?

The truth is, there's no place on the face of the earth where the great art of character animation exceeds the level that has been established by animation artists here in Los Angeles, decade after decade. The only way that kind of artistic leadership can develop is through extraordinary dedication, focus and lots of very hard working professionals who define the state of the art, despite the generally moronic, unqualified industry management we endure.

Animation artists in L.A. deserve every success that they work for. There's nothing wrong with seeing artists being rewarded for their achievements, the same as anyone else should be rewarded for their hard work and diligence. Including yourselves. Many of the artists out here struggled for years to make it. They made big sacrifices and dealt with many hardships, yet they percevered.

If you're going to be a part of what is going on out here, then I suggest that you think twice about what you have to say to us regarding our work ethic. It makes you look very foolish to us otherwise. We appreciate your experiences in animation and we learn from what you have to say. Your insights, advice, information, etc. are valuable, but don't get caught up taunting us if that is what's happening.

Contrary to some of the recent suggestions I've read, I see no reason why we should have to suck up to the executives out here as a formula for success. Nor do we have to include them in anykind of utopian partnership for the future. Most of them have proven themselves time after time. Including them in what is evolving is a recipe for disaster.

There's much more going on in L.A. than most people outside of our industry realize. There's significant activity that doesn't include non-creative executive management. Animation artists in L.A. are rising to meet the challenge before them in ways that can't be immediately ascertained, but will be seen in time.

So you're welcome to join us. Just keep in mind that we're not the enemy.

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