Re: Jon and Dave discuss life in the big city.


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Posted by Bruce Woodside on June 08, 1999 at 15:50:00:

In Reply to: Re: Jon and Dave discuss life in the big city. posted by McClenahan on June 08, 1999 at 08:48:10:

Yes, yes, I know he apologized in a subsequent post, but Jon McClenahan wrote:

>Thanks Bruce, and forgive me. I had it all wrong. >All my experience and reports were incorrect. TV
>animation - not just pre-production - IS being
>done all over LA. It's been apparent reading
>through the responses that the situation there, in >the animation capital of the world, is good. Just >the way you wanted it.

Well, not really. I mean, I’m lucky enough to have a job at present (and I do mean lucky), but I have many friends in the business who have either been out of work for some time or are currently worrying over losing their jobs in the next wave of layoffs. The mood in the business is undoubtedly bad, and with good reason. Just because I happen to be employed at present doesn’t mean I can just stick my head in the sand and make it all go away. Tomorrow, it could be me.

My point in the previous post was that blanket, generalized condemnations of what goes on in the L.A. animation business (and, to be fair, I jumped from TV animation to animation production in general) are not productive. The animation business is a many faceted beast, and at present it seems to be going through one of its periodic “weight loss” frenzies -- i.e., “We’ve got to cut the fat!” What many people are complaining about here (and justifiably so) is that the first “fat” that gets cut are the very people who make the product, often referred to by the people doing the cutting as “dead wood,” while management, those little woodchoppers, tends to stay in place or fail upward. I have no quarrel with that assessment of things. In the past twenty years I think I’ve weathered about three of these rites of passage, and I for one, ever the hopeful nerd, trust that this one, too, shall pass. I would be happy to do whatever I can to hasten its passage, short of capitualting to management demands that would ultimately prove to be to the worker's disadvantage.

And then he wrote:

>Let me know what you[r] plans are, because ours
>are apparently unacceptable . . . I don't know
>what all those unemployed animation people in LA
>are complaining about. . . . Charles sees wonder
>possibilities for the future. I leave it to his
>approved advisors to let >us know when they've
>arrived.

But I also think it is possible, in this particular period of crisis (as the Chinese say), to discover new opportunities. I regret that I don’t have a great deal of advice to offer on that score, but I would like to encourage anyone who is in a position of responsibility to seek whatever means you have at your disposal (well, you know, the strictly honorable ones) to pursue those opportunities. After the dust has settled we can all sit back and try to figure out whether it was the right thing to do or not. If you’re really good at it, nobody will know what you were up to anyway until after you’ve done it, and by that time, it’ll be too late to complain. So, do it already.


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