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Posted by Charles on March 19, 1999 at 23:17:19:

In Reply to: The future. posted by David Brewster on March 19, 1999 at 04:34:58:

Thanks for your comments, David. You made some very valid points. They are well taken.

A couple of points I'd like to make in rebuttal.

In my professional experience, I've worked at many studios and I've met production managers and production assistants that I genuinely enjoyed working with. I found them to be competent, hard working, respectful of artists and very amiable. And I never begrudged them when they remained employed year round while all of the artists had to leave when production was through.

In contrast to the production executives I've known or worked with, perhaps you've had some good experiences with them. I'm sure that there are some around today that are decent human beings. In all sincerity, my experiences have led me to the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of them are simply not qualified to be administrating our industry. After speaking with many of my colleagues and reading the remarks being posted on this message board, I am inclined to believe that the great majority of artists in animation tend to agree. Some are much more outspoken about them than I am, at least in private conversation.

If any one or any group should carry the blame for the situation of our position in our own industry it is us. It's our fault for letting it get so bad. It's our fault for letting our industry and our art get away from us. Many more of us should have been fighting long ago instead of letting small underground movements and independent artists carry the load of initiating change in the animation business for the good of all.

I have nothing to say to production executives, aside from calling a spade a spade. This is not about them. It's about us. My message is to people like you and all of the other tremendously talented individuals working in a creative capacity within our industry and community, and that message is one of absolute empowerment. My message is also for those at the highest levels of entertainment financing - a call to get them involved in developing an alternative system to the one that currently exists. A system that is failing everybody by not allowing for the most efficient use of production capital, by focusing on what really matters in animation production. That is, animation artists and not these middle men and women who are so caught up in the creation and implimentation of a subjugating corporate infrastructure responsible for untold millions of dollars in squandered production funds. A failing system, a system which excludes the participation of animation artists from the decision making process. A system built upon our skills and foreign studios so that the production executives can maintain their positions of priviledge within our industry, much to the detriment of the final product and our community.

The system is failing. It is running on fumes. It is evident in virtually every major animation studio in town. Low morale among the artists, increased hostility from management, anger within the Union rank and file. Even those animation artists of priviledge who have comfortable positions close to the top see it. Some acknowledge it, others pretend it's not there or are so isolated, they react with genuine surprise and confusion when the plight is brought to their attention.

The revolution is already happening. There are clear signs that point to a shift in the way that business in animation will be done in the future. Regardless of their desperate tactics and poor strategic planning, we will survive and prosper. Animation needs artists. It needs people who can directly contribute to production, not an overbloated, expensive, paranoid managerial system, devoid of the basic knowledge of their own product, which is collapsing upon itself.

A new age in animation is going to rise. All I want out of this is to have us positioned properly for it. Let's not let our industry get away from us as it has in the past. With a change in attitude and proper planning, we have an opportunity to take advantage of the climate and gain a greater control over our art and our business.

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