Posted by Dave Brewster on March 21, 1999 at 01:34:19:
In Reply to: In general posted by Steve Gordon on March 20, 1999 at 11:47:13:
Good points and I agree that there are good non artist mangers. Your discussion is valid and while I feel that I am in need of more clarification of this new idea I am interested in several aspects.
1) To lean out the studios he speaks of means seeing where and how the money is spent. I have no problem with taking less or seeing others take more. Iím sure you know that is true of almost any animator who feels they are working on something valid. The bad decisions of the past must be dealt with though. Exposed and understood. Otherwise you will still be fighting the invisible enemy. Undefined and just as dangerous.
2)I am for anything that promotes good film making. The push of the creative process and itís streamlining economically. The companies that are heavy will not collapse but lose interest as they find they cannot make a quick buck while pretending to know what the public wants. It is a very hard earned buck and requires the creative inspiration of directors and producers with experience and vision.
It irks some corporate studios to know that. That it is not what interests the public that films need. It is what interests a director who has the skill to tell the story visually. Some places would have you believe that directing is just a position you give someone who is able to carry out weak management story ideas. We know that just isnít true.
3)If animation is to rise then it must be more than a business. It must be less political between us, the artists. I feel the reason we fall prey to things bad management does is fear. Fear of losing our jobs. Competition , envy, infighting, gossip, cliques. Some management knows this and plays this fear. Personally, I donít care what other people make or if they are paid more. If so bravo for them. My only concern is getting the film done the best way we know how. In the process taking the trust the artists working for us give and returning it by treating them as fairly as we can. I love this business, but more I love the people in it.
4)I find it fascinating that both Cats Cant Dance and Iron Giant both came at the very end of the release of the corporate control. Both Turner and Warners seemed to overmanage and overspent their early films till when they had totally lost interest in animation they let Mark Dindal and Brad Bird make what will be considered their best films.
5) I would like to know how WB got such a high cost on Quest for Camelot. I donít get it ? Where did all that money go ? I know the staff and Iím not seeing any of them driving BMWís around throwing cash out the window.
6) Good managers ask questions, know there job and work to getting the film moving in the right direction. There is a clear difference between them and people I consider failed creatives that resent their directors and work against them. I have seen the effect of a real manager taking the place of one that was inneffective or inexperienced. You go from struggling, mired in indecision to a rush of production motion.
The real question is what is the company learning curve ? Are they seeing what we are seeing ? I hope so. Myself, Iím not looking for blame, just answers. I find it interesting.
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