It's ok.

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Posted by Charles on March 21, 1999 at 02:45:10:

In Reply to: In general posted by Steve Gordon on March 20, 1999 at 11:47:13:

Well, Steve, I suppose it's unavoidable to step on a few toes when one makes a strong public stand. I am a private person and I don't like the prospect of being a public figure, but I suppose that's unavoidable too.

The issue isn't about a producer who is a good, respectful person and does a good job. The issue is about artists and what our industry has become for us.

I have friends working in the business who have just had a new baby. I know others who are having their second child. They are extremely talented, responsible, enterprising artists dealing with severe insecurity with their employment situations in animation. I know young artists thinking about doing something else for a living. I know skilled students who want to work in animation but can't because of a sudden lack of opportunity when demand for animation is high.

I know a major studio that has contemplated having inbetweeners, cleanup and breakdown artists work on a day to day employment basis. The head of Sony Animation has publicly announced that he identifies the shipping of pre-production design to studios in other countries as a major upcoming trend in the industry. I know of a very talented Canadien animation artist who came to LA for work, only to realize that his employment prospects were better in Canada. I know of an Italian artist who came to this town, was denied employment by a local studio, went back to Europe and is now working as a storyboard artist for a project from that very same studio.

If that's the kind of industry anyone would want, then fine.

I've worked in animation for many years. What people may or may not think of me makes no difference. I really don't care.

For the benefit of those who don't know me, I'm an animation artist whose work is not too shabby, or so I've been told. I've given many individuals their break in the business, several of whom have gone on to prominence. I've been an outspoken critic of this system for a long time. My reputation has preceded me all the while. I'm not saying anything now that I wasn't saying 15 years ago when I first started sounding off. I'm just tired of the baloney that's been going on and I decided to try and do something about it since nobody else was.

I've been disappointed by some of my closest friends. I've had people talk behind my back for years and years. I've been denied employment opportunites because of my views. Like you, I've seen animation artists who've made it become just as bad as the worst non-creative production executive could be.

I'm not trying to convince anyone about anything other than what I've been admonishing so far - that artists in animation unite for our own collective good and our own collective future. I just want an industry where there can be happiness, security and professional fulfillment for a greater number of artists. That's certainly not what we've got now in my opinion and in the opinion of many others.

I'm not interested in selling myself to the world. I'm simply tired of hearing so many talented people complain and of seeing my friends suffer and struggle.

If the meeting on April 1 intrudes upon your observance of Pesach, or upon the observance of the Resurrection, or upon any religious observance whatsoever, then don't come. If it is too great an inconvenience, don't come. If it places your job in jeopardy, by all means don't come.

If anyone is happy with the way things are in animation, you are welcome to attend. If you feel otherwise and have something to say, if you have any suggestions to offer, if you just want to be in the room, you are welcome. Even if you're a mediocre, glory hogging wanna-be producer artist who will grow to be as bad as they get, you are welcome too.

We're not going to judge, accuse or destroy. That's not the purpose of this meeting. We're not going to complain or grumble. If that's what anyone wants to do, then do it now on this web site and get it out of your system. We are going to address problems, but we're going to be positive and solution oriented.

We're going to come together and build.


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