Posted by The Gal on March 21, 1999 at 16:30:05:
In general terms there has been a diminishing of the art. What used to be a very enriching process for the artist and the audience has become a debased media/profit driven enterprise.
The unique talent, energy , vision and co-operation of the original “golden years” sprang to existence because of the unity involved with their directors. A good director will foster the individual and diverse talents of each animator. Endowing them with a sense of trust and commitment. Everyone does something that perhaps the other guy can’t do. This is what makes a production rich and exciting for all concerned.
The minute they make people feel expendable they lose the best in terms of emotional realism and perhaps a little bit of motivation not to imitate. With producers pocketing millions and calling the animators EXPENSIVE we are all affected.
Animators are easily shamed and easily misdirected. Bad directors tend to use the mind and hands of the artist to search for things he can’t imagine himself. When the artist rebels the director starts citing innocuous flaws, scenes start turning less than challenging so that justification can be made. The system is political. Make no mistake. That is the legacy of corporate film making. The point is not to do good films, it is to ascend in sucking up to corporate appointees.
With my brief experience with Brad Bird I realize we could possibly return to those golden years. It simply requires accountability rather than some blame laying on artists. Max Howard felt there was a “dearth of talent” at Warners when he helmed the Quest but now Iron Giant is poised to make it’s mark based on Brad and his artists fanatical commitment to good film making. Strange isn’t it that Max said that WB was INTENTIONALLY flooding the market with animation trainees to bring down prices. By his reckoning the parasitic animators would be the cause of the cost but there is ABSOLUTE proof that it is totally the waste and mismanagement of WBs that caused the cost. Bad producers. Bad director. Political infighting. Micro managing anything unique out of the crew and story. EGO EGO EGO.
The more I observe the industry, the more pessimistic I become. Down but not out.
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