Re: In general

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Posted by Steve Gordon on March 23, 1999 at 10:50:23:

In Reply to: Re: In general posted by Dave on March 22, 1999 at 21:25:29:

: : Hi Dave:

: : I agree with most of the points that you make and even some that Charles makes.
: : My concerns are that we not be blind to the fact that animators are not necessarily any more aware of what the public wants to see than are non-artist producers.

: I think you will see that I said directors. Most often a producer will sit a director down and ask him to tell him all his ideas. Why would you ask him that ??????? A director is a master of story telling, a person who can control and understand how to frame a character (he understands) for the best drama and comedy film wise. The story isnít important other than the director is inspired by it enough to want to do it and in that sense they are the best judge. A director that isnít inspired shouldnít direct that film .

I Agree wholeheartedly! But when was the last time you saw someone who was offered to direct a film (or TV for that matter) turm=n it down because he didn't like the project? It doesn't seem implausible, but I sure can't think of any instances.

: : I don't think projects that animators loved (ie: Thief and Cobbler and Cats Can't dance) were connected to the film goers pulse anymore than were Quest or King and I (course I could be wrong about King, but I doubt it).

: Animators loved Cobbler for the animation ,not the story. Animators were in fear and awe of Cobblers animation. It had nothing to do with it being an animators pick for best story to do. Cats was just refreshing after heavy handed human animation. Neither I think would mjke it to an animators list as a choice of films we would like to see done. As I said, the final choice should be the film that inspires the director.

Unfortunately I've heard many animators, etc. not think further than how much fun a project will be to animate. I heard so many animators speaking of Thief (and sometimes even cats) as if it was the emerging messiah. I find it very dificult to work on a project with a weak stor (God knows I've had to do it over and over though), but I always try to find something in the project that inspires me or I can't do the work day in and day out.

: : We still have to remeber that regardless of whether animators are happy or not it's the public who decides which film is a hit. Even Disney can't force a hit (ie: Hercules) if the public doesn't like it.

: The real question here Steve is not whether a film is a financial hit or not. Disney so often quotes their films as instant classics. You are totally correct that they canít force it but they can manipulate it. For example Armageddon. A film that most consider very weak yet swallowed huge boxoffice. The only thing a studio canít do is keep it huge. Only time and the public determines if a film becomes a real classic.

Are we trying to make classics or are we trying to make enough money to make other companies hungry enough to try to make animation also? It would be nice if making a great animated film was enough, but while it may feed the soul it doesn't pay the bills. Let's assume that the Kroyers hadn't left Quest and they somehow managed to make it a great film (Though I doubt anyone's presence could have made that into a great film), but the public still didn't respond - and we all know that the public doesn't always respond to great films. Warners would still be in exactly the same situation they are now. Undecided as to whether to continue or not and laying off hundreds of animators and not execs.
: By the way, I really enjoyed Mulan. I think it will stay for a long time.
I agree - i think Mulan was Disney's best film in years. It was formula, but they pulled it off very well - much better than the last 3 or 4 films.

: : And if the film isn't a hit that's it. Someone is going to blame someone and many non-artists take the hit along with the artists.

: The only reason I agreed to work on POE (my contract was for ElDorado) is because the first day I got there Jeffery was talking to a bunch of us and quite honestly admitted that the three of them had NO idea if this film would do well. They even accepted it might totally flop. They just didnít know and felt it was a film they had to do. Just accepting that made it easy to work on. There was noď gotta be a megaď hit pressure at all.
I would've loved to work on POE and my feelings as to whether it would be a hit were a long-shot at best. I really admire them for "going for it" and I enjoyed that film as well especially the relationship between Rameses and Moses.

: : I am interested in hearing solutions. I haven't heard any yet and, frankly, I can't think of any.

: The discussion needs to identify the problem in more detail before we could discuss a solution.
So far I've seen very lttle identification. Just a lot of blame. Hopefully this meeting will help.

: : Hell, I wish I could find a way to keep artists from stabbing each other in the back jsut so their position won't be threatened.
: : This alone would be a miracle.

: : Steve

: Well, you know what I found.
: 1)I treat everyone the same (animator, cleanup, inbetweener, cleaning staff, security, pizza deliver people) and listen when I see someone in obvious pain. I donít run from them like they have the plague.
I agree and that's the way i work, except it often still will create enemies.
: 2) I have empathy for everyone and the only thing I donít tolerate is a lack of effort.
: 3)I believe failure is a natual part of learning and donít penalize people for mistakes.
Agree. I'm always willing to alter my work if need be, but not many I've come across are so willing.
: 4)I donít tear down others to make myself feel bigger.
Agree. I's important to stay constructive, but sometimes necessary to jump in with both feet - I admit I' not always the most tactful, but sometimes time and budget necessitate this.
: 5) Iím honest with them and expect the same from them. I donít try and keep them out of companies I go to (yes even the people that hate me) because I believe that it is not my right.
Agree. I've more than once had to save the job of a worker (that I was fond of) because they were an important component in the equation. Unfortunately I've not seen the same consideration from others.
: 6) I forgive people who plot against people because I think it is something you need to pity them for. People are weak if that is how they have to function, not strong as they would like to think.
Agree. I only hope that" Karma" works.
: 7) I can forgive .
Agree, but it's best not to forget.
: 8)If any producer is weak enough to allow these weak plotting people to prevail then it is a job I would rather not have.
Often it's the producers that allow those types to exist in the firs place. Sometimes one doesn't have a choice as far as jobs - I'm glad you do.
: As an animator, no one gives you your ability. You came with it. Politics donít rob you of it nor do people working behind your back nullify it. It is always there. You will be an animator here or you will be it where ever you go. No company owns that. No company can take it from you. The parking sticker is the most that they can get back.
Agree. unfortunately, as you know, sometimes ability is not always enough.

We obviously agree on most things I'm just not as good as you at expressing my opinion in typing. Beleive it or not I'm actually an optimist.
Drop me a line sometime through e-mail. we don't have to carry this conversation on so publicly if you don't want.


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