Re: Still laid off...

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Posted by Dave on October 09, 1999 at 19:23:30:

In Reply to: Still laid off... posted by David Dutch K. on October 09, 1999 at 18:50:57:

:: I'm an artist currently residing in Austin, Texas and am not doing anything currently in the animation/cartoon field. I am working but not at where I want to work.

I know this is hard .This sometimes may mean moving to another state (I know). Unless you know of a local group that is taking freelance or of a commecial company that is hiring it is very frustrating.

: What happened to us was we were in a major downtime at our studio (about 30+ artists there) and there was a chance of a lay-off, but nothing concrete.

Is this Heart of Texas ?

:::Then one day, in November 1997 we were given a form to sign that initally said any ideas, equipment, modelsheets, just finished projects, etc. were to be kept secret due to any copyright incidents and all that

This is called a nondisclosure form and is typically signed before working on out of studio projects. Most companies insist on this but is very normal.

:: Fine, but the VERY next day they call us all into a meeting and say there were going to lay eight of us off. I was one of the eight and it turned out the production manager and the financial advisor of the studio brought me into the office to brief me on unemployment and give me my severence check. Now, why would they not warn us in advance of a certain lay-off?

In most cases studio owners dont know and rather than spread panic and have the crew run off to look for other work they hope that something will appear to fill the gap. It is not fair but the fact is anyone who runs these businesses tend to be on the optomistic side. Rarely is it with the intent to mislead.

:::It would perhaps give us time to get our portfolios ready or look for something else!

Actually I think they still owe you the right to get materials to support your portfolio. Since that is your profession it is part of your ability to work. You should be given time to gather that work even now. Most large companies do that because they do not want to fight the tide of angry people. It also gives them control over what goes out.

::Plus the actual boss and owner was no where to be seen that day. You'd have figured he would have been there being how small the studio was. Three weeks later everyone else was gone.

Well, it is best not to try and assume the reason. I can only imagine folding a studio is not pleasant (especially if you care about your crew). I don't know the person , so I cannot say.

: So, since then I've worked a non-art job and did some stuff on the side but nothing to make a living off of. My current dilemma is that everytime I try to apply for a position somewhere else I either get a "no positions available for what you're looking for" or "we send our work overseas".

What companies ? Where are you applying. TV , feature, CD games ?

How is a clean-up/in-between animation artist supposed to get anywhere if all the work's being sent out of the country? I also hear it might be because I live out of state, but they never seem to mention that on any rejection letters.

Here is what I know. Most companies look for companies that can handle enough of the work (like StarToons, Yowza, Cornerstone, Hollywood Cartoons, Spafford, Bardels, Rob and Dino in London, Chuck Gammage, Andy Knight). As an individual it is hard to get work from an out of the state company. It only makes sense to them if they can send chunks that they can just forget about. They do not want to deal with the individual , just the head of the group. This is why it may require you move to where the work is. I know. It is not a fun idea at all. Leaving your home ,family , your freinds. It sucks. It is not fair but it may be your only option if staying in animation work is the goal. Check around for CD game companies as well since many still use still art. IT is not an answer at all but might help fill gaps. Good luck.

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