Re: Americans Can and Do Compete

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Posted by Jon on December 27, 1999 at 11:42:32:

In Reply to: Americans Can and Do Compete posted by Bob on December 27, 1999 at 10:46:05:

Dear Bob,

Let me introduce myself as the director of StarToons, an animation studio in the Chicago area, which I founded because there was nowhere else to work in my home town. Having not been in on your October discussion, I am a bit confused by all the statements, responses, and counter-responses posted here. I'm a simple man, sorry. Your pretty colors got my attention.

I am very much intrigued with your position that American production studios can compete with Pacific Rim studios, and I have my own theories on how that's possible. The main thing is, I believe it IS possible. I posted a message on May 30th on the old archived board, stating "We Can Do It." I got absolutely no response from that message. I have been discouraged that nobody else seems to have taken up the cause.

Since that time, I think I have probably softened up my union-antagonism, inasmuch as I think there ARE good, hardworking union animators, but they've been frustrated with retarded management.

Anyway, YOU have listed a bunch of studios who are supposedly "doing it" (producing TV animation). The first three you listed are studios with whom I happen to have had some contact. LittleWolf (Sam Fleming) doesn't produce for TV (although I think they dabble in specials from time to time) and Perennial (in Indiana) made a short for Cartoon Network once. Character Builders in Ohio (they've closed shop in Illinois) only does feature (high-end) work.

The others, I don't know about, but I suspect they are either pseudo-producers, or boutique shops. What we need is your bread-and-butter, full TV production work (storyboard thru to visual Beta output). The kind of production that will keep hundreds of animators in work. I know it can be done, and I know HOW it can be done, but it means the distributors need to alter/stretch their paradigm. The bottom line is money, and we (US animators) can meet that challenge and give them better quality to boot. Not because we're better, but because of our unique opportunity to streamline production from beginning to end, eliminating unnecessary expenditures inherent in the current system/paradigm.

Bob, you got balls. We should talk.

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