Re: So is this the major trend in the business?

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Posted by Feature Animator on February 15, 2000 at 21:38:10:

In Reply to: So is this the major trend in the business? posted by Kevin on February 15, 2000 at 13:38:44:

Ken - how depressing to read your history of the illustration industry - based on the old adage that history repeats itself, I believe indeed that we are seeing the same exact thing happening with feature animation.
My friends at Disney are so burnt out because middle management is pushing so hard to get their "numbers." Ridiculously high quotas (as evidenced also by edgar's post) are the standard now and unfortunately, the quality of the animation is dropping also. They have no other choice. A lot of their friends are out of work, they have huge mortgage payments and cars and all the trappings they bought during the 90s, so to keep all their stuff they push through crap. Its the only way they can meet those demands.

Middle Management does not care about the quality of the work produced. Trust me, as long as it moves, it's ready to be cleaned-up. Wait till you see the John Henry short out of the Florida studio - some of the worst animation I have ever seen in my life.

Like with the illustration industry, the mentoring process is SO important. I've been really fortunate to work with amazing artists who are so naturally talented that it almost makes you sick. Just a couple words out of their mouths are worth tens of thousands of dollars of schooling. I've gone in to show a supervisor(mentor) a scene, and left feeling like I had learned two years worth of animation. My improvement skyrocketing because of their input.

I love feature animation, classic Disney animation. But I am afraid (and most deluded people on this board will argue with me) that it is indeed dying off. Those who have children and houses and big-screen TVs want to deny it, but the writing is there, plain as day.

There is no Brad Bird 3-picture deal with Warner Bros. - he's going up to Pixar to direct there. Dreamworks now owns 80% of PDI. 3D animation is awesome - some of that stuff in Toy Story 2 blows me away, but its really sad to think that in 5 or 10 years there will be no more hand-drawn classic feature animation.

Sure we have the Internet, but it is exactly how you put it, without the mentoring process the quality will continue to decline and we will lose this beloved artform.

I feel so lucky to be at the tail end of things, to get a chance to actually animate, to do the same kind of work (I hope!) that Frank and Ollie and Milt and all those great artists did at Disneys.
But its sad in a way to realize that I have really tremendous skills...that won't be worth much of anything in the next decade. I'm not even 30 and already I'n outdated. I know, I know, people here will say "Hey, you can use those skills to animate on the computer."
Sure, that is great, but I will really miss the drawing aspect, of rolling the drawings, flipping a stack of paper in my hands, and seeing the pages flip by.

Those who think these days will continue forever, just reread Kevin's post about how the illustration industry crumbled.

The same is happening to us.

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