Re: This Union Situation

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Posted by Jon on March 07, 2000 at 08:40:21:

In Reply to: Re: This Union Situation posted by Kevin on March 07, 2000 at 02:15:11:

: : Egos need to be eliminated and banned from the process.

: Eliminate egos from Hollywood?!? You really are a crackpot!

Desparate times call for desparate measures, my friend. Don't count it out.

: : Our footage rate for rough animation was $24/foot,

: $24 a foot! Yeah, you're right, that would take a little adjustment. More of an adjustment of attitude than anything, but a real adjustment nonetheless.

When you're doing 40 feet a week of it, it's not so bad, and then add to that another $15/foot if you have the skill to work out your own key poses, and you're looking at $1560 per week. Figuring out your own lip sync will get you another $20 for that week.

Now I realize that accomplished feature animators make more than that ... the cool thing for them is that they can pick up freelance during down time. In the mean time, the whole reason for having TV production is for the development of skilled new animators. It is like the lungs of the industry, refreshing the depleted red corpuscles with fresh oxygen. It keeps the industry vital and powerful. This current situation is totally anemic.

: In a way it's an exciting concept. By working that way you'd animate so damn much footage, the learning curve would have to be significantly accelerated ...

Now you're getting it.

: though I also suspect that the lack of time to really pay attention to what's going across one's desk might keep deeper mastery from happening.

Don't think that doing 40 feet a week requires being chained to your desk. Animators constantly get up, stretch, walk, take smoke breaks, coffee breaks (thank God for coffee), and also chat breaks ... lots of leaning into the next guy's cubicle. When they do pencil test something, often they'll show their work-mates (but only when they've gotten it right!) And as far as mastery is concerned, a lot of mastery is yet to be discovered. This industry is only 80 or 90 years old, you know. And with the new technology, we are going to be making a lot of new discoveries.

: On the other hand, I saw animators on Prince of Egypt struggling to put out 4 feet of usable animation a week. That's insane. Of course, ever line and every nuance was gone over again and again by 10 different people, so you can't necessarily blame the animators.

Yes, and to make this work, animation directors ALSO have to understand that as long as the action moves the shot in the direction it needs to go, you can't finesse it ... not for $24/foot, anyway.

: I can see that it would take an adjustment and some retraining. Can you tell us what the video was you were working on?

Supposed to be out in April, in Christian bookstores. Let me check with the client to see if it's OK to mention it, pre-release.

: Some would jump in that deep water and drown, but you're right, many would find they were stronger swimmers than they ever imagined.

I think the strongest swimmers are right here in this town. I am absolutely lickin' my chops.

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