Posted by Dave Brewster on April 30, 2000 at 01:19:42:
In Reply to: Re: JAMES BATES:The LA Times article posted by E-Racer on April 29, 2000 at 22:42:00:
: Hey, that's the turd who laid me off. I know what you mean Dave.
It is totally unfair (and I'd love to blame "that person") but I'm sure it wasn't just him alone that had that control. Remember that they use evaluations by leads, directors and other management to make those determinations. As a lead I became aware that what I wrote in evaluations was going to be used later in whatever context management choses so it is very important that the people writing them understand that. It is very easy to take an aside and use that later out of context to justify letting someone go. That is another thing as artists we all need to accept. We sometimes empower management by giving them information they may not understand or use properly. The reason they have us evaluate is because they cannot really tell (or want verification) so sometimes things can be used without a grasp of the real situation. I think we can all quote stories. The ones I've heard from Disney are pretty scary.
Something I learned from honorable Dr. Martin Luther King was that you cannot make a point to someone while firing bullets at them. In other words the anger you harbor leaves that person totally in control of your life. If we as artists are to win any ground in controlling our destiny we seek it is not just by confrontation over production problems but by communication about them. Without that element we are the ones who are just as much a problem. In all cases we must be better than they would be or chance becoming the things that we hate most about them. Quick to judge and impersonal. That means no personal attacks because it takes us off course from our goals and gives the people we have been wronged by the right to use the same. Business functions by either it's imposing rules or following them. Either side that adds a personal bent is wrong. Our goals should be the same. A tight ship that functions fairly.
Mass layoffs in many ways are like carpet bombing. It tends to kill more of the innocent than the intended target. The choices made on those layoffs made no sense in a lot of cases and almost seemed to go against any logic . The order is given to cut bodies and it is done . That doesn't make your being unempolyed any less important at all but it does explain what can be seen as being insensative. Everyone has value. I have seen talented people who were made totally useless in one company become important in another because they understood what that person did well. Most large companies tend to see other people value your talent, hire you, then never let you do what you were praised for again. It's a funny quirk .
I wanted to talk about Amanda Seward at WBs. What touched me was how hard she had taken having to lay off the Iron Giant crew. She did what was required but was totally aware of what had taken place. If they allow it , management can not only feel but have empathy. We should all be aware how much that can hurt when you allow yourself to care about the crew and have to let them go. You will notice that no one said a bad word about her at all. She is missed. It's important because even though these things happen, how they happen can make a huge difference. We need to recognize people who understand both sides as well as those who don't.
So that brings us to here. The boom is over and those who have envied the industry now are rejoicing in what they predict as it's demise (as they have so many times before). Problem with that is that it is fake. The crash was caused by the same people who caused the boom. Art doesn't stop because large employers dump employees.Animation hasn't failed as film language, the films failed as films. Beavis and Butthead didn't succeed because it was great animation nor did the Rugrats or Pokemon. They reached someone. Animation can succeed but it must move forward to do that. Everyone will say it cannot be done until someone does it. That is how film works in all it's forms.
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