Thursday, December 16, 2004

Where Has the Time Gone?

Boy, have I been bad about updating this blog. Between shopping for the holidays and work, this blog hasn't gotten much attention.

Where to start. Well, unfortunately I do not have much to say. If I just keep typing maybe something interesting will come from it..?

First off, it seems ILM employees up in the Bay area had a walkout of sorts. I was on the phone with someone who works for Lucas just the other day and he glazed over that he was going to some lunch time union thing. At the time I didn't think much of it, so I didn't ask him any more details. But after reading the story, I wish I had asked more. I guess it is time to negotiate and the guys running the show want to lower salaries and layoff a bunch of people. I suspect this is further cost cutting measures. Additionally, it may be a sign that more things are moving to Singapore (read a previous blog about Lucas Animation). Before you know it, all of ILM may be in Singapore. I'm not in the mood to go on a bitter outsourcing tirade, so I'll just leave it at that. LINK

It has been a slow newsweek in the animation world. Nothing really exciting going on. Wild Brain still chugging ahead with their first CG feature, "Opus". I've heard that CritterPix in the Bay area is already having problems with "Ollie the Otter". That didn't take long. I expect this production to be a rough ride all the way around. I'll try to dig up more information.

I'm catching wind of another movie studio in LA jumping on the CG feature bandwaggon. They've got the money, they've got the people. Let's see what happens over the next couple of months.

That's about it. I'll try to post more and come up with some good bitching. Maybe that should be my New Year's resolution---- Rumors, bitching, and more blogging.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Roy Disney Throws in the Towel

I've been running back and forth in my head whether I should chime in on this topic or not. When Roy was shoved out of Disney, I felt bad for the old coot and eager to back him and his fight against Eisner. After all, Eisner is the person responsible for the down fall of Disney. Right?

I was really backing the Save Disney (.com) movement. Support the fight! As time went on, I realized that Save Disney turned more into a tabloid then a headquarters in an effort to remove Eisner. Sure, Roy and Stanley were really interested in ousting Eisner for good reasons. But, that website was certainly a waste. It would of served them so much better to just print the news and let us know what they were doing to fight the fight. Unfortunately, the ridicolous polls and lopsided tabloid-like stories only made them look stupid (imo).

It was a great idea, just carelessly implemented. For the most part, I ignored the site and quietly backed Roy. Just last week Roy and Stanley announced they they are basically giving up. They can't do anymore. They accomplished almost nothing. Oh, Eisner will be leaving, but I'm hesitant to say it is because of Roy and Stan. had an interesting thread on this topic, however the moderator decided to close the thread because too many people spoke negatively about Roy and Stan. That is his right, but is disappointing, nonetheless. After all, isn't this supposed to be the voice of animators? One of the posters in that thread unfortunately had his statements used in one of Roy's public letters. Quite a shame, since this Disney employee could receive some backlash that would of never have left Animation Nation if it weren't for the Savedisney webmaster circling like a shark for some tabloid fodder.

This whole topic just irritates me. I guess because I backed Roy and saw little come of it and to see him give up because the stock went up (was that really the purpose of Save Disney)?! Backing this guy in the first place was purely because I dislike Eisner so much. All the while, Roy wasn't exactly a hero in my eyes. The happenings of the past week only strengthen that.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Slow as Mud and Slinging the Mud

I want to apologize for how little I've been updating this blog. Things have gotten overly busy in the last few weeks and I haven't found much time to add to this thing. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time at the moment, nor do I have any stunning revelations.

First things first. Still no word on Disney's search on the director for TS3. It should be happening in the next week or two.

Next... I make a point of reading all comments to this website and didn't miss the suggestion of having a mud flinging on studio politics. This is something that has to be handled carefully. We don't want to put any artists in harms way, nor do we want to out anyone and get them canned.

Studio politics can be quite nasty. Disney is well known for not only the managers and execs trying to claw their way to the top, but artists as well. I've heard all sorts of backstabbing incidents between artists as they try to get more responsibilities and a bigger title. This was especially true on Chicken Little. DreamWorks has the same problem, but I come away with the impression it isn't as bad of an environment. Katz rules with an iron wallet. Surprisingly, I've heard and partially noticed that the worst offender in this area is Sony Imageworks. This is purely rumor of course. But, I hear the non-artist politics are just crazy over there. Pixar... Well, they must be doing something right. Although they have their share of problems as well, the creatives are given the opportunity to be creative. Execs know their place. Sad that places like Disney can't trust the same way, they are on a complete power trip over there (not to mention the execs are so afraid of losing their job... They micromanage things to death trying to make sure it pleases everyone).

Speaking of Sony Imageworks. It seems that the relation between Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) is a little different than I expected when SPA began operations. SPA creates the concepts and acts like a production company, they literally hire Imageworks to create the CG for these CG films. Basically, Imageworks is outsourced the SPA projects. This is a logical business move. This protects Imageworks in case SPA fails. They can continue to do their current outsourcing of projects from other clients and still make their own movies (well, sorta their own). An interesting arrangement between Sony and their spinoffs- SPA and Imageworks.

Oh. This also allows SPA to outsource their DTV projects and sequels to other companies. And guess where those projects will be outsourced? Anywhere but North America! The news just gets worse and worse.