Sunday, November 16, 2008

What's Going On

Variety had a mention of Illumination Entertainment's upcoming CG film "Despicable Me". This studio is the animation arm of Universal. From what I understand, they'll be doing pre-production work in LA and outsourcing the animation work elsewhere. Something similar to what Imagi is doing with their films. I'm not sure who will do the production work, but they do have a relationship with Framestore and perhaps they are involved in some manner.

A friend told me that at one time they wanted to build a complete studio in LA. That fell apart somewhere along the line. Too bad. I have a feeling we'll see much more of these type of setups for future CG films. Narrowing the number of jobs will hurt.

Sony Imageworks is hiring for a crop of live action films that need a CG character or two. And of course for their next CG film, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" will need bodies. Many of the released Bolt animators are over at Imageworks now.

A friend of a friend told me that Imageworks was trying to find lesser experienced animators. Which to me means, they don't want to pay the going rate for a senior feature animator. Either that or the supervisors are nervous about hiring people with too many skills to retain their job security. Some of the emails I've received in the past regarding Imageworks indicates that egos of some of the staff are fragile. Who knows.

Along with everyone else, I've noticed that animator salaries have dropped even more in the last year. It's a shame producers are looking for show hires and paying them less to boot. In the good old days if you were freelance you were paid more for your time. Reason being, you were usually a gunslinger that could come in and save a project and you weren't employed every week/month of the year. Nowadays, I guess there are so many animators available, that isn't the case. Less work for less pay. Sadly, everyone will have to get used to it.

Companies and producers are looking to stretch their dollars at your expense.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hmm and I thought the animation business was one of the most money making jobs out there(at least thats what my professor said, and he has industry experience too). I guess it depends.

Anonymous said...

Yes. The animation business is one of the most moneymaking -- for the studios.