Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rough Economy

Over the weeks, I've been talking with a lot of people who've suggested that we are in a pretty slow animation period. Maybe it has something to do with the economy, or something to do with the time of the year, or even perhaps how many new youngsters have come into the field and overloaded the few positions that seem to be available. My take is that it is a little bit of everything.

Now that Bolt has been finished over at Disney, they have let go of a few people. Many of those are still looking for work. Of course others have successfully moved to another project somewhere else, but the pickings are sure leaner than previous years.

Unfortunately this can lead to studios taking advantage of artists. The more desperate people get for work, the less pay they'll take or the more they'll bend over for employers. A friend and previous co-worker from years ago asked me to look at a contract he was asked to sign from the folks at Reel FX. He thought it seemed weird and after checking it out, I agreed. Most of it seemed boilerplate, but some of it was a little curious and over the top. Certainly asking for more than your typical LA contract. In these times, I'm assuming they're getting away with it. And considering how a lot of people are really needing the work, companies can get away with some really oddball things.

Although the commercial work may slow, the film world shouldn't be too impacted for too long. After all, movies are a little more resistant to rough economic times. Sure, they'll get hit too. However, the worse it gets, the more people like to slip away from reality for a couple of hours.

Before long, Disney will ramp up for their next films and Imageworks will eventually get back into the game. DreamWorks continues to be steady and things will only get better as new studios come into play.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Around the Horn - October 08

So much for writing something in "the next few days". Better late than never, I suppose.

By now, everyone has heard that Glen Keane is off Rapunzel. I'm not sure I believe the email statement from Catmull that was on AICN. Rumors say that Lasseter just didn't think Keane was cutting it as a director. To save face, or to be nice, however you want to look at it. A health issue excuse was pulled out of the air. Whether the rumor is true or not, I hope that Mr. Keane's health is improving if that is indeed a factor.

A sequel for Kung Fu Panda has been announced. No shocker here. If there is one thing that DWA is good for, is to run a franchise into the ground. Hopefully they won't be going a third and fourth.

Bolt comes out very soon. It looks mildly entertaining. I bet it does well in the box office. For those of you hoping that Disney Feature goes entirely 2D, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Looks like Happy Feet 2 is on the horizon. That first one was horrible, I can't believe a second one is justified. Sad. Speaking of Happy Feet. George Miller and Doug Mitchell have partnered to open a new studio called "Dr. D Studios" in Sydney Australia. Does this mean that Animal Logic is now out of the picture? Seems so.

Warner Brothers is busy creating some CG shorts. It will be interesting to see how these turn out. Will they hold true to the WB style?

Lame post, I know. I'll try to find some time for more.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Blog Posts

New posts have been few and far between. Now that I'm back from a short needed vacation, I'm hoping to find some time in the next few days for some posts. There are no shortage of topics to be covered. Hopefully I can pull something out of my ass that is worth reading. Stay Tuned.