Friday, March 7, 2008

Livestock


I'm sure not all producers are like this but I swear our producer will hire anyone who walks in off the street no matter how much the director protests. It's always, "well let's see how he gets on" or "we'll just give her a go and if she doesn't work out we'll know soon enough".

Then things get really awkward when there's actually a bunch of really talented people looking for work. We've hired all the students and mountain goats and have no room for actual animators.

Stop hiring livestock. Please.

5 comments:

Tool said...

I used to have this idea in my head that 'real professional animators' are all amazing draftsmen and painters and can draw anything and all can animate 'feature quality' stuff and probably do on their spare time.

Bitter Animator said...

Some of them are. I've seen some absolutely stunning artists, especially background painters.

But, yeah, not all of them.

Andy J. Latham said...

I have no idea whether I have good enough skills to be an animator in a proper studio (how does one actually know the answer to that without being offered a job?), but I wish I could find one that was hiring anyone!

Ron said...

Oh yeah, you said it!

Every studio ends up with a few animation artists that just slip through the cracks, they pass the animation college course somehow and weasel their way into a studio, then you have to train them and realize they just can't cut it, they can't draw, can't animate and have awful attitudes and your stuck with them for a while, cause your idiot producer hired them on a whim cause he noticed you were short staffed. Causing more harm than good.

You have no idea how many times my producers have come to me with an open children's book and said something like "Can this be made in Flash? At $80,000 per episode?"
And the look of it has crazy cross-hatching, super detailed backgrounds, or characters with a thousand little wire hairs sticking out from them.

My answer is usually the same "do you have a quarter of a million to spend on each episode?"

I often get design bibles from show creators that have nicely done and fully designed pitch packages for a show currently being financed and written and it comes across my desk with a sticky note from my producer asking me to make a schedule and budget for a potential 26 episode run of this style, written in bold is "It must look EXACTLY like this style."

The style looks like something from "Arthur" a very particularly wobbly clean-up lines to all the characters and props with well done and detailed watercolor backgrounds. With very specific notes that it can't look too "flashy" or too "puppety". Of course they rarely like the breakdown I give them. An obviously fully animated, three dimensional series with painter/photoshop-made location designs, and a rough animation crew of layout artists, key animators, in-betweeners and an actual ink and paint crew to go frame by frame and animate, clean & color every hand-made drawing, all using Flash as digital paper in order to achieve this "look". Thus doubling the budget they were expecting to spend.

Producers flip out and force me to just propose the typical Flash puppet/symbol-swapping style show, with the usual flat/paper-cutout look to it all. Flash CAN look entirely traditional, it's just no one wants to spend the money to give it a chance.

Bitter Animator said...

Ron, I'm beginning to suspect you work in the same place I do. That's excatly what goes on here.

Only that $80 grand an episode would be a luxury.