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Thread: Exploiting Animation student labor

  1. #27
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    So does that mean that we're at the point where it's not financially feasible to do any commercial animation in the U.S. or have we been there for awhile? Movies produced by large studios (Disney,Pixar, Dreamworks) seem to be the one exception.

    I should also add that I don't really like what they're doing either but I've had to do the same thing to get where I am now. So I understand why students would still try to take advantage of this and why studios would create a set up like this. Risky but potentially beneficial.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reutte View Post
    So does that mean that we're at the point where it's not financially feasible to do any commercial animation in the U.S. or have we been there for awhile? Movies produced by large studios (Disney,Pixar, Dreamworks) seem to be the one exception.

    There's a fair amount of CG and stop motion animation done for television within the states. It's just traditional 2d animation that isn't viable to produce in the states on TV budgets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meloncov View Post
    There's a fair amount of CG and stop motion animation done for television within the states. It's just traditional 2d animation that isn't viable to produce in the states on TV budgets.
    What productions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    Is the initial line work at least animated at the original studio? Because from the Batman video it looks like the entire appearance just completely changed, lines and how it's inked, painted etc.
    If you're interested on that, I could recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Masters.../dp/1893905306 (as well as Dini's book too I'd guess)
    It talks quite a bit of the actual studio/animation stuff that was going on during the series and differences between them. I don't remember if your exact question was answered or how though, but it's still quite interesting book for some insight.
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  7. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meloncov View Post
    There's a fair amount of CG and stop motion animation done for television within the states. It's just traditional 2d animation that isn't viable to produce in the states on TV budgets.
    What that means is the budget is disproportionately top heavy with the money going to the suits and marketing. In more equitable times this was not the case and the talent recieved the bulk of the budget. It will only stay this way as long as the talent lets it.
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  8. #32
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    A lot of the 2D animated TV properties I've worked with seem to have their animation done in Canada... Those were primarily PBS properties, though, so that might just be a PBS thing.

    I've heard that animators have it better in Canada than in the states (better benefits and so on,) but I can't vouch for that.
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  9. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reutte View Post
    I should also add that I don't really like what they're doing either but I've had to do the same thing to get where I am now. So I understand why students would still try to take advantage of this and why studios would create a set up like this. Risky but potentially beneficial.
    I have to respectfully disagree. If the studios actually paid the interns for working on their products it might be more understandable. But even then, when 30% of the workforce comes from the interns, that just sounds like cheap labor even if they pay the minimum wage. I think it would be fair and beneficial to the students if they pick two or three interns at a time and give them minor tasks and focus more on teaching them rather than getting something out of them.
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  10. #34
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    I have to say, I'm pretty surprised and disappointed with how low-key a lot of the responses here are, especially among the younger posters. Stock up on lube and kneepads, kiddies, it's going to be a long life.

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  12. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    A lot of the 2D animated TV properties I've worked with seem to have their animation done in Canada... Those were primarily PBS properties, though, so that might just be a PBS thing.

    I've heard that animators have it better in Canada than in the states (better benefits and so on,) but I can't vouch for that.
    The National Film Board of Canada subsidizes the animation industry there.

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  14. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    The National Film Board of Canada subsidizes the animation industry there.
    Ah. Yeah, I'd heard something about that, but not from a reliable source, so I wasn't sure what the real deal was...

    Back to the original topic, it occurs to me that the kind of students who would be desperate enough to pay for the extremely dubious privilege of being an "intern" are going to be the kind of students who couldn't get a real internship at a real studio. Or the kind of students who couldn't get scholarships to a real art school.

    That company is setting themselves up for production Hell, guaranteed...

    The "students" are just setting themselves up to get reamed, of course. As is the company. This MUST break so many labor laws... And I'm betting this breaks a whole hell of a lot of tax laws, too. If the company is essentially having these students work full-time and not declaring them on their tax returns as employees, they're in for a fun time once the IRS gets wind of it...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    The National Film Board of Canada subsidizes the animation industry there.
    The same thing happened in Ireland during the Eighties and Nineties, although it was more to do with tax incentives, which led to Don Bluth setting up Sullivan Bluth and training a whole new generation of animators, many of whom eventually moved into the games industry. Financial incentives lead to industry development. It's definitely financially viable to make animated shows in countries like the US or the UK, but it is a fact of life it's just cheaper to make shows in the Far East and Russia. However the UK government has recently announced tax breaks for animation and games (about the only good thing these arseholes have done), so maybe some shows will actually stay here...

    As for the original post in this thread. I was led to believe slave labour didn't require the slave to pay for the privilege... I hope they throw the book at the guy.
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  17. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyunjae View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree. If the studios actually paid the interns for working on their products it might be more understandable. But even then, when 30% of the workforce comes from the interns, that just sounds like cheap labor even if they pay the minimum wage. I think it would be fair and beneficial to the students if they pick two or three interns at a time and give them minor tasks and focus more on teaching them rather than getting something out of them.
    Oh I agree that the idea of taking a few interns and training and paying them is far superior to exploiting students. But if you're in a situation where you can either be work for free and learn a little or do nothing, some people will gamble on being used and trying to learn as much as they can wherever they end up which is risky but possibly beneficial. But this is not a great way to get things done in my opinion. What about people who can't financially afford to work for nothing for example.

    I agree with Elwell that using student labor is probably going to put them in the hole rather than in the black. How are they going to screen for quality when you have people who are still trying to learn about the trade?
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  18. #39
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    my 2 cents:
    1. If the interns are doing the actual production work, they are like cheap labor. On the other hand, if they are not doing the actual production work, they may think they are just doing some meaningless exercise.

    2. I agree that the interns are doing that because they don't have a better alternative. If the good studios can offer more intern opportunities, the situation will improve. Otherwise the image of the whole industry may be adversely affected.


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