Tuesday, March 14, 2006
We all know of people on the artistic and technical side of animation who have, shall we say, made careers not based on what they can actually do, but on who they know, or where they've been, or whatever. Fortunately, those who can't actually create anything useful usually get found out soon enough. Word gets around, and they disappear. And the famous Peter Principle (getting successive promotions until you reach your level of incompetency) tends to be balanced out by the general meritocracy of animation. In a nutshell, you can only fake it as an artist, writer, or TD for so long. For producers, however, dealing as they do in so many intangibles, even the Peter Principle doesn't work. On the production side, if you're associated with successful projects, you can keep moving up the food chain, even when you don't bring a single thing to the table. I'm reminded of this from reading a news item on AWN about a new feature studio being formed on the other side of the pond, one that will be headed up by a producer of one of the films I animated on. Now, I hate to say this producer was weak, but from where I sat every single decision and comment he made was 180 degrees wrong. It was uncanny. If he said a character should move faster, you knew you needed to slow things down. If he said a door should open inwards, you knew for certain that it needed to open outwards. Fortunately, the other producer on this film was an excellent one. That second producer acted as a 'solvent.' That is, when he was around, the first guy just kind of dissolved. When they were both in the room, the first guy became invisible. And now he's heading his own studio? My head is spinning.
Posted by Kevin Koch at 5:32 PM