Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Where's everyone working?

Okay, you've read us saying that employment is up, but here's where people are working ... This chart is broken down by signator company and contract, which might at first seem a little confusing. For example, we break out the people working under the Guild's contract with Disney (which we re-negotiated in April) from the people working at Disney under the IATSE's contract with The Secret Lab (which the IATSE will be re-negotiating next month). [Editor's note: in case that's not clear, TSL employees are Disney employees, so the total number of animation professionals at Disney is the sum of those under the local 839 contract (the 15.6% in medium purple on the pie chart) AND those under the TSL contract (the 13.8% beige slice). All are Animation Guild members, so the total Disney percentage of the Guild's union workforce is 29.4%, making them our largest employer.] Sony Pictures Animation, the unit of pre-animation artists that just finished the Open Season feature under an IATSE contract, is broken out from the small Adelaide Productions group working on "The Boondocks" TV series under the Guild's contract. Drawing Pictures, James Baxter's Pasadena unit, is paying their employees through a "payroll company" that signs the Guild contract, calculates and submits Guild benefit contributions and handles grievances and other contract-related tasks. This is becoming increasingly common for smaller "one-shots" such as the "Alien Racers" unit at Sabella-Dern. All in all, signs of a busy season in the L.A. animation biz.


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

If the chart is broken down according to signator COMPANY, then all of the TSL folks should be properly listed under "Disney" (the company). If, however, the chart is going to indicate percentages by CONTRACT, then there should be no company names at all. Currently, that chart is a bit misleading in that it seems to indicate that there are less people working union at Disney then there are at Dreamworks.

Anonymous said...

Or, the chart could indicate "Disney (839)" and "Disney (TSL)". I know it sounds like a quibble, but the folks covered under the TSL Agreement work for Walt Disney Feature Animation! :-)

Steve Hulett said...

We break down TSL as TSL because of the history of changing contracts at Disney.

So, please consider TSL and Disney as "Disney." If we were to break it down by contract, there would be but three colors on ye olde pie chart -- TSL, Sony Pictures Animation, and Local 839. Wouldn't be very useful.

Anonymous said...

> We break down TSL as TSL because
> of the history of changing contracts
> at Disney.

How 'bout you just call it "Disney", since, as you indicate: "This chart is broken down according to signator COMPANY." TSL is NOT a company. Disney is.


Kevin Koch said...

I think it's pretty simple math to add 15.6% and 13.8% and come up with 29.4%. The advantage of showing the data this way is that it gives some very useful information about our contracts. My guess would have been that the vast majority of those at Disney were now under the TSL contract. Now it's clear that it's only about half. So you have the information about what percentage of Guild members are at Disney, plus the additional information about which contract people are under.

I agree that when Jeff and Steve redo this graphic that the second suggestion above ('Disney 839' and 'Disney TSL' labels) would be more clear (just as 'Film Roman' should probably be 'Film Roman/IDT'), but otherwise the graphic is clear.

Anonymous said...

> I think it's pretty simple math
> to add 15.6% and 13.8% and come
> up with 29.4%.

Sure... if you're aware that the cream-colored "TSL" is really "Disney", and should be added to the purple "Disney" next to it. To the uninitiated, this is a misleading graph.

So again, if the graphic is supposed to portray the signator COMPANY, then follow your premise and list the COMPANY: Disney.

Kevin Koch said...

I've corrected the text in the original post to accurately refect the graphic. Hope that clears things up.

Anonymous said...

So, as long as this misleading graph is never printed and distributed separate from the extensive caveat which it requires, we should be fine. ;-)

I'd strongly recommend a better graph - one which requires no explanation.

Kevin Koch said...

My bet is that as long as Disney has about half it's people under one contract, and the other half under a distinct but virtually identical second contract, any such graph will always need some kind of explanation. But your point about improving the clarity of the labels is taken.

Anonymous said...

How many people are represented by those percentages? I'd also like to know how many Guild members are unemployed right now.

Kevin Koch said...

Go here to see our employment numbers. We don't have any way to track unemployment numbers.

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