Friday, December 08, 2006

What Size is the Animation Guild?

A topic that comes up from time to time is, how big is TAG, anyway?.

When I came into this job some little time ago, active membership hovered around 700. This was below, way below, its average of 1500-1600 members when Hanna-Barbera and Filmation were going full bore and ink-and-paint employees had been a large part of TAG (then Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists) membership...

Outsourcing to the Pacific rim had a large impact on our health. By 1989-1990, frankly, we were in a dead-calm. But then tv animation got several jolts of adreneline, and feature animation took off, and by 1996 we were up to 2500 active members (about 75-83% of those gainfully employed.

Then we hit another downdraft. Various feature animation studios closed. Disney downsized. TV animation stopped carrying staff between projects. And before you can say Cruellea DeVille we were down to 1500 members again.

And here we are in 2006, with project-to-project work, DFA on the cusp of more layoffs, and this morning I checked and found we are at 2,128 members. Not the heights of 1996, but not bad.


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