· Extra Drawings for the Animatic: Some directors want more than just key poses in production boards. They want breakdowns and inbetweens so that the animatic “plays.” (i.e. no lengthy, “held” drawings.) The trouble is, often there’s no extra time for the additional drawings required.
· Tighter Schedules and More Complex Boards. Tying into the extra drawing noted above, there is also the specter of less time to do them. This isn’t a huge problem if you’re on staff and charging overtime (like that happens a lot), but the reality is: You’re given a schedule and expected to hit the deadline at the end of it. You’re also expected to stage layouts, do the extra drawings for the animatic, and do revisions. With some shows, the schedules are doable. With other shows, not so much. What often happens is that employees take the work home to keep up with the schedule. Naturally, there’s no overtime.
· Outlines getting labeled “Premises.” In days of yore, a premise was simple: a couple of sentences or a paragraph that broad-stroked the set-up and story for a half-hour or short. A story editor would look at the premise and decide whether to greenlight the premise to outline and script. Simple. Only now lots of story editors want a premise that is multiple pages. (Maybe five. Maybe ten. It’s kind of elastic.) This is really an outline (with a contractually-required payment) getting dressed up as a premise (with, naturally, no requirement of payment). Rule of thumb: a premise is one double-spaced page or less. An outline is more than a page.
The reality today is that many folks in the animation biz just suck it up. If they have a gripe, they keep it to themselves and refrain from rocking the boat or risking the imagined guillotine. The problem with this approach is that, over time, the workloads get heavier and heavier. Sometimes, despite the fear of hissing blades, it's a good idea to speak out.