Friday, May 25, 2007

Farewell Sander

This has been echoing on the animation jungle telegraph for some time now. I heard whisperings about Sander S.'s departure from Warners like maybe a month and a half ago. Since we don't traffic in scurrilous rumor around here, I kept my yap shut...

Sander Schwartz is ankling his post as Warner Bros. Animation prexy after six years with the studio.

Schwartz will segue to a production pact with the studio. He'll focus on developing a range of animated projects for broadband and new-media outlets as part of the Warner Bros. TV Group's big push into original programming for the Net. Warners has yet to name a successor for Schwartz; a search is under way and is expected to take a few months.

Sander Schwartz came over to Warners from Sony Adelaide, replacing Jean McCurdy at a time when the studio was very quiet (as in "few people working there".) A year later, the place was jumping with activity.

I've no idea why Warners Animation has been so sleepy and relatively inactive the last fourteen months, but then I'm not let in on all the corporate hob-nobbing that leads to the sleepiness. I do know that not giving Warners Animation product a bigger berth on Cartoon Network seems short-sighted. But I'm only a union thug, so what do I know?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh no! who will bring us the next LOONATICS UNLEASHED?!?!?!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Wait... someone was actually IN CHARGE of animation at Warner's? I would never have guessed that.

Anonymous said...

Oh Glory Be!

Anonymous said...

When I joined on as a director at Sony and you were in charge, on my first day of work my team of artists came to me and said producers were asking them to work weekends, then walking around the cubicles on Sunday saying that, sadly, there was no money to pay them for their work.

I Xeroxed the page from the Union Contract about overtime and had everyone pin it up in their cubicle.

Later, still at Sony under your helm, other shows would call up and hire my artists for emergency weekend freelance,...then tell them when the freelance was done that there was no money to pay them. I talked to other directors, and this was happening throughout the building...producers calling other teams and promising freelance. More than once, I heard that the "we can't pay you" message came from your #2 in command.

I worked at Warner Bros. Animation when you were there, too. I came to regard you and Marge Dean as the "Angels of Death" of animation....you'd appear at the studio, and then a few years later the studio would close down.

Buh-bye.

Steve Hulett said...

TAG filed grievances at Adelaide over the years and got some overtime paid. But only some.

When Mr. Schwartz went to work at WB, I got asked by long-time staffers, "What's it going to be like?"

I said: "You'll be doing way more work for way less money."

Which proved to be true.

David Germain said...

oh no! who will bring us the next LOONATICS UNLEASHED?!?!?!?!?!?!

Don't forget, he was also the ass who brought us Baby Looney Tunes. >:P

Good riddence to bad rubbish, I say.

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Kevin W. Martinez said...

Wow, first time commenting on the TAG blog.

Sander Schwartz was one of the baddun's, but if you can imagine it (and I'm sure most of you can), but there's a very high possibility that Warner might bring in someone even worse to fill in Schwartz' niche with. If you think this was gloom, think of the Hell that would be raised if Warner brought in David Stanton or someone else from the Dark Ages of Eisner's Disney administration (1995-2004).

Baby Loonatics, anyone?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Good Riddance...Warners needs someone with a vision.....He was not concerned with long term branding...his short term short sighted made Warners a real hack house...damn shame he ran it into the ground.

Anonymous said...

I ran a sizeable studio outside of LA for 10 years. The commenters bitching about Sander have NO IDEA what the hell you are talking about.

The animation industry has undergone MASSIVE changes that have NOTHING TO DO with the efforts of Sander or other folks.

By way of example, a good saturday morning cartoon used to have a budget of $450,000 per episode (or more). Last time I saw a budget, you were lucky to get $150,000. It is simply not possible to create good work for one third the money. I find it amazing that Sander was able to maintain the size of team WB had, let alone product the number of shows they delivered on time.

Toy companies, who fund most cartoons in one form or another, have been on the skids for years. They simply don't have the budgets they used to.

And if you think Sander is one of the worst in town, you very clearly (a) have no experience in Hollywood and (b) are incredibly naive.

When I worked professionally with Sander and Marge they were nothing but professional, paid on time (about the only client that did) and just got on with the task at hand...

It's easy to sling shit from a distance. Try running a studio in todays market and we'll see how you feel then...

Anonymous said...

Above comment attributed to Sander and/or Marge

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Anonymous said...

God please don't let Pam Coats or Stainton take his position.

Anonymous said...

Warners just really needs to rehaul their entire executive body. With the exception of one person, they're all pretty much useless.

Anonymous said...

Oh grow-up, the lot of you. I've never seen such a load of ignorant, whiny bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... grow up and learn to be treated horribly by a truly hateful and ignorant man and learn not to whine about it!

Anonymous said...

I thought Sander was an interesting guy who was helpful at times, cruel at times, and strange at times. I could never figure him out. If the cruelty was not directed at "you", he was very funny. Often, I would laugh my ass off at the stuff he said. It's a tough business these days. Frankly, the nicest person in the business is Lisa Salamone at Disney. I wish she could be the President of a studio-- what a lovely person. Well, we all have our opinions. I'm sure Sander has people who like him-- the problem is that those people don't tend to post that kind of stuff. One more thing-- I know this for a fact-- if you ask Sander for help, he will try to help you. Do it and see. You'll be surprised. God Bless us all.

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