It's the usual week with the usual march through signator studios.
The way it usually goes: I show up at somebody's cubicle. They look up and give me a reflexive grin.
"Oh hi. What's happening at the other studios?"
I tell them to the best of my knowledge. Then: "How are things going around here?"
"Everything's fine." And a second smile.
I move on. But half way through the walk-through, somebody looks up and doesn't smile...
...and I get the issue that is usually rattling around the studio. Of late, it's too-short production board schedules and the unpaid overtime artists work to make the deadline.
This isn't the reality for every show at every studio. Some schedules, believe it or not, do reflect workplace reality. But others don't.
And the places where it doesn't? They were major topics at the May General Membership meeting.
Earlier this week, a production boarder did a breakdown of how, with the shortened schedule, any competent board artist was going to have thirty extra hours of work if she (or he) expected to deliver an eleven-minute board on time. Another told me that the only normal work-weeks he has are the ones where he's roughing out panels. When he gets to cleaning them up, he's "working insane hours."
TAG will meet with studios to address this issue.
Do any good? I'm hopeful. As of this afternoon, I got word from a well-known 'toon factory that after receiving TAG's letter about writers' outlines being mislabeled as "premises", it will retroactively pay short-changed writers for work performed.
Squeaking wheels, and all that.