At a studio this week I fell into a long conversation with a 25-year animation veteran.
He lamented that the industry had morphed from long-term employment to daily hire, short-term employment. ("Remember when everybody stayed at one studio for years, went from one show to another?")
I said I did.
He talked about how he got into the business because drawing waw what he loved to do, how the industry had changed, and not for the better:
"The show I'm on now, it's a nice project, but we're hitting a mid-season bump in the road and the artists are getting laid off for a few weeks. We think. The company doesn't want to give us re-hire dates, eve though most of us will be coming back. So nobody knows when they return. Or if."
I mentioned the unpaid overtime I see going on around town. He smiled sheepishly.
"Yeah, I'm one of those. I get the schedule and I make the decision to haul the work home, get it done. I just eat the overtime."
Like many, I said.
"So what's the solution?" he asked.
Getting people to push back as a group, I answered. Building a culture where artists don't let it happen.
How, he wanted to know.
I told him if I had the answer to that, I'd be in a higher pay grade. But in the meantime I just work to raise awareness and get people to stop doing it.
* This is another in our continuing series about uncompensated overtime And the animation business. Plus the people in it.