The Royal Crest room ... before the hordes of revelers descended ...
Last night's do at the Pickwick Center in Burbank was among the most well-attended holiday parties that TAG has thrown. As one artist told us: "With the studios cutting back, this is the party where everybody in animation can come and see each other ..."
TAG Executive Board members Nicole Dubuc, Bronwen Barry, and Karen Nugent hold down the fort at the gifts and donations table.
This year we got the crowd-flow thing better addressed: No humungous lines waiting for food, no super waits at the bars, and the only crush of bodies came at party's peak around the entrance to the smaller room.
So, better. Not perfect, but better.
I got to talk to a ton of people. Had occasion to chat with several Simpsons staffers, who report that the artistic crews are soon to be laid off as they butt up against the deadlines for their animatics.
I'm informed that unlike the King of the Hill crew, they won't be going on to color until the writers come back to revise shows now in the pipeline. "Looks like I'm out of there in January" said one Yellow Family crew member.
For me, the five hours on Friday night was time well spent. I got to catch up with old friends who I seldom get to see. The industry has morphed and mutated a lot over the years, and not always for the better. Some are on staff but know the gig ends when the series doesn't get a pick up; others are doing lots of freelance in their home offices and studios; still others are working on their own projects ... or doing short gigs for boutique studios ... or out of the cartoon industry altogether.
If you attended, thanks for coming and hope you had an enjoyable time. If the fates allow, we'll do it again next year.
Here are lots more photographs, courtesy of Animation Nation.
And here are three more board members at the front table. I'm particularly fond of that one in the middle (although Mr. Cataldi on the left and Mr. Calabrese on the right are quite fine in their own special ways) ...