Monday, February 18, 2008

At Sony Pictures Animation

The end of last week, I spent time wandering around SPA (Sony Pictures Animation) in Culver City. Despite the studio's announced plan to sell half of it, there is still a full complement of artists working on various projects ...

Cloudy with Meatballs is still in development, as are a couple of other feature projects. Some artists have been put on short hiatuses as Sony head Amy Pascal and the division's management decide where the unit goes over the next year or three. One artist who's been there from almost the beginning said to me:

"This place has some of the most accomplished professionals in the business working for it. They just need the right material to get green-lighted ...

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope they don't give up on that unit. "Open Season" was a wonderful, stylish movie. Just a few third act things kept that from being great.

Nelson C. Woodstock said...

Are they going to keep the TV side at Adelaide?

Steve Hulett said...

Adelaide is separate and apart from SPA. Right now it's producing 1/2 hours of Spiderman.

One problem for SONY is, as a foreign-owned movie studio, it can't own television networks or cable channels.

Anonymous said...

amy pascal knows as much about animation as she does about thermonuclear science: NOTHING. On top of that, she's an ill tempered screamer who does not respect talent.

Anonymous said...

She might not know much, but I understand she knows that Cloudy is a moneypit and will probably never find a story to tell.

All the talent in the world can't polish a turd so that audiences will want to see it. SPA needs to decide who they are and so far they want to be DW's clone and that seems to not be such a good fit.

Steve Hulett said...

Stop beating around the bush, Anon2. Tell us what you really think.

Anonymous said...

"She might not know much, but I understand she knows that Cloudy is a moneypit and will probably never find a story to tell.

All the talent in the world can't polish a turd so that audiences will want to see it. SPA needs to decide who they are and so far they want to be DW's clone and that seems to not be such a good fit."

Good gawd, that's quite a rant. As I recall it took years to coax a proper story out of "Bambie" before it was ready to become an animated feature - while I am not suggesting that "Clody with a Chance..." will be another "Bambie" I don't see the need for venom spitting.

Anonymous said...

"This place has some of the most accomplished professionals in the business working for it."

Side by side with some of the most clueless executives ever to walk the earth.

Anonymous said...

C'mon, give Surf's Up some credit here. It got released by aforesaid execs 2 WEEKS after the Happy Feet DVD dropped...and in between Rat and Shrek and Pirates 3. Yeah, that was good thinking. No wonder almost no one saw it.

The people who did see it liked it. How else to account that it got the Oscar nom with NO campaigning by the studio exec? Those execs were probably convinced it didn't do well because it was a "bad" movie," (based on box office) not considering that if they'd released it at almost ANY other time of year it would have done much better at the box office.

Steven E. Gordon said...

For my money Surf's Up tracks better than the other two films up for Best Animated Film.

Anonymous said...

Problem with sony animation is too may executives from visual effects and not enough from animation; they are not completely interchangable, especially where creative and production pipelines are concerned. It's a wonder a films as cartoony (and wonderfully so) as "Open Season" and "Surf's Up" actually got made!

Site Meter