Sunday, August 03, 2008

Answering the Question About Hulett's Position On Animation Writers

As Mr. Marmel lifts from here, so I return the favor.

A commenter on Animation Writers asks:

Did i readit write that Steve hullet wrote that he thought all writers should be covered by the WGA, even animation writers? ...

No, Steve Hulett never wrote that.

What Steve Hulett wrote was, he thinks non-represented writers, be they animation or live action, should organize under the union with which they choose to affiliate.

A few weeks ago, Steve Hulett told Patric Verrone and the WGA assistant executive director (who's name I forget), that if the WGA is organizing non-represented animation writers and TAG is able to stay out of the way, then TAG will stay out of the way.

Sometimes it isn't possible to stand clear, other times it is. I've experienced both phenomena.

Also, its unclear to me, do these writers get to keep their own residuals?

Assuming this means the Sit Down, Shut Up writers, yes they do.

The SDSU writers get the WGA-style residuals they negotiated under the TAG c.b.a.'s "Better terms and conditions" clause, and they get the residuals that the IATSE negotiated that flow into the Motion Picture Industry Health and Pension Plan.


Anonymous said...

Well, then. If there were ever a TAG show a professional artist could be absolutely certain they were getting screwed on, it would be Sit Down Shut Up. Kind of motivates one to slip in crappy Tiny Toons animation wherever possible, as this is just the latest in the long, tragic legacy of Hollywood animation servitude.

But, hey! They're jobs, right T. Short? Oh, wait, he's bailed with the last parachute.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what point the above poster is trying to make. The domestic artistic jobs on SDSU are union jobs, with union benefits and union minimums. There have been plenty of animated shows with writers in charge -- why is this the exception? Sure, it's unfortunate that we don't see animators and story artists getting the kinds of deals that the studios are willing to give prime-time writers, but that's nothing new.

Steve Hulett said...

Jeebus, I must be getting old, because I don't have the foggiest idea what Anon #1 is talking about.

1) The SDSU artistic jobs are as good as many others.

2) Tiny Toons was (and is) was one of the higher quality animated shows produced since I've been biz rep. Animatin keys done stateside (a rarity, even then) and layouts done stateside (almost never done).

Anonymous said...

I dunno. It seems to me that what the WGA and SAG both assert first and foremost is that what their membership creates is both original and unique. They seek compensation based on the works intrinsic value, even within the work-for-hire framework under which all Hollywood talent is negotiated. Until TAG does the same for those who draw, the sad relentless flogging by the rest of LA will continue without end. In the right-brained mind, what is drawn on paper is worth no less than what is typed on a word processor or spoken into a mic - all 12 drawings per second worth. And please, please, PLEASE Jesus don't lift up Tiny Toons as a beacon in this long dark journey through WGA hell. We are doomed in this Hollywood AND in the one waiting for us hereafter by even mentioning that sad WB animation legacy in front of the LA elite.

You know, on second thought, given the current state of television animation, I would much rather work on the dreck of Tiny Toons than yet another one of the WGA’s Hail Mary’s to prime time residual heaven. Now that is indeed sad.

Anonymous said...

does this mean the animation directors can get dga-style deals?

Anonymous said...

Get a clue, anon 1 and 4. Do you really think WGA, SAG, and DGA are your problems? Are they the ones conspiring to keep animators down? If they didn't exist would your pay go up or would their pay just go down? You're so green with envy that it makes you hate the wrong people. Try the studios. And try getting your fellow animators to collectively demand better pay. Stop hating the wrong people.

hoopcooper said...

Steve H. is right about the artists on SDSU, the point of being covered by a union (which they are by TAG) is that they have some collective power and put money into a collective pot for their doctors' visits and old age. If eight or nine writers aren't part of that pot, I don't think it's going to keep the new TAG building from getting built.

But yes, it is the studios jobs nowadays to get the work as cheaply as possible. Regardless, sadly, of the effect it has on quality or morale. Your job as artists is to try to reverse that trend, not scan the grassy knoll for another writer with a gun.

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