Thank God It's Friday.
My end of week romps took me to Disney TVA at the Frank Wells Building, Rough Draft, and good old Film Roman.
At Rough Draft in Glendale, I eased past workmen installing a new front door and visited the Sit Down, Shut Up artistic staff. The show is humming along now, and most everyone Sony/Rough Draft intends to hire has been hired. The animated sitcom goes on the air next April, so my stoolies tell me. (The actual date I heard was April 19. Hopefully it's accurate).
At Disney Television Animation / Frank Wells, there are a handful of shows happening. The Replacements is in post, with most (all?) of the artistic staff gone; Inspector Oso remains in production, and Phineas and Ferb is bopping along with its new season.
As I walked down the hall, I heard artists making gallows jokes about My Friends, Tigger and Pooh. Bad news, apparently, gets around. And gets reactions. (When you're an animation employee, that reaction is often black humor.)
And over near the fabled Bob Hope Airport, the Goode Family and King of the Hill half-hours are almost fully staffed at Film Roman/Starz Media. A newer employee on GF said:
"This is my second time at Film Roman, and I like working here. I particulalry like this show. People are mellow, people are nice, and I'm not working 80 hours a week and getting paid for 40 like I was on my last gig."
Which brings up the eternal, ever-present "unpaid overtime" phenomena. The subject was brought up multiple times this week by board artists and directors. As one of them said:
"It's a market thing. You know damn well what the situation is when you're taking work home or working at the studio 'til ten. There's lots of unemployed artists out there, and if you don't knuckle under and do the extra work for free, they'll go find somebody who will.
"Back in the nineties, the shoe was on the other foot. The studios were hard up for qualified talent, and a lot of us took advantage of that. But now, it ain't going to happen" ...
Fatalistic, wouldn't you say?
I had another long discussion with a board artist about this earlier in the week. He totally got that union reps can't follow people home to find out if they're working off the clock or not. If people ignore the collective bargaining agreement and/or labor law and work extra hours without additional compensation, then nobody can stop them (though at various times, I give it the good old college try.)