In most ways it's pointless to do this, but I do it anyway. Charles Z. writes from Animation Nation:
The fellow was disappointed in the Guild, as many people are for whatever their reasons. A few days before he visited the Guild's new building on Hollywood Way in Burbank. I knew they were constructing there, but didn't know they've moved in and were operating from the new location.
He commented on how big yet empty the place is, and I said they'll fill it up. He's unemployed by the way, for several months now. He then mentioned that he didn't think the Guild had much interest in helping established members. I asked him why he felt that way.
He said it was economics. A new member means a several thousand dollar initiation fee right away. Older members pay quarterly dues and not nearly as much per year as a new member would bring in from the outset. Older members didn't pay as high a fee to join, whereas new memberships have a bigger initial payoff ...
Let me roll out a few points here, because it's good to know how The Animation Guild works.
We were founded in '52, largely as an alternative to the fading Screen Cartoonists Guild. (An orphan union, since its parent organization -- the Conference of Studio Unions -- had gone under in a nasty jurisdictional spat.)
TAG is run by officers elected from TAG membership. I come from a story background, the vice-president is a writer/story person, the President is an animator, board members are board artists, timing directors, animation checkers, writers, all elected for three-year terms.
TAG has been in six buildings since 1952, owned four of them (probably), and occupied the Lankershim facility for just under thirty years. The single biggest problem with the place was there was minimal parking. (We ran a lot of classes with lots of students so it was an ongoing problem.)
The officers of TAG have discussed acquiring a new building with more parking for a decade. Four years ago, the board began searching for a new location. When a property was selected, the board went to the membership for approval and got it. In late July, we moved in to the new building.
The money for purchase and renovation of the building came out of existing general funds.
Unlike several IA locals (Editors, Grips, Electricians, etc.) the Animation Guild has no industry hiring roster (that's a list of "qualified members" available for work), or call stewards that place rostered members into jobs. In that way, we're more like the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild, and Writers Guild.
In my experience, TAG staff spends far more time assisting members in their search for work than non-members or new members. There has been a lot of displacement of veteran employees in the past nine years; I see it ... and hear the resulting anxiety ... every time I walk through a studio. What does TAG do about it? For the last ten years we have been retraining members for c.g.i. work through grants, funding of different guild classes, and TAG's computer lab.
I've been involved with the animation business for thirty years, and this is the most challenging it has ever been. Long term employment is now the exception rather than the rule. Computers dominate all parts of 'Toonland, and if you are digitally challenged -- even if you've worked steadily for decades -- you will have a problem getting employment.
There's also the reality of more people chasing fewer jobs, general agism, and the producers' desires to cut production budgets wherever and whenever possible. (Just a few weeks ago, a studio was looking to get rid of its sick days; TAG assisted the employees in pushing back against the move and got it stopped.)
Face it: we don't live in the happiest of times. When I get too down about it, I remember the immortal words of singer-song writer Roger Miller:
“... But everythin' changes a little as it should, good ain't forever and bad ain't for good.” ...
Add On: Having said all that, the magazine ad is waaay too old.