Warners employees called today to explain:
"The series Laff Riot is laying off most of its artists. They told us today that the show is retooling, going in a different direction, and won't be carrying staff while it takes eight or ten weeks to revamp. They expect to ramp back up mid to late January. How many of us will be coming back, they didn't say."
I know this is a big disappointment to designers and board artists who were anticipating a year or more of steady work on the twenty-six half-hours of Laff Riot. "Wanted you to know what's going on over here," a production board artist said to me on the phone. "This caught us all by surprise. It's only been four months. Nothing to do now but go look for another job."
I was at Warners earlier this week and had no inkling of this ...
Down the freeway at Disney TVA Sonora, crews on two show are slowly returning to work.
And at the Walt Disney Animation Studio, they have laid off all but two of the cleanup artists who came aboard for The Princess and the Frog. At the same time, animators are being hired for Rapunzel and sequences are being put in work. (They kind of have to jump into action. The picture has a release date that's only a year away.)
The rest of the cartoon business? It's like the pistons in a 12-cylinder engine: one is going up while another's moving down, which is nerve-wracking for a whole lot of people.