Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hitting the Gray Wall

So I was at a good friend's birthday party yesterday (he's fifty-seven) and he says to me:

"You know Bill* over at Warners*? He got cut loose from his executive job last Wednesday, after thirty-six years with the studio ..."

I've known Bill for decades. He's been a valued employee for as long as I can remember, with lots of skill, all-around savvy and institutional memory crammed into his head. I saw him a week ago and chatted with him briefly; Bill was as enthusiastic and upbeat as ever. He gave no inkling to me that this was coming. (He probably had no inkling.)

But you know what? My jaw didn't drop open in stunned disbelief when I heard the news. I just snorted, shook my head and muttered, "You don't say ..."

I bring Bill up here because he had wrinkles and gray hair. And the reality of the 21st century workplace is, if you work for one of our fine conglomerates and you are over fifty, no matter who you are, you have no job security. The pervasive attitude is, "So what did you do for me last Tuesday?" And if last Tuesday is found wanting, then it's goodbye, good luck and drive safely.

(And yes, the savvy among you will say "There's no job security under fifty, either," and you're right. But the attrition is somewhat lower in the younger age brackets because the crow's feet and receding hairlines are less pronounced. And support groups are still in place.)

None of this is news to animation workers. At the same party, I had a fifty-six-year-old artist who I've also known for decades come up to me and whisper, "You know, I've got thirty years in the business, but I don't think I'm going to get the other six I need to retire. I've hit a wall."

He, too, has gray hair and wrinkles.

I've harped on this before, and it's probably getting tiresome, but I reiterate the old lecture anyway: There is no workable strategy to avoid aging, but there are ways for you to avoid catastrophe in your fifth decade when you're sailing along and suddenly hit an air pocket. Here (yet again) they are:

Save your damn money. If you're making twelve hundred bucks a week, find a way to get by on a thousand.

If you're on the brink of divorce, find a way to patch things up, because the next spouse you hook up with is going to be pretty similar to the current one you're jettisoning, and you'll have a lot more money sticking together.

Work (if at all possible) someplace that provides you with a pension. You'll need it later.

Piss off as few people as you can. You walk over them now, they'll walk over you in 2013. (Which is another way of saying "If you help minimize other people's suffering, they might assist in minimizing yours.")

Improve your chops. Then improve your chops again. You'll stay more relevant.

Save your damn money.

Lastly, don't take the day-to-day crapola too seriously; you're not going to achieve all your goals but you can be happy anyway. As my smart-ass teen-aged son is fond of telling me:

Life's a journey, and we're all headed to the same place.

* Incorrect names, in case you're wondering. But the story is true.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

This shit is depressing.

Floyd Norman said...

Maybe we can take a hint from those actors at the Golden Globes tonight. It's time to get some "work" done. Not on the board -- on ourselves.

Who knows. With enough lifts and tucks, we can pass for forty.

Desclosed Locater said...

I've seen you Floyd, you can already pass for forty.

Well, maybe forty five. ;)

Anonymous said...

What's that like to be at a company for over three years?

Anonymous said...

Be thankful you had three years. Most folks over forty barely get three months.

Anonymous said...

I am. Why are we talking about 36 years as if it were a failure? Sounds like a huge success story to me.

Anonymous said...

yes, what is it like to work for a company for more than 3 years!?
Does it even happen anymore!?
and yes, huge success story! you should be so lucky. you and your family should be proud of your accomplishments. retire with dignity, get a cool hobby and let someone else take the reigns. quit living in the past.

Anonymous said...

Off to Carousel for renewal... And if you got that reference, you've probably already been laid off. ;)

Anonymous said...

I spent a dozen plus years with one of the biggest animation companies in the world. since they cut back and released so many of us i have made my own path and it is liberating to say the least. Enjoy the new freedom to forge your own destiny and not have to depend on the big brother studio model.

...go get'em no matter what your age may be.

Who ARE you people? said...

"get a cool hobby and let someone else take the reigns. quit living in the past."
"Enjoy the new freedom to forge your own destiny"

Problem, what problem? Look on the sunny side! Have a positive attitude!
I can't believe what I am reading!

I am happy for all the people who have been doing so well for so long that they can afford to be philosophical. They can take it all in stride, lucky people for whom being out of work is nothing more than a "morale" problem. Maybe some of these posters are younger employed artists who are in denial. They simply don't want to be bothered with the problems of others. Rest assured, they will be your problems soon.

As for me, it's very very real. I can't afford to be "philosophical." I can't afford to retire. Hobbies won't pay the rent. There is no one who can "take the reigns" in my life. I need to work. I want to work, and I am able to work. Nobody, but nobody should be able to tell me I can't for reasons so arbitrary as the date on my birth certificate.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this story was about a guy who was laid off after THIRTY-SIX YEARS!

Any other considerations aside, to complain that the party's over NOW, well, sit down and join the party, friend. It's tough but there it is.

He was in an executive job as well? OK, I'm going out on a limb here and guess that he made far, far more money(including bonuses) for the last 20 than I have in my entire 19 years in the business as a NON executive(it's also obvious that the only company in business that long in any form is the Walt Disney Co). If you have no backup at all after that long in an exec position you';ve been coasting like a postal clerk in the soviet empire. Don't kid yourself and expect pity for god's sake.

I'm not happy for someone in that situation but neither is it a tragedy considering not only the state of animation but the freaking state of show business for the last...well, since forever.

This is the absolute worst example to expect us, the bulk of the membership, to empathize with. Sorry but...jeez.

Anonymous said...

If you're on the brink of divorce, find a way to patch things up, because the next spouse you hook up with is going to be pretty similar to the current one you're jettisoning, and you'll have a lot more money sticking together.

Sometimes, jettisoning that spouse is worth all the money in the world. :)

Anonymous said...

the original post used the example of an exec who worked 36 years at the same company. that is extraordinary to most people working in the private world in today's america.

philosophy has nothing to do with it. i think people, young and old, find it extraordinary, and not the norm. it is a very poor example of labor reality, and odd to be used as a talking point on an entertainment labor blog.

forget the fact that it is never mentioned if this individual was financially ill-prepared for this or not. the very, very few people I have known to dig in for THAT long either have earned some kind of finish line pension or have been paid enough to squirrel away a few nuts to keep them showing up to work for so long.

Anonymous said...

Logan's Run may be an outdated movie, but it's one of my faves! and i'm in my 20's. We young folk have are not in denial nor are we jaded. We have a different perspective on the reality of the industry. No ones jobs are secure, no matter what age... and they never will be.

Anonymous said...

my job would be secure if our collection bargaining agreement included residuals for that work I did on Logan's Run.

Anonymous said...

so i'm wondering if this is really going to get made? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0402344/

I'm just not picturing a contemporary Logan's Run as a good thing.

god said...

But there is a modern version of "Logans Run", it's called "The Island", by Michael Bay.

And it's pretty good too.

r

Anonymous said...

Animation was never really a long term job. Some may stay in one place but features are usually job to job and especially places like Disney. It's like a year . Also if you aren't pals with the management or have someone with a grudge aboard then don't expect to be hired. It's as simple as that. It's not about art so don't be hurt . If groveling is required over 50 it's because you must have been one of those animators, that took 10,000 a week ! I mean , they will take for granted you were one of "those" and punish you accordingly.

Is there ageism , sure but more it's hire your friends and that is fine. They need that comfort , why hire competition ? On the companies side , it's not about art or ability or any of that. It's about money. That simple . I met someone , a Disney vet ,who on PatF had their pay cut in half and were made to work under someone half their age as a lead. Even given that the stunning choice of a Disney formula film to be represented as "a Disney Feature" brings back memories of DTV direct to video's.

Is it depressing ? Yes and no, it's about doing something you love and what could be depressing about that ? I think that the union salaries for 2D are being forced too high, but that is my opinion but decide for yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Is there ageism , sure but..."

Then why is everybody talking around it? That was the point of the posting: Ageism, not that one guy. He was just an example.

Steve Hulett said...

Righto.

Forget the 36-year part. The nub of it is ... he hit fifty-five, and despite his long tenure, his good work, and his corporate title, he was shown the door.

Hapens to him, it can happen to anybody.

For animators, storyboard artists, writers, editors, set decorators, it's one hell of a lot worse. They work job to job, they scramble from paycheck to paycheck, and they seldom have the kind of work security many employees in the fifties, sixties and seventies took for granted.

Anonymous said...

"As for me, it's very very real. I can't afford to be "philosophical." I can't afford to retire. Hobbies won't pay the rent. There is no one who can "take the reigns" in my life. I need to work. I want to work, and I am able to work."

If it's that real maybe you should have started saving for retirement decades ago. Hobbies can make you money, you just have to be clever enough to know how to turn your hobbies into a profitable project. Maybe you should be taking some of those discounted classes to keep up with the crowd as well as to be inspired.

Being able to have the time to be philosophical is not about luck or money, it's a choice. I don't think you understand, "let someone else take the reigns" is not about letting someone run your life, that's your own responsibility, which you have obviously lost sight of. Rather, someone will always be right behind you waiting for your position at work, and if they hustle better than you, they win, and you lose your job. You didn't cut it. Maybe it's because you were sulky in the hallways and didn't take the time to get to smile every once in a while. Maybe your attitude sucks. Maybe it's because you are not the best person suited for the job anymore.



***



Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life...
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the bright side of life...
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life...
(I mean - what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life...

Anonymous said...

-Hapens to him, it can happen to anybody.

and again, he worked for the same company for T-H-I-R-T-Y S-I-X Y-E-A-R-S.

That happens to no one on the art labor side, and it will not happen to any directors, animators, writers, board artists, set decorators, etc, etc, etc.

It's apples and oranges.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 4:26

You're right; there is no such thing as age discrimination. Everything is just, fair and logical. If you are having a problem with work it's got to be your own fault; you had a bad attitude, you slowed down and were overtaken by better, younger workers, you didn't keep up your skills. I'm king of the world, so if you're professional road kill, it's not my concern. Take up needlepoint or something. Just don't bother me about it. I'm too full of myself to think about you and your cry-baby problems.

Perhaps you were being ironic. I hope so. If not, did it ever occur to you that that Monty Python song was intended to mock people who give "advice" like yours?

Anonymous said...

See, ageism is alive and well in our own ranks. We don't have to bother pinning it on the Evil Invisible Corporate Giant at all, as the original post about our corporate friend 'Bill' would imply.

Anonymous said...

"Rather, someone will always be right behind you waiting for your position at work, and if they hustle better than you, they win, and you lose your job. You didn't cut it."-Yet another Anon

Now that made me laugh out loud .

"Maybe your attitude sucks. "-Yet another Anon

Or perhaps because ****s like you that hire your buddies or noobs because they are cheap ? I'm voting for the latter actually but it's all irrelevant really , the whole "someone right behind you" thing. There is someone right behind everyone , oh except the man/woman at the top and as even Eisner found out he was totally dispensable. Anyone miss his genius? No, I thought not.

The growing record of failure of these 2D attempts points to exactly the same thing and that is failure from the top down, not the bottom up. I found the entire premise of the Frog thing boring so I never went but I heard there was some good animation in it. Whoopee , didn't save it so just remember to tell that crew that everyone is waiting for their job. I mean honestly, what kind of moronic throwback makes that kind of a statement?! Immeasurable pettiness !

Anonymous said...

"Maybe you should be taking some of those discounted classes to keep up with the crowd as well as to be inspired." -Yet another Anon

When you prove that people who took those classes got hired. Otherwise you are asking people to pay money and time into things that do nothing. Like throwing a drowning man an anchor.

Anonymous said...

For all you 20- and 30-somethings: middle age arrives sooner than you think. It'll be your turn before you know it. Try to show some compassion; you'll find yourself on the other side soon enough.

Anonymous said...

I do have compassion, thanks very much, and I have since I witnessed this happen to several older men when I was just starting out. But a pity party about an EXEC(read: top of the pay scale) being let go after 36 years at one place with a mere 5 or so years before they can RETIRE? No.

There are more important situations happening every day to everyone in our union. This simply dosn't rank up there. And as has been pointed out a millon times: ageism like sexism is REAL and does exist in our industry-as it does in ALL industries, but ours more than many.

The thing is, you just cannot prove it-and therefore it sucks, but except for the one in a million chance that there's an actual hidden mike or you can obtain an email trail clearly stating what people only talk about face to face behind closed doors, forget it.

Not saying that's good, it's not, but there are some things that there are laws about in the world that in actual practice can't be really regulated. That's reality. Personally all I can do is do my best to not succumb to ageism myself. And that's it.

And by the way, please don't go to the affirmative action argument here-that IS different-didn't use to be, but thankfully is-and that really is the result of a substantial shift in attitudes. Such a shift has also happened for women, but sexism still remains and women still make less for the same exact jobs across the board(god knows they don't make more and probably never will).
But everyone-black, white, male, female-gets older and the bias will always be towards the young save for a few Sumner Redstone types who actually pull all the strings. Nihilistic? Maybe. but seems to the way it really goes in the world.

Anonymous said...

did Bill crash his car, too? bummer.

Anonymous said...

The comments had nothing to do with the 36 year exec , hell 36 years is an incredible run. I don't feel the slightest bit bad for them at all. In fact, congratulations for the long service. I celebrate their incredible success.

This was a discussion of how being a union member no longer means even a chance to be employed. You might consider that for a second and put that in your memory file for the future .

It's become about people who say " Hey, it's your own fault, maybe you had a bad attitude" or "there is someone waiting for your job".

I've seen them all come and go and I couldn't disagree more. I've seen blatant favoritism, clique mentality ,intentional discrimination, total misrepresentation from the inside so spare me. Had a friend who was slagged behind their backs for things they didn't even do and it sure wasn't an isolated case at all. It was common. If you want an example of how terrified the membership is look at all the anonymous posts. None of you really trust each other and with good reason.

We animators love to gossip. It's our thing and we do it so well. We are so full of self moralizing two faced shite. Perhaps it is from wanting to be liked or a personality flaw that we all share but it's there like a giant white head in the middle of our face.

So while you are trying to punish the aged unemployed have a good look backward. You can see clearly whats coming because for many of you in the digital age are 5 times as expendable. I do wish you all good luck.

Enough said...

"The thing is, you just cannot prove it-and therefore it sucks, but except for the one in a million chance that there's an actual hidden mike or you can obtain an email trail clearly stating what people only talk about face to face behind closed doors, forget it."

Funny you should mention it; there was a similar blog posting on ageism several months ago in which an anonymous poster said he was working at a major studio where an executive explicitly instructed his staff to not hire anyone over 40.

For some reason, this poster refused to name names. How anonymous does anonymous have to be to encourage you to feel safe enough to do something as important as that which impacts so many of us.

If you are out there, please reconsider. We need a name. We need an example. If you continue to protect this executive it's tantamount to being an accessory. It's as if you were equally guilty of discrimination. Maybe you are no longer even employed there. Please. Give up the name. You will be a hero to the entire work force.

g said...

Did you ever consider the possibility that the anonymous poster was lying to prove their point?

Im a thirty-something animator at a major studio and have also worked at several different ones. Young enough to not be jaded, but old enough not to be unrealistic and starry-eyed. The only discrimination I've seen is against people who arent pulling their weight artistically. This is caused from several reasons in my observation: Some have families and havent worked enough OT to maintain their shots. Some are young and havent learned to work efficiently and make newbie mistakes. Some struggle with the conversion to 3D from 2D. Some just straight up dont have the eye for it, and have been lucky to not have been fired already.

So I think harping about someone getting fired due to an -ism of your choice, while sometimes can seem legit, is probably really caused from several of those reasons. Producers dont like to fire footage-producers just because they have grey hair.

So bottom line is, youngins, respect your elders and hedge your bets. Oldin's, dont automatically cry foul and make ageism your scapegoat. Theres plenty of oldin's AND youngin's working, AND plenty out of work (the film Im on has a good mix of both, for sure). But from my experience, if someone is fired and replaced, they are almost always replaced with someone better than they were, young or old.

Anonymous said...

>>>"You know Bill* over at Warners*? He got cut loose from his executive job last Wednesday, after thirty-six years with the studio ..."I've known Bill for decades. He's been a valued employee for as long as I can remember, with lots of skill, all-around savvy and institutional memory crammed into his head. I saw him a week ago and chatted with him briefly; Bill was as enthusiastic and upbeat as ever. He gave no inkling to me that this was coming. (He probably had no inkling.)

For whatever bizarre reason, this started as a discussion about a corporate employee who no longer has a chance to be employed at the company he had a thirty-six year run with. It is entirely not about anything union, as union job security is non-existent because everyone gets fired after the show's over. Fired every 9 months or fired every year or every two years. Whatever. You're young - sorry, you're fired. You're old - sorry, you are fired. You are an older guy showing the younger guy the ropes? You are a younger guy showing the older guy the ropes? Hey, guess what - you're both fired. Male, female, black, white, democrat, republican - FIRED. Yes, there are a bunch of -isms running around, but among every union worker scrambling to find work because they are constantly fired, there is hardly time to consider much else except how the f*** can I get my foot in the door for the next gig. Bill's no longer at corporation XYZ? Who the hell is Bill?

Steve Hulett said...

he worked for the same company for T-H-I-R-T-Y S-I-X Y-E-A-R-S.

That happens to no one on the art labor side, and it will not happen to any directors, animators, writers, board artists, set decorators, etc, etc, etc.


Ron Clements -- 35 years with Disney

Ed Gombert (story artist) -- 27 years with Disney (he left for a better gig.)

John Musker -- 34 years.

There are others.

Anonymous said...

WQeren't John and Ron fired awhile back and recently re-hired?

Enough said...

"Did you ever consider the possibility that the anonymous poster was lying to prove their point?"

How arrogant is that? No, he has his observations just as you have yours; equally valid.

"The only discrimination I've seen is against people who arent pulling their weight artistically."

Yes, you are gainfully employed so the whole world makes sense; employers are universally fair, honest, logical and blameless- practically saints. Employees suffer no consequences that aren't entirely self-inflicted. You are working because you deserve it more than those of us who are not. You're my hero. When I grow up I want to be just like you.

Will God and all that is holy please spare us the next patronizing sermon on self-accountability?

g,

This is a union blog. If the world and employers were as fair and logical as you imply, there would be no unions or need for them.

g said...

Wow. You're really angry. I was just sharing honest experiences. You dont think its possible that not everyone has experienced the politics and different "-isms" that you have? Does that make MY opinion any less valid?

And how is it arrogant to suggest that the guy who claims he knows of an HR practice to not hire anyone over 40 might possibly be stretching the truth to prove an anonymous point? Thats arrogant? By just suggesting it as a possibility? REALLY?

And dont begin to pretend you know me or my history or what Ive been through to get and keep my jobs. Ive been laid off from 2 different jobs. Yeah, its tough, but Ive bounced back. I didnt go crying around on union blogs saying woe is me. I revised my reel, did some extra tests, worked some odd jobs, grew my skills, and boom, have been back for years doing much better. Thats life.

You're really mean spirited, and I think you need to check yourself. I'm beginning to think the reason you're unemployed has less to do with ageism, and more to do with your hostile personality. Maybe you can hide it somewhat in real life, but chances are you either dont, or people can see through to the real you.

Good luck buddy. Jeez.

PS) I always go by "g." I dont know who posts under the name "God" but it isnt me.

Enough said...

g,

If you actually read what I wrote you would have seen that one of the first things I said was "equally valid."

I didn't call you "God," I used it as an expression like, "Oh God."

If I came off angry, maybe I was reacting to your covert hostility, expressed as invalidation. You also don't know enough about ME to analyze me or diagnose my problems. There are things that make me angry like injustice and unfairness. More accurately, I would describe myself as being outspoken. Admittedly, sometimes it creates problems.

"Different 'isms'?" How patronizing is that? We're all talking about one "ism" here,- ageism. You'll find out soon enough.

I find it fascinating that you are having such a difficult time accepting that it might be true. Why? Why do you have so much invested in defending management? Why do you take criticism of management so personally?

g said...

Im not defending management, and if thats what you think Im doing, you cant see the forest through the trees.

Im defending my fellow artists. By saying that theres all this ageism, you're implying that the only reason me and my co-workers are here is because we're young and stupid and will work for scraps and free overtime. (which is bizarre, because the show Im on has artists and animators anywhere from 20 through retirement age) Besides, I dont think I fall into the young category anymore as it is.

The thing is, Ive worked on many many projects, and the only constant is that if you're good, they find a way to keep you because you're valuable. (thats assuming the company is healthy enough to keep a full staff of artists around). So Im only sharing my perspective.

I think one of the pitfalls of rallying against ageism is the misconception that "experience trumps all." Yes, older artists bring tons of experience to the table, but that should translate into higher productivity, or mentoring the more junior staff, or just higher quality work in general. If none of those things are happening, and the senior artist is pulling triple the paycheck of a junior artist who is showing tons of talent and is out performing the senior artist, what SHOULD management do? Just keep them around out of pity and bleed money? Ive seen first-hand, senior animators phoning-in their shots, snapping back to the director, and acting with an heir of superiority, even after being warned via written reviews about their performance and behavior.

My point is, dont be so quick to attribute ageism as THE problem for the senior artist. In my opinion, its a difficult business and you have to constantly be improving your skills to stay in it. I honestly think each animator or artist is viewed on a case by case basis. If you're senior and you're kicking ass, you stay. If you're senior and youre not, you might be let go. Same goes for young folks too. (I think I said this already)

Now, if someone can prove that that XYZ animator got fired because they hit 40, but were kicking ass creatively, then that sucks, and Im sure it happens (one or two come to mind in my experience). But even in the examples Im thinking of, this particular animator was slightly above average, but was probably making close to 250k a year. I felt really bad for him when he was let go (and I was let go too, by the way). Its a tough, TOUGH business to get in and stay in.

So what is the solution? I think the only sure-fire thing is just to use your experience to your advantage and do your best to out-perform the majority of the new guys. And trust me, Im keenly aware Im in the same boat.

Enough said...

g,

First of all, no one said, "stupid." That is entirely your inference. Obstinate, maybe...

Your focus is incredibly narrow, mainly limited to people you know and places you worked. No one would argue against the correlation between job performance and professional success. (Duh!).

We are talking here about a more and more widespread bias unjustly limiting access and opportunity. It's not salary. Who would prefer unemployment to a slightly lower wage? Wages can be negotiated. It's about not even being considered for employment because your resume, (I know, rewrite it), goes back too far.

Recently, Steve posted statistics demonstrating that the percentage of older animators currently employed is way under the demographic. There isn't just smoke here, there is fire.

Anonymous said...

There is no ageism ever, really.

It's probably that the older guys just aren't
-keeping up with their skills, or
-taking their jobs for granted or
-smiling enough in the hallway, or
-good enough all around as the next guy.

There is never anything really but an absolute, iron-clad, indisputable fairness in animation employment that applies equally to everyone-all sexes, creeds, colors and ages. How could anyone argue that? Really.

So no worries!

g said...

Fine. Whatever.

I dont believe people arent hired solely because their resumes "go back too far." I just dont. You can believe that all you want, but I dont.

In fact, one company I worked for looked at a reel from some 2D animators (I was in the reel review). Their animation from the 90s was brilliant (Lion King stuff if I remember). Then that part of their reel was followed up by their latest CG stuff; stuff that ranged from 4-5 years old to very recent. It was terrible. TERRIBLE.

We didnt have time to train them, we needed experienced CG animators RIGHT THEN.

So we passed. But we didnt pass because they were old. We passed because they didnt have the skills. Could we have trained them? Maybe if our schedule wasnt hectic, but even then they had been doing CG for 5 years and it wasnt good, so maybe they just couldnt grasp CG.

Were they any less talented? No, clearly they could animate. But were they hire-able? Unfortunately no, even if they offered to work for free. A sad reality. And an even sadder reality is, we got LOTS of those reels all the time.

So you may say I have a narrow focus and limited to the people I know and the places Ive worked, but Ive worked at a LOT of places and know a LOT of people, and my opinion isnt any less valid than yours. Plus Ive witnessed people getting passed up on first hand 9and the reasons why), so I guess you would find that kind of information valuable.

Im sorry you're angry, and even though I have shown you I am not immune to this either, and am sensitive to how difficult this can be, you still insist that Im obstinate and ignorant.

Maybe Im just telling the truth, and you're mad at the situation, not me.

Anonymous said...

"Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top."

Anonymous said...

"Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top."

Thats the trick, isnt it? Being better than average.

Age has less to do with it than some of you make it out to be.

Anonymous said...

I have some news for you:

Exactly WHO is "better than average" isn't some quantifiable thing. In fact, it's totally subjective. Which means that in any group of people who, let;s assume, are all at least competent, it's up to whoever is IN CHARGE (and that can be either a group or just one individual/lead/supervisor)whether Artist A is "good", "not as good as he used to be", "fucking great!", "well...he's okay", or-"Well, A isn't cutting it".

If ANYONE, including our in-theknow-, oh-so-wise guy up there thinks it's some actual real scale and not personal opinion, you're, well...anyway...

g said...

You're getting so frustrated you arent even able to string a god damn sentence together. This is getting funny.

Here. Lets go simple you dumbass, because now you're just starting to piss me off.

I guarantee you if I sat you down in front of a TV, put 10 demo reels in, anyone with half a brain could rank them 1-10. It IS a quantifiable thing. And if you have 3 jobs, the top 3 get interviews.

I dont care how old, young, black, white, male or female you are, thats how it works. In fact, every reel review Im in, we dont even look at the resume. At ALL. Its either a thumbs up or a thumbs down based on the WORK.

If you're AT a company, and they're deciding who gets fired, the same thing happens, except this time things like "is he/she an asshole," "does he/she take criticism well," "does he/she work efficiently" come into play. If you THINK, for ONE SECOND, that "are they are over 40" is anywhere close to the top of that list, you are DELUDING yourself. No one gives a shit how old someone is! Why do you keep hanging on to that!?

Anonymous said...

g... you rock.

Steve Hulett said...

I've been bopping around the biz for a while, in and out of studios, talking to hundreds of people. And lemme tell you.

* There's politics.

* There's cronyism.

* There's nepotism.

* There's sexism.

* There's ageism.

All doled out in various amounts, up and down at different times. And there will be people here who deny it, and claim the biz is (mainly) a meritocracy.

It's some of that, too. But it's those other things as well. And I've figured out why.

It's because damn human beings are involved.

g said...

Finally a sensible reply. I completely agree with that.

I think its fair for me to note that I never said there wasnt ANY evidence of ageism. I simply stated it's not the principal reason for older artists getting let go.

Feel free to re-read my posts if you want.

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