As does everything.
In February, 1989, Lou Scheimer called Filmation staffers into the studio's top floor screening room in staggered shifts to tell them the studio, after twenty-six years, was closing.
In 1985, Filmation had been the largest animation studio in Los Angeles, with 800 artistic employees.
I bring this up (again) because I got into a discussion with a couple of board artists the other day. The pair wondered aloud if the Animation Guild held contracts with any of the same studios we repped in 1952, the first year of our existence.
The answer, after deep thought and shallow research, is no ...
On this date in 1952 (we had been around for five weeks at that point), the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists had contracts with:
Walt Disney Productions
Warner Bros. Animation
Walter Lantz Productions
Now, you're going to think I'm wrong here, saying "You guys still rep artists at Disney and Warners!", but bear with me.
The contract with the Walt Disney Animation Studio is now held by the IATSE, not us, though we still represent the animation staff under this newer contract. And Warners went away for a decade in the late sixties, so we have a contract with the new Warner Bros. Animation, not the original.
And Walter Lantz and M-G-M are but memories.
So what companies do we have agreements with today? Here's a partial list:
Sony Adelaide Productions
Bento Box Productions
Cartoon Network Studios
Film Roman/ Starz Media
Fox TV Animation
Pointy Hat Productions
Tom T. Animation
The object lesson here? There is no permanence in Cartoonland, and like Lantz and M-G-M once upon a distant time, there is no way to know if that animation or visual development or storyboard job you're immersed in will last a month, a year, or a decade. I talk with the hardy elder statesmen on The Simpsons and they are amazed the gig has lasted twenty-two years. And I chat with veteran Winnie the Pooh staff people at WDAS who can't believe their feature careers -- riding high when Lion King was breaking box office records and Disney animated hits seemed as perennial as California rainstorms -- might be close to over.
The only remedies to the impermanence is to be good at what you do, live below your means, and help TAG organize the newer studios that will invariably, inevitably crop up. Because new companies will be coming into existence as surely as many of the old ones will disappear. And you've got to be ready for them when they arrive.