Today a chunk of my morning was whiled away at Hasbro/Starz Media, located next to the Bob Hope Non-international Airport ...
Hasbro's animation staff, working on G.I. Joe and The Transformers has now made the move from Beverly Hills to sun-kissed Burbank. A veteran who shall remain nameless walked up to me as I walked through the doors and said:
"This place is one of the best working experiences I've had in the business. We have to put in the hours, and some people work late, but it's been good ..."
Smart ass that I am, I rejoined that it was only because Hasbro hasn't been in the cartoon business long. "Just give them time," I said. "They'll learn how to squeeze employees with the best of them."
The "Starz Media Building" a big, three-story structure just north of the airport's runways, now houses Film Roman, Hasbro, and Starz Media corporate offices. Hasbro occupies a third of the square footage inside Starz Media, with administrative offices on one floor and animation production on another. The company completely blew out the existing interiors and replaced them with their own.
(I'm informed that Dave Vs., a newer comedy episodic created in another part of the building, is a joint Hasbro-Film Roman show.)
And of course work on the Yellow Family continues in the Film Roman section, and the Marvel episodics are also happening ("The budgets are tight, but we find ways to make things work.") One new hire mentioned that more of her friends are finding employment, she's now employed, and things seem to be looking up. I answered that was my impression of the t.v. animation biz too, but it's always a "Three steps forward, two steps back" kind of deal.
Last tidbit: Several artists I encountered at lunch let me know that the balance of Disney TV Animation is moving from the Frank Wells Building on Disney's Burbank lot to the fabled Sonora Building in neighborhing Glendale, with Disney Toons shifting next door to a facility that now houses a training center for entertainment industry workers.
"They're going to be moving TV Animation into the upstairs space, and getting rid of all the expensive cubicles Sharon Morril had put in. I just hope the don't get rid of the chairs and eating area ..."
The artists weren't happy with the prospect of losing their proximity to the Burbank studio commissary. But I say, in times like these, we all have to sacrifice, no?