Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Around the Mouse

So I went to the Hat Building today and found out that Ed, John and Andrew held a town meeting on the main lot yesterday.

Where they announced that, because Tangled did so well, WDAS employees will be getting bonuses. This is a good thing ...

One staffer informed me that management acknowledges that story development is thin. As another staffer said:

"Yeah, there's not much in work. Lots of people are developing shorts ideas, but there's not much feature development. They should have a whole bunch of stuff going, with small crews, so they can pick and choose from the best of it. ..."

Feature development is thin? Where have I heard that before?

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's the best news I've heard in a long time. Congrats FAS!!!

Anonymous said...

No offense Steve, but who the fuck do you talk to when you come in? Only 2D people? Because yeah, they dont have anything to do.

But CG has 4 features in heavy development, and 2 or 3 more in spec development. Not to mention in full production on Prep and Landing 2, and 2 other shorts.

Please be more specific because you make it sound like the whole studio is just sitting around.

Anonymous said...

That's quite a burn if theres not much going on, doesn't sound right?

Steve Hulett said...

CG has 4 features in heavy development, and 2 or 3 more in spec development. Not to mention in full production on Prep and Landing 2, and 2 other shorts.


So if I'm not mistaken, anon., there are three shorts in production. And four features in various stages of development. (Don't know what "heavy development" means. I assume that "spec development" means there's a few people working on stuff that hasn't been greenlit for development.)

You're not arguing that the CG production staff that was laid off after "Tangled" wrapped has been recalled, are you? Because as far as I know, they're still laid off.

What I keep pointing out is, when crew is pink-slipped at the end of a feature, then that means development is thin because there's nothing in the pipeline for the crew to swing onto.

Anonymous said...

Only 2D people? Because yeah, they don't have anything to do.

So "Mort" got canned?

Anonymous said...

Who ever said they were working on Mort, other than rumors?

Anonymous said...

You're not arguing that the CG production staff that was laid off after "Tangled" wrapped has been recalled, are you?

No, Im not saying that at all. But there's a big difference between having a full crew in full production and "not much feature development." That implies there's no films being made.

Anonymous said...

@anon Wednesday, March 16, 2011 4:59:00 PM

Well, no more working on mort. Most is dead, excuse the pun. They couldn't get someone to cough up the rights.

Steve Hulett said...

No, Im not saying that at all. But there's a big difference between having a full crew in full production and "not much feature development."

Look, let's stop talking past each other.

I'm not saying no feature development. I am saying thin feature development.

Here's my definition of "thin:" When you hire and build up a production crew and then lay them off because there's nothing in the production pipeline due to wide gaps between productions.

Disney has done this repeatedly in recent years. (They also did it in the fifties and sixties. Less so in the seventies and eighties. Not at all in the nineties.)

Again, I like the Mouse's recent productions. I don't like the distances between productions because crews get laid off and they don't like it. (And, you know, I represent these people.)

So, to sum up my position: Disney doesn't have enough development because there are gaps in the production pipeline. If they had more development, this wouldn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. We agree there. But the quoted comments makes it sound like people are sitting around, which is not true.

And Disney is well aware of the gap problem, and all verbage from the top is that there will not be gaps between the next project and the next.

Thats at least the words. Hopefully actions will follow.

But Im sure the following commenter will have something to say about how Disney promised it in the past and layoffs still happened.

Yup, here it comes

|
|
V

Anonymous said...

@ Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:29:00 PM

Whatever, Disney has been saying that for YEARS.

Anonymous said...

"Mort" is dead? Really? Why?

Are they developing another hand-drawn feature at least?

Anonymous said...

I've always been curious how bonuses work (seeing as I've never gotten one). When the crew gets a bonus, do they mail checks to the crew that have been laid off? Or are they just not part of the family anymore? I'm not trying to be snarky, I would really like to know.

Anonymous said...

Most likely they are not part of the "family" anymore. So all the people who busted their ass on Tangled and got laid off will probably not receive a bonus.

I believe that most feature animation companies are operating this way now.

Anonymous said...

I believe that most feature animation companies are operating this way now.

DreamWorks Animation doesn't. And being an independent studio makes this much more of an achievement.

I think it's ridiculous that an independent studio like DreamWorks has better working policies and conditions than two studios (WDAS and Pixar) who belong to and are supported by a multi-billion media conglomerate.

It is simply UNACCEPTABLE.

Anonymous said...

DreamWorks moved to a bonus pool system instead of a film based bonus.

I'm pretty sure that people who left DreamWorks before the bonus was given out this year didn't get one either, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

CG has 4 features in heavy development.

OK, so we have:

Richard Moore's "Reboot Ralph"

Chris Williams' "The King of the Elves"

Dean Wellins' Untitled Film

Greno's & Howard's Untitled Film

Am I right or am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Is Chris Buck's project still in development or did it get canned too?

Anonymous said...

Buck's is still in development. I forgot "Greno's & Howard's Untitled Film" so I guess there's 5.

Anonymous said...

"I'm pretty sure that people who left DreamWorks before the bonus was given out this year didn't get one either, but I could be wrong."

You are. : )

After I left Dreamworks to go to another studio I still received my bonus for the previous year's work. I'm not a supervisor or anything like that, so I'd assume that's the policy for everyone. At least it was pretty recently.

Anonymous said...

You left Dreamworks to work for another studio??! What on earth for??

Anonymous said...

"So "Mort" got canned?"

As of last week, yes.

A Horse is A Horse Of Course Of Course said...

Yah HEAR that? Mort got CANNED! So all that bellyaching about MORT exposure on the TAG blog was for naught.

So sad.

Anonymous said...

Re "Mort": You don't secure the rights, you can't make the movie adaptation.

And Diz Co. didn't secure the rights.

Anonymous said...

"You left Dreamworks to work for another studio??! What on earth for??"

Good question. I wondered that too, so I went back and glad I did.

Back on topic-that's really good news about the Disney bonuses. God knows they earned and deserve them.

Anonymous said...

Does Chris Bucks project rhyme with Blow Tween?

Anonymous said...

It is simply UNACCEPTABLE.

On one hand I agree with you, but on the other, Disney aint a charity, its a business.

Anonymous said...

This is an instructive moment.

Disney had absolutely NO intention of giving any bonuses. Even after Tangled did well.

What changed is that some of their most talented people started making serious noises about leaving. They pressured management. A few people DID leave for greener pastures.

Disney ONLY opens the purse strings by force. Force is the only language they understand. And it paid off, in this case.

Glad you guys are getting bonuses. Would've been nice if they'd been shared with the entire crew of Tangled, including those laid off, but obviously they weren't there to pressure Ed.

Anonymous said...

What was Catmull's roll in the Pixar/ILM collusion case? He had to have been aware of that deal don't you think?

mary said...

I'm so disappointed by the death of Mort.
Mort was a very interesting movie.
So anything in hand drawn animation? Nooooo!!!!

Is Chris Buck's next project Jack and the Beanstalk?

Anonymous said...

No, I don't think it's "Jack and the Beanstalk". Last time I heard that idea got scrapped because of the live-action "Jack the Giant Killer" coming in 2012.

Anonymous said...

On one hand I agree with you, but on the other, Disney aint a charity, it's a business.

All businessses are bussinesses and they are ALL about making money. But as you can see things differ from bussiness to bussiness. DreamWorks is a business but they respect their employees and treat them with dignity.

And it's not just the bonuses and the steady paycheck; it's about the general atmosphere there. You feel that you and your work is valued there and people actually listen to you.

Saying that Disney is a business and not a charity is NOT a valid arguement or something that can be used as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Does Chris Bucks project rhyme with Blow Tween?

Well, Buck was supposed to direct "Snow Queen" but that project got shelved a while ago. They stated "story problems" but we all know that they just didn't want another fairytale movie. (that was before the success of "Tangled").

Alan Menken confirmed that the project has been indeed shelved in a recent interview of his.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how come Disney couldn't secure the movie right to "Mort"? Was it a money issue or was it just that the copyright owners didn't want Disney adapting their story?

Anonymous said...

People need to spill the beans.

What is Wellins, Greno & Howard, and Buck working on?

Come on, give us a title at least.

Which are the 3 shorts in production?

It's an anonymous blog people, they can't know who you are!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how come Disney couldn't secure the movie right to "Mort"? Was it a money issue or was it just that the copyright owners didn't want Disney adapting their story?

I think it was related to Disney wanting to just commit to doing Mort, and not have to option more of the Discworld series unless it was a hit, and the rightholders wanted Disney to make a larger commitment up front.

mary said...

Thank you Anonymus.

I'm curious to know if new Disney movies are with human characters or about animals. I hope there will be human characters.
I hope Disney will return to fairy tale like Snow Queen or others (Dancing Princesses, Rumpelstiltskin, Donkeyskin, Cupid and Psyche), it will be very interesting.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous Thursday, March 17, 2011 8:15:00 AM

True it's an anonymous blog, but we are also professionals with NDA agreements signed. Just be patient. :]

Anonymous said...

Is any of the three shorts in production at Disney hand-drawn or are all of them CGI?

Floyd Norman said...

Glen Keane sighting in Glendale this afternoon. Yes, Glendale. Near that other studio. I'm just saying...

Floyd Norman said...

Just kidding.

Ed Catmull said...

Glen told me to my face just last week that he's decided not to leave Disney.

Anonymous said...

Oh, now I'm confused!

Dim Sum said...

You know what? This Blog is so stupid.

Dim Sum said...

just kidding.

Anonymous said...

Not one Disney lawyer got canned for not nailing down the rights to Mort. But he or she probably got a bonus.

Anonymous said...

"floyd norman, the new gossip girl."

Site Meter