Friday, October 28, 2011

To India

As the Times says:

[Puss In Boots] marks the first time that the Glendale studio has relied on a crew of Indian animators to help produce a full-length feature film. Until now, DreamWorks Animation had used the studio it operates in Bangalore to produce mainly TV specials and DVD bonus material.

... Joe Aguilar, head of the Indian operation for DreamWorks and producer on "Puss in Boots," [said] "There has been fear in our studio. But, if anything, we've just built more space in Glendale to increase our capacity there, and we're moving into a bigger office in Redwood City. We're not reducing jobs in the U.S."...

Couple of things about this: There has been downsizing at the Glendale facility. But this has more to do with shifting production schedules and production delays, not with outsourcing.

To DreamWorks Animation's credit, when production gaps bubbled up in Glendale, work on a Puss featurette was shifted from India to California so that Dreamworks employees stateside had continuity of employment.

So. Will entire DWA features be done on the sub-continent? It's certainly possible, but I don't foresee work on high-end features disappearing from Southern California. Salaries are only one part of the production equation.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't like it. Sorry to get all high and mighty about it, but I think outsourcing is unpatriotic. It is done STRICTLY for financial reasons (it's not like you can't find animators here in the US) to appease execs and shareholders and to make the 1% even richer to the detriment to middle class jobs.

It's only a matter of time before India's quality takes a huge leap and we're seeing US workers get laid off and Sreamworks shifts to a more "Illumination" or "LucasFilm" model where the bulk of the animation is done overseas. Why are we investing in Other countries when we have our own economy to worry about?

Greed sucks. Yes, i think DW India is a slippery slope. And this is exactly the kind of thing that sends people out to occupy wall street. What a shame, Katzenberg.

Anonymous said...

"Outsourcing is unpatriotic". since when patriotism and capitalism were co-related? check everything you've ever bought and see which were actually made in US. Wake up and stop your whining, animation films are products.

"it's not like you can't find animators here in the US". Most animators in Dreamworks are not from US anyway, they're high skilled talents that comes from everywhere.

I can't wait India's quality to take a huge leap, so they can start make their own quality animated films in their own way, and we can learn something from them . The animation diversity will benefit everyone in the long term, including US. Lately western animation has been stagnated and all animated films are looking the same.

worst than outsourcing is monopoly. Monopoly is greed, and this is the kind of thing that send people out to occupy wall street.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the high end studios like dreamworks are going to let India create their own features at least not like the ones at dreamworks. They don't want competition, they'll buy out the studios there before it can make a series of notable film. We've seen this happen time and time again. For companies like dreamworks and disney its about control. And I personaly can see a lot of jobs getting outsourced, but it will be slow and gradual, most likely under the workers noses.

Monopoly is greed, but most companies who have a monopoly or near monoploy outsource their work to third world countries. I wouldn't rely on Dreamworks execs having a home bias.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait India's quality to take a huge leap, so they can start make their own quality animated films in their own way, and we can learn something from them .

Yeah, that's happened with other countries that got in the outsource business, like South Korea. And it's happened at North American VFX studios that specialized in contract work, right? Oh, wait, it looks like a history of doing contract work actually destroys creativity.

I've been hearing that the 'great leap' in quality and creativity is just around the corner for Indian animation for about 10 years. Now I don't even hear it anymore, because the Indian animation studios are freaked about China becoming the new outsource darling.

We're already hearing that a 'great leap forward' is just around the corner for Chinese studios. The only problem is their pathetic schools are creating a generation of animators who only know how to copy, and they can't even do that well.

Meanwhile, wages here are dead flat or declining, wages in India continue a steady upward trend, and wages in China for skilled workers are exploding.

Anonymous said...

And I personaly can see a lot of jobs getting outsourced, but it will be slow and gradual, most likely under the workers noses.

Under the worker's noses?!? Studio execs in the west have been making a big show of trying to outsource everything they can for about twice as long as you've been alive (I'm guessing you're around 20). Yeah, it's driven by greed, but it's only succeeded sporadically, because what we do is not the same as sewing shirts.

Walt's Brain said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

How is it a signator studio can outsource? Are those workers in India 839 members? Just wondering how that works.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to go to India to find a signatory studio outsourcing... look at Pixar and PDI, both non-union studios for decades.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mention that the outsourcing
was only abroad. I've worked for other studios that outsource here there and everywhere. I just want to know how they are able to if they have signed a union contract.

Anonymous said...

If animators and artists come to the US to work, great! That means they pay taxes and only strengthen our country. Am I blindly pro-US? Yes. Especially since we are the country that invented animation.

And yes, I hate seeing all of our crap made in china or Taiwan or where ever. I hate seeing all the creativity in the US being pulled out of the country by the lowest bidder

Anonymous said...

"Am I blindly pro-US? Yes. Especially since we are the country that invented animation."

US invented animation? Did you hear that in the Fox news?

Anonymous said...

Feature film animation, dumbass. I'm not talking about the god damn zoetrope.

Anonymous said...

So, can anyone then explain why it's a good thing to EVER support outsourcing of any kind?

I mean there might be geographical exceptions, but barring that, studios and companies are only weakening the middle class the second they start outsourcing

Anonymous said...

"Feature film animation, dumbass. I'm not talking about the god damn zoetrope."

Another piece of Fox news?
the first feature film animated was made in Argentina.
Dumbass.

Anonymous said...

The feature animation business (as well as the TV animation business) was created in the US, there's no doubt about that.

I don't know if a tree in the uninhabited woods makes a sound, but I do know that an incredibly obscure Argentine film that was completely unknown elsewhere, and doesn't even exist today, didn't influence the animation industry on iota.

Anonymous said...

You're coming a long way from "US invented animation" to "US made the first animated feature" to "US influence the animation business".

One of this days you'll get there. Keep going and you will get out of uninhabited woods yourself.

Anonymous said...

Joe Aguilar is just another one in a long list of Cocksucking Dreamworks Executives that smile to your face and say "No need to worry about Outsourcing....All is well..." And then turn around any lay your ass off without a worry in the world.

Dreamworks Animators need to wake up and smell the Curry.... This is the beginning of the End for you my friends.

Too bad the Union is content to sit back and DO NOTHING about this sort of thing... Even though it exists in a Union Studio....

Anonymous said...

"To DreamWorks Animation's credit, when production gaps bubbled up in Glendale, work on a Puss featurette was shifted from India to California so that Dreamworks employees stateside had continuity of employment."

---Really Steve? You're giving us the "Upside" of Farming out Union work to an Indian studio?

Shame on you...

Thats the same kind of nonsensical double speak we get from Dreamworks Management.

Anonymous said...

Outsourcing is fair. If you think the quality of your work and the indian worker are the same, then raise your quality. Because right now, the indian worker is trying to match your quality for less money and if you don't like that pressure then get out of the way.
Face it, animation is a global market, you're liking it or not.

Anonymous said...

Yes it's a global market, but in my opinion Jeffery Katzenberg is doing a disservice to his nation by outsourcing to India. If India wants to make movies, good for them. But its a damn shame that Katzenberg is doing it to save a buck to the detriment to his employees.

Also, to the asshole claiming Argentina was somehow influential in the start of the feature animation business needs to google "clutching at straws." The feature animation business started in the US with Snow White. No question.

Anonymous said...

India is doing it for less money, and thats a good thing how? Sure, let's encourage third world standards of living because India can do it. Great. Let's all live in slums and mud huts because india can do it. Thats the dumbest line of logic I've heard. My whole point is that just because you can get it done for cheap doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to spoil your baseless history but it's a fact that Argentina made the first animated feature film.
Snow White was not even the second or the third , it was the eighth. Goggle it Asshole.

Anonymous said...

Look. Can we stop this? I've heard of wikipedia too.

I don't care if there's 50 animated features that came out before Snow White. Snow White is the one that matters, and you can try to deny it, but people will just laugh at you.

Yet, this all distracts from the point that Dreamworks animation is based in the US, and in my OPINION, is shameful that Katzenberg is outsourcing to India and contributing to the unpatriotic outsourcing plague in our country that is harming the middle class and lining the pockets of already rich execs and shareholders

99 center said...

Enough is enough. Forget about OWS, it is time for OCCUPY DREAMWORKS! Or a protest at that 1 percenter Katzenberg's house. That will show them. Yeah.

Aww, fugit, what's the use.

Anonymous said...

It's more laughable if you try to deny there was other animated feature films made before Snow White on other parts of the world. You cannot re-write history with lies, even when it make us ,americans, loose face.

And Dreamworks can do whatever they want to, I cannot condemn outsourcing when I myself buy the cheapest product if I think it works the same as the most expensive. It's call capitalism, it's sad but we live in it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not denying those films exist. I'm saying they are so obscure that they had zero impact on the development of the industry. I think youre so he'll bent on proving you're right that you can't see the forest through the trees.

Anonymous said...

Also I buy American whenever possible. I guess that's where we differ

Anonymous said...

So What can the Union do about a Union shop that Outsources to India?


Anything???

Anonymous said...

The union won't have any impact on DreamWorks' outsourcing, but if the HOCAs said enough is enough, that would be it. Unfortunately, a few of them are eager to prove how well they can curry favor (pardon the pun) with management, so they actually go to India to teach and supervise, while their colleagues reap the pink slips.

I'd love it if the union could do something about it, but I'd love it even more if people I work with and used to respect had backbones and real leadership.

Steve Hulett said...

How is it a signator studio can outsource? Are those workers in India 839 members? Just wondering how that works.

Read the union contract. Nothing in it prevents outsourcing.

Just as nothing prevents American live-action features from being made with foreign crews. Remember Cold Mountain? The U.S. produced movie about the AMERICAN Civil War? Most of it was shot in freaking Romania.

Remember Little Mermaid? Effects animation on it was inked in China ... during Tianamen Square.

We had contract language that curtailed outsourcing from 1979 to 1982. We lost the language after a ten-week strike in the summer of '82. I was on the picket line from first week to last.

Anonymous said...

Just as Steve H said, he was on the picket lines trying to stop outsourcing while many of us were babies.

Now were all grown up and crying to Steve do something about it when NONE of us fucking bothered to even show up to membership meetings.

You think this generation even has the BALLs to fucking strike? You're all soft! You never experienced the struggle to fight for something you believe and live for and you never will.

When the shit hits the fan you all cut and run.

Anonymous said...

I wish we were all as brave as you, Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Of course unions can't do anything about outsourcing. If US stopped outsourcing the whole economy system would breakdown because most the products you get are in fact made elsewhere.
Stop your whining and get real.

Anonymous said...

Then add to the list the Dreamworks HOCA's (Heads of Character Animation) to the list of those WHO SHOULD BE FUCKING ASHAMED.

Katenzburg should be ashamed, but at least I understand he's running a business... But now the HOCA's are on board with his bullshit plan?

And if outsourcing isn't mentioned in the current Union contract... Lets get it in the next one. Shall we?
Whats it got to take?

Anonymous said...

Get a grip.
Outsourcing is a non issue. It ain't going to be addressed ever again and shouldn't be.
I nearly went belly up fighting for 10 weeks to get outsourcing to stop and that was just to stop Ink and Paint from being sent overseas.
This is just the reality of the business and the world.

Anonymous said...

Only the untalented and unskilled are afraid of outsourcing/loosing their jobs.
You can scream and shout but what you should really do is trying to get better in what you do.

Anonymous said...

If US stopped outsourcing the whole economy system would breakdown because most the products you get are in fact made elsewhere.

OR, we could make more products in the US and get our middle class back up and running.

And to all the short-sighted monkeys who say "if shoes were made in the US, the price of shoes would skyrocket because we pay better than Chinese sweatshops," I say, NO, keep the price of shoes the SAME, and maybe instead of having billions in financial reserves sitting around, some of that money can go to better wages and increase the quality of life in the lower middle class. Does Nike really need almost 6 billion in cash reserves? What if they only had 3 billion in cash reserves and made shoes in the US?

I think thats more to the point.

Anonymous said...

You really do live in a fantasy world. shoes made in US? wealthy giving money away in the name of patriotism?

and don't complain about Nike's reserve, some of that money are going into animation, at Laika.

Anonymous said...

If you look at it as "giving away money" instead of investing in the country you live in and your children are going to grow up in, you've already lost.

Yes, it's a fantasy, but America used to be more like that. Sure, it wasnt always perfect either, and Im not looking back with rose colored glasses, but we used to actually MAKE things here, and the country benefited from it.

What solution do YOU propose?

Steve Hulett said...

The "Protective Tariff" was bedrock Republican policy for a century. Today? Not so much.

Not advocating a tariff like in the good old days, but an industrial policy that built up our infrastructure and increased manufacturing would be nice.

Anonymous said...

You can scream and shout but what you should really do is trying to get better in what you do.

If work was being outsourced from DreamWorks to India because of lack of skill in Redwood City and Glendale, this comment would be right on. If the animators in RWC and Glendale were being paid exorbitant sums, the comment would still apply. However, neither of those are true.

There are certain producers who don't have anything else to offer, so their expertise becomes working with overseas studios. They also seem to get off on sticking it to the talent who actually produce these films, by threatening to send even more work overseas. It's a great way to get people to shut up and slave away.

Anonymous said...

"Certain Producers" ?

Give us Names! Who else besides the Scumbag Joe Agular at Dreamworks is content to send work overseas?

Since he did such a *fantastic* job setting Imagi to do "Father of the Pride"

What a waste of money that was. Essentially set up, and trained Imagi workers to get proficient enough, to not need Dreamworks anymore, and go off and do their own thing.

Lets see if History repeats itself when the Indian studios they're paying now leave DW high and dry as well.

What a fucking waste.


And you people that are commenting, that we should just "Do nothing, Outsourcing is Inevitable" "Thats just the way it is..." You SHOULD FUCKING BE ASHAMED. Its that attitude that is the problem.....

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the above. I've even turned down jobs that would have required me to work in LA but supervise outsource. I didn't have any doubt that some other schmuck would happily take the work, but I need to look myself in the mirror.

Tom Ruegger said...

Is this website really run by our union?

If so, why would our very own union EDIT the LA Times article to remove the most damning bit of news in the paragraph -- that DreamWorks and Joe Aguilar contend that there are not enough people/artists (not enough talent) in the LA market to produce their films, so that's why they need to send work to India to get the job done.

Here's the way the article reads in the LA Times:

Joe Aguilar, head of the Indian operation for DreamWorks and producer on "Puss in Boots," said the primary rationale for expanding into India was about tapping a scarce resource: people. The studio didn't have enough people to meet its production needs at its two principal centers: in Glendale and at the PDI/DreamWorks facility in Redwood City. That became apparent when the studio began producing as many as three films in a year, he said.

So...

DreamWorks' Joe Aguilar states that there's not enough talent here in LA to meet DreamWorks' needs. A scarcity of talent, he says. Not enough artists and animation professionals in Los Angeles? Gee, if that's the case, you'd think that everyone in our business is employed. That we're all so busy that we couldn't possibly take on another assignment.

Strange thing is, I know of hundreds or animation professionals who are currently UNEMPLOYED in Los Angeles...all of whom would do great work on DreamWorks features if DreamWorks would just pick up the phone and hire them.

But that hasn't happened. Instead, DreamWorks shipped the work out of the country.

This is wrong, and our union should fight to keep those jobs here.

Also, when quoting news articles, TAG should not cut out lines of copy that misrepresent our union members. We need to know what's being reported, and if it's incorrect, we need TAG to step up and demand a correction.

Our union website should not be deleting the lies spoken by Joe Aguilar about the LA animation work force -- lies that are being reported as truth by the LA Times.

Our union should fight these lies.

Richard said...

The outsourcing debate has nothing at all to do with patriotism....it has to do with the fact that sending works to underpaid artists to do a poor job only results in it coming back here to be redone. It is a waste of time and just gives US artists less time on the job.

Site Meter