Thursday, June 21, 2012

Talking about board tests

The blog post about storyboard tests (which also went out as an e-mail) is less than twenty-four hours old, and it has already generated quite a few responses ...

I am glad to see that this is finally being addressed. Some time ago now I took 2 tests for ******** under the title of storyboard revision test. It was nothing of a revision test but a board test. This was for ****** *** and **** ** *****. I can't even tell you what an elaborate job I did on the **** ** ***** test but needed the job so thought I'd do my best as I always have done. Never heard back and they still have the USB I submitted the work on, Maybe storyboard revision tests should be just that... Revisions, not a board from a script.
From these tests and character design test with out ever receiving comment or word back for that matter, I do not test for ******. It's like working and giving them work for free. There should be a policy that the artist gets back their tests if not hired for the position, otherwise it is like [the] studio being able to generate a vast library of work to pull from. (Especially after they have you sign a rights release.) Whatever happened to the body of some ones work counting for itself and experience?
I recently took a color key test for ****** *** ******* at ***** that took more than 2 days to do. They accepted so many tests that the art director had a hard time deciding who to hire. I didn't find out for 6 weeks that they had filled the position.
I find that it is a huge waste of my time to take tests. I have never gotten a job out of 25 years from a test, but through word of mouth … There is no pay for the test, nor compensation for childcare. It severely limits the amount of job searches one can conduct.
The tests have to stop. There is always a learning curve and that used to be factored into a schedule. When I was art directing I never expected a new hire to get the style down in the first two weeks. It takes time to do quality work.
I have done tests for *** ******* where I have to do writing tests on top of story board tests for ******* **** … the tests are a 3 days to 1 weeks worth of work for free! Crazy.
Just wanted to mention something about the board tests. I've worked on boards on a few shows at ******** and ***** and so far the tests have always been about 1.25-1.5 pages of script. The problem seems to lie within how long the boards are going to be, not the script. A page of script could be anything, from two guys talking in the desert, to an army of mutants flying above a populated NYC. Both of these examples could be a page of script but the latter would definitely cause the board artist to do much more work.

Also, the creators and directors are almost always the ones creating the tests, not the studios or producers.

It'd be great to see test restrictions placed on how long the storyboard should be, or better yet, the test should simply be "a day's worth of work." Right now, most board tests take about a week of hard work to complete.
Thanks for taking care of this. The test process has really gotten out of hand and I'm glad you're trying to rectify it.

5 comments:

Floyd Norman said...

I've only taken ONE test in my career. It was an in-between of Donald Duck at Disney back in the fifties.

Anyway, I've never had to give a new employee a test. I pretty much knew from the start if they could do the job or not. If you don't know that - why the hell are you even in charge?

tangerine8 said...

jester:Thats a lot a stars I see.

C.M.B. said...

The last three board tests I took were 1 page of script and took 8 hours or less. I would've commented with the rest, but my tests were all for non-union studios.

Unknown said...

Well said Floyd.

TotalD said...

I saw one of these tests . It made absolutely no sense and not only involved boarding but scripting. It was a week long test delivered by a digital package. I wrote them and asked "What exactly is this ?"

Floyd , you will never be asked to do a test because it is your area of expertise but many young or transitioning animators will and will be completely discouraged by it. I completely agree that you will know before any test if you know your job. I dont think these people do.

I also know that at one company I worked at they created a test to keep animators out of the storyboard department when they moved to overseas story work. Brilliant artists were made to do tests only to be told they didn't have the "skills". Tests are not made to find people, they are made to keep people out. Thats IMHO.

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