Wednesday, July 11, 2012

At Starz Media

I've been up at Starz-Film Roman a couple of times in the last week, talking to crew about this and that. Some tid bits:

"Fox has worked to cut the costs of The Simpsons. The writers took an eleven percent cut and they've cut the animation crew budget went down by thirty percent. ..."

"They wanted to get rid of layout, but people convinced upper management that it would be a different show if it was board driven, so we've still got layout artists, just fewer of them. ..."

"What's happened is there's fewer positions on staff. The directors have two weeks less to complete shows, and a second director picks up simpler shots to cut down on workload and speed things up. We've got more computer programs and systems. Lots of steamlining. Next season's schedule will be a duplicate of this one. ..."

"I've got the feeling that newer Fox management would love to get rid of The Simpsons because they didn't launch it. (Thos people are gone.) But management here would be happy if it went on for five, six more years. I think Al Jean (Simpsons' mucky muck) would love to do more total episodes than Gunsmoke. ..."

Elsewhere at Starz, Spiderman is into its second season. As I've mentioned before, Marvel intends to keep it at FR and not move it to Marvel Animation. (At least, that's what they've told me.)


SimingPup said...

Why do you never talk about Dan Vs?

Chris Sobieniak said...

It's sad how the business works.

Steve Hulett said...

Why never talk about Dan Vs.?

The guys I talked to on it during first season have moved on. Never have said much about "Beavis and Butt Head" either.

Not trying to overlook anybody. It's just some days I talk to the "Simpsons" people, other days somebody else.

And lots of my discussions at studios never make it into this space because there's no profit in it. Most vents and employee frustrations I keep to myself.

But the problems seem to be the same over and over: long tests, uncomped o.t., tight schedules, heavy workloads.

Larry Clemmons, veteran Disney writer, complained to me about about exactly the same things when he told me tales of the Disney Hyperion days when I was an infant working at Walt Disney Productions circa 1977.

Never changes a whole lot.

Justin said...

So how big of a cut did the voice talent on The Simpsons take to help with the budget?

Steve Hulett said...

My understanding from the animation crew is voice talent took a major cut from their previous deal. Thirty-plus percent less, I think.

Floyd Norman said...

Since they're still rich, I suppose they could handle the thirty percent cut. If I made those bucks, I could take a cut as well.

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