Monday, August 12, 2013

Late Afternoon Hat

I drove over to the hat building late in the day, where I got shown various scenes of Frozen that are in different phases of production. What I saw had a lot of ice, snow and late-afternoon light, and looked beautiful. I'm guessing that Frozen will do close to the grosses that Tangled ran up, since it pitches itself to a similar demographic, has music, songs and comedy, and got greenlit as a CG feature (after starting development as a hand-drawn feature) after Tangled did big numbers in the U.S. and elsewhere. ...

A supervisor asked how things are in the rest of the industry; I said employment is reasonably high but many of the gigs are shorter. He said:

Well, I'm really glad that this place has finally worked up to one picture a year. It means more people are going to be working. They compressed the schedule on Frozen, but I think they'll stretch it out some for the next one. We've got six weeks left to go and everybody is working hard. There's lot left to do ...

(The supe was referring to Disney's new announced slate of animated movies.)

There's a lot of visual effects artists in the division just now, several over from Sony Pictures Imageworks. One of them told me:

"Visual effects is in shambles. Rhythm and Hues did everything right. They survived every previous downturn but this last one still got them. ... What I like about working in animation is the director is right there, available to look at your shot and give you feedback. In live-action, you've got to stand in line and wait, you feel like a second-class citizen. Or like you're over sitting on the sidelines, but you shouldn't be." ...

Morale is pretty good, even though everyone is into six-day weeks. Even the on-call artists are getting paid for their Saturdays. But as one staffer (another viz effx person) said: "Hey, we're working sixty-hour weeks. but it's not the usual 100 hours you get during live-action crunch time, so it feels like a holiday, you know?" ...

7 comments:

sotiris2006 said...

Did you come across the interview Lasseter recently gave to Entertainment Weekly? He said there won't be any more 2D features. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time but I guess this makes it official now.

Do you know if there are at least any fully hand-drawn shorts in development?

George Loring said...

Any news on which studio Clay Kaytis is working at now?

Steve Hulett said...

Re hand-drawn: John L. pitched the Burbank studio as the hand-drawn outpost and Pixar as the CG studio to Iger back in his early tenure at Disney.

Iger said no, but allowed a couple of hand-drawn features to proceed. The fact that they didn't get sufficient traction at the box office tells the tale. The parade moves on ...

Steve Hulett said...

As far as TAG knows, Mr. Kaytis works at Disney. (Disney has not informed us otherwise.)

Grant said...

"He said there won't be any more 2D features."

No he didn't. Before you spread lies, remember facts are just that.

He said there's nothing on the docket (release schedule) at the time being.

Besides, NO one cares if they make hand drawn or not. It just doesn't matter. The vast majority of audiences just want a good film.

N/A said...

"The fact that they didn't get sufficient traction at the box office tells the tale."

Wasn't premature to abandon 2D features after basically just one movie? Surely, they didn't expect a preschool property like Pooh to be a blockbuster.

Steve, do you know whether Lasseter has a say on whether the studio produces more hand-drawn films or is he just following Iger's orders?

Steve Hulett said...

Mr. Lasseter has said WDAS is still doing hand-drawn shorts.

What I've been told by Disney staffers is, Mr. Lasseter has indicated he's not interested in pushing more animated features.

Now, this has been told me by people inside and yes, it's hearsay. And Mr. Lasseter can always change his mind. But let's look at cold reality: Frozen started life as a hand-drawn feature, was temporarily shelved, then, when Tangled performed well, moved forward as a CG feature.

That should tell you something.

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