Thursday, May 01, 2014

At the Hat

Part of my afternoon was spent at Disney's animation facility on Riverside Drive, where banners announcing "Big Hero Six -- November 7" hang at the entrance. In the hallway, there are videos and displays of WDAS's next major release, and a little further on, Disney artists and tech directors are bent to their tasks, making sure the production is ready for an early November release. ...

The tight production schedule is now hitting most departments, and the workloads are robust. ("We got your overtime right here!"). Several people talked a little about the recent bonuses, and how people are happy to get them. One artist said:

"I've got a question for you. There's a rumor floating around that the division handed out ten weeks of pay because that was the most the union would let it give to employees. That true?"

I told him the guild had nothing to do with the size of bonuses, that the company could give out whatever it wanted. I noted that after Lion King, many staffers received sizable bonuses.

As regards the laid-off Frozen crew that didn't get bonuses, one artist thought I was being unfair because DreamWorks Animation didn't pay bonuses to its separated employees either, and did I make an issue about that? (I rejoined that some DreamWorkers did get bonuses after leaving, others not. Depended on their Personal Service Contracts.)

A couple of other employees thought people who worked on Frozen but weren't around for bonuses should have received them. So opinions diverge on the issue.

Upstairs, I talked to Burny Mattinson, who's in his 61st year with the studio and would like to hit 65 years with the studio. I said if he doesn't watch it, he'll be employed by Disney longer than Disney was alive.


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