Monday, July 31, 2006

The Return of "Rough Inbetweeners"?

Above: Eric Goldberg (center) encounters Dave Zaboski and Henry Sato. Cartoon by Tom Sito.
A gag cartoon from the early nineties...having a little fun with a job title... And what were (are?) "rough inbetweeners?" Well, they are not artists who are into spiked clubs and bondage, if that's what you're thinking. During the nineties boom of hand-drawn animation, "Rough Inbetweeners" were a group of animation artists who were on the "animator" training cycle. "Rough Inbetweener" was the first stop on the way to becoming a full animator (the way station being "Animating Assistant") See, in the roaring nineties, there were two tracks for artists working in animation classifications at Disney-DreamWorks-Warners Feature Animation. They were either climbing the ladder that lead to "animator," or they were on the cean-up side of the equation, cleaning up the animators' rough (sometimes very rough) drawings. So if you were an "inbetweener" in 1993, you were quite often working in cleanup. The studios designated the non-cleanup artists as "rough inbetweeners." There was only "inbetweeners" in the union contract. Now, of course, with the upcoming reappearance of hand-drawn features, those brutish "Rough Inbetweeners" might be coming back.


Anonymous said...

Never mind the rough inbetweeners...Where did all those clean up artists go?

I have a hunch it'll be hard for Disney to find enough of them in a timely fashion. I know plenty of them who went onto different fields altogether.

Kevin Koch said...

There used to be at a good 4-5 crews worth of clean up artists in town. Some of those people have kept their hand in doing freelance and similar work. I don't think it will be a big problem getting enough experienced, talented people together in any of the traditional categories for a single crackerjack crew.

Anonymous said...

Well, that used to be true three years ago.
Now some of my crewmates have found jobs and have climbed the ladder on some of these new places, holding positions of responsibility. Others went into teaching, real estate and even medicine!

I would not underestimate the feelings of betrayal after the big companies let go all of their artists either.

Even though Clean Up animation was an entry position for most of us, it's not like you can grab people off the streets and hire them.

Who knows, maybe Kevin is right, it will not be as hard as I think it's gonna be...

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