Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dancing To and From...and To...Disney Feature Animation

Right: Another Degas study from Virgil Partch's Disney traffic boy period; February 1938.
Multiple trips to Disney Feature Animation for Yours Truly, one on Monday, and one with the IA Rep today. What's obvious: everybody on "Meet the Robinsons" is going at high revs... "Robinsons" layout staff finished most of its heavy overtime last week. "Robinsons" animators still have pedal to the metal, and the finaling department -- down on the first floor -- still has months of work ahead of it... There continues to be some nervousness about the end of Personal Service Contracts. A number of Disneyites are now being carried on overhead charge numbers (instead of production charge numbers) while their productions are re-worked in story. As a result, some staffers have shorter hours (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and minimal workloads. They're being carried now, but as one of them mentioned: "What if the company decides to put some of us on four-month layoff? There's no Personal Service Contracts to backstop us anymore." Nervousness on this count will probably dissipate when the development/production pipleline gets unkinked, and employees swing from the end of one show onto the start of another. Shorts: As we've said before, Lasseter and Catmull want to put a bunch of new animated shorts into production, the idea being that a new one* will be up in front of each new animated feature as it lifts off at the box office. The thought originally was (we're told) to get a new one produced for "Meet the Robinsons," but its release schedule is too tight for that to happen. So, a Golden Oldie will be dusted off for "Robinsons," and new one-reelers created for the animated features sitting further down the tarmac ("American Dog," "Joe Jump," "Rapunzel," etc.) *As at Pixar, ideas for shorts are pitched to a "brain trust" of Disney directors and story supervisors. One storyman related: "Execs sometime sit in, but it's the directors and story leads making the decisions."


Kevin Koch said...

As many of us who worked on "Spirit" recall, having a personal service agreement won't keep you from being laid off temporarily when a film stalls out for story problems.

Most of the PSAs I've seen in recent years are so full of contingencies, company loopholes, and limitations that I'd be happy to see them disappear from more studios.

Anonymous said...

Bring on the shorts. How about Destino!!

ChristianZ said...

What they should do is double (or triple) up the number of shorts they are going to produce and put some of them in front of live action movies between animated releases.

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