Friday, September 08, 2006

End of Week Studio Roundup

Friday I had to get on the road for an IATSE conclave taking place in Las Vegas (the annual "District 2" convention), but things were hectic while I was still in town.... Disney Toons in Glendale has started reconfiguring the second floor -- which, if you've never been on the second floor of the Disney Toons/Disney TVA building, is about the size of a city block. They have now launched into remodelling the space, and artists are being moved to one side of the floor while a temporary wall is put up and remodelling/rewiring work commences on the other. I made a quick circuit of DreamWorks (down the street from Disney Toons) and found artists working on "Flushed Away's" last week or finalling. "FA" is set for release on November 3, so one way or the other, there WON'T be a lot more work on the picture, since the clock is cklicking down. A DreamWorkser who's an active TAG member flagged me down in the commissary and regaled me with tales of his week at the "Burning Man" event up in Nevada with a half-dozen fellow artists. He'd never been to the event before and said it was an amazing experience. Close to forty thousand people gathered on the alkali flats east of Reno to paint, perform, sculpt and erect structures that blared music and gleamed with lights into the morning's small hours. The whole thing, he said, was like a small city laid out on the spokes of a huge wheel, everyone carting in their own water, food and supplies. Apparently this was a "mild summer," so the temps only got up to 95 during the day and fell into the fifties at night. He plans to do it again. A staffer at Disney Feature Animation sent me a memo the studio issued to employees yesterday, reminding everybody about overtime rules and regulations, about filling out timecards correctly, etc. Here's a small chunk of it: Example of how to enter a meal break for “Enter My Time” Mickey starts work at 8 a.m. and takes his lunch break at 12:15 p.m. He returns from his lunch break at 1:15 p.m. and completes his day at 5 p.m. Mickey enters in his “from” time as 800 and his “to” time as 1215. Mickey enters in his “from” time as 1315 (1:15 p.m. in military time) Mickey enters in his “to” time as 1700(5 p.m. in military time) Example of how to enter a meal break for “Enter My Time in Hours to Gross” Mickey starts work at 8 a.m. and takes his lunch break at 12:15 p.m. He returns from his lunch break at 1:15 p.m. and completes his day at 5 p.m. Mickey enters in his “time in” as 8.0 and his “time out” as 12.2 Mickey enters in his “time in” as 13.2 (1:15 p.m.- hour is in military time and minutes in tenths per the collective bargaining agreements) Mickey enters in his “time out” as 17.0 (5 p.m. in military time) Good for Disney for striving to keep people honest. Overtime has been a gnarly monster since I started this job, and by that I mean there are always abuses going on -- mostly on the television side, but occasionally in features as well. The issue has never gone away. I often tell animation staffers that it's against the law to falsify a time card (like, put down eight hours when you've really worked ten.) But in this corporate age, it's often difficult to fight the cultural tide.


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or are these TAG posts lacking in all relevant info? I want to know what's happening at the other studios, not what some freaking TD thinks about Burning Man.

Here's a new tip: I enjoyed the fair in Santa Monica this past weekend. Lots of good bbq chicken. Lets have an entry about that. Jessus.

Anonymous said...

Hey crabby Bob, chill out. A little bit of one article isn't screamingly relevant to your precious life and you get all bent out of shape. You sound like one of those people who like to complain every chance they get. Jesus indeed.

Thanks, Steve, for keeping us informed.

Steve Hulett said...

Couple of things:

Absolutely correct that "Burning Man" isn't animation relevant. So that's what? One paragraph?

I go in and out of studios on a daily basis. Lots of things get said to me. Lots of things get seen by me. But for professional and proprietary reasons, much of it never pops up here. (I've been lectured for revealing that "The Simpsons" is in a wide-screen format, and taken to task for revealing the name of a "Lion King" direct-to-video sequel -- "Lion King 1 1/2." I couldn't sleep for a week after that dressing down.)

So, for better or worse, I censor myself. Not fun for you but necessary for me.

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