Saturday, March 10, 2007

Animation Links Cavalcade!

Another weekend, another opportunity to peruse some of the animation articles of the past week...

The L.A. Times reports good news and bad news about Sony Imageworks (seen above) exporting cgi jobs: The good news is the jobs aren't going to India. The bad news is the jobs might be leaving for New Mexico...

Sony Pictures Imageworks, one of Hollywood's leading visual effects companies, plans to move more than 100 jobs from Culver City to New Mexico if state lawmakers give their expected blessing next week to film industry financial sweeteners.

Although Imageworks would remain in Culver City, along with a majority of its employees, the decision to shift a major chunk of its operation elsewhere marks a symbolic blow to Southern California as it struggles to keep its signature business from being poached by other states and countries.

DVD TIMES isn't ecstatic about the quirky Barnyard, but does reveal that Barnyard, the Series will soon arrive:

Apparently, there is a Barnyard television show planned for sometime this year, with this film serving less as a pilot than a proving that the technology can be made to render the episodes cheaply. Or that this television show is a means to recoup some of the cost of this feature film.

America has been waiting for a new Alvin and the Chipmunks. Happily, its wait is almost over:

Jason Lee will star as David Seville in the CG/live-action hybrid pic "Alvin and the Chipmunks" for Fox 2000 and Fox Animation.

And the first direct-to-video PG-13 animated Superman will shortly be upon us:

Warner Home Video, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are set to release an all-new original movie SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY on Sept. 18, 2007. The direct-to-video production will be the first PG-13 rated animated SUPERMAN production.

Imagine. PG-13. The moral fibre of this country is rotting at the core.

When I was an elementary school kid stuck in a boarding school in the snowy Swiss Alps (because my parents were in Europe for a year and tired of me whining in the back seat of the car), I came across a fancy comic book about a crime-fighting kid in knickers. The name of the kid was Tin Tin, and a mere fifty years later:

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - It was a quarter-century in the making but, then again, nothing is easy for cartoon heroes such as Tintin.

Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks, a division of Viacom Inc., has committed to produce at least one movie about the adventures of the intrepid Belgian reporter, Nick Rodwell, head of Moulinsart NV, Tintin's commercial studio, said Thursday.

And finally, we link to President Emeritus Tom Sito's blog and his musings about why some people are hostile to labor unions:

when Lucas was a young,intense film student intern, a union shop steward on a movie set was mean to him. Supposedly, he was hostile to film unions thereafter....To tell you the truth, I am getting tired of this argument. It's like the old "A Nun once slapped me, and so now I'm an Atheist." A union person was crummy to me when I was a kid, so now I'll help undermine the pensions and health insurance of hundreds of working union families....

Have a glorious weekend.


MrFun said...

Sito's right on the money.

I remember those days in the sixties, and the young George Lucas. His girl friend Marcia worked at Allen Sandler's shop off Mariposa in Hollywood. Counter culture was cool in those days, so it was hip to be anti-union.

It all works out great if you happen to end up a jillionaire like Lucas -- but god help you if you don't.

Steve Hulett said...

John Lasseter will never need a labor union. Nor will John Musker and Ron Clements, nor a handful of other animation tyros.

Bully for them.

But the rest of us mortals will find a portable pension and health plan comes in REAL handy in our old age. I know a director in television animation who's made a lot of money during his long career because he's worked hard. He also hasn't saved very much, but he's in fine shape because he's got enough hours and qualified years to give him a comfortable pension.

To my mind, there's no reason everyone shouldn't have this kind of deal.

Anonymous said...

if more more animation is coming out of other cities than Los Angeles, why doesnt the union try to incorporate those other cities?

or is it too complicated to even ask? I know Florida had a Union or maybe it still does.


Steve Hulett said...

The IATSE is always interested in organizing animation nationwide. (They -- and we -- look at different studios all the time.)

The challenge is organizing those studios. If you don't have the support of the employees inside, you won't, in most cases, get much of anywhere.

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