Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Oooh...the SECRECY

I've been fairly busy the past couple of weeks, but I note that Jim Hill laments the secrecy that has now shrouded Disney Feature Animation:

Well, these past few months, it's like a giant Cone of Silence has been lowered over Burbank's Feature Animation building. Where once Disney artists used to brag and/or bitch & moan about the animated feature that they had been assigned to work on, now a lot of these employees have grown strangely mute.

Funny. I'm in and out of the hat building all the time, and nobody is particulalry mute to me. I just keep my mouth shut -- and typing fingers quiet -- more than most.

Not, mind you, as much as some would like. I talk about hiring and layoff issues from time to time. And early on, I relayed a few anecdotes that were amusing.

But in the past year, I've gotten like three exec complaints. One regarded an image-capture showing doughnuts falling out of the sky. One was about a direct-to-video project a producer said I could mention but the company didn't for contractual reasons, and the third was about the screen shape of an upcoming feature. Screen shape.

Disney and the rest have proprietary interests to protect. If a "cone of silence" is the way they want to do it, bully for them. What we're interested in here is labor stuff, wage stuff, the ebb and flow of the 'toon business. Things like that.

Revealing plot points of the next tent-pole epic coming from Disney, DreamWorks or somewhere else? Not our bag.

We leave that fertile ground to Jim Hill and associates.


MrFun said...

Studios often remind me of movie stars who whine about their lack of privacy -- and moan when they're ignored by the media.

Of course, they want it both ways. Shush! Don't say anything about my movie. Please! Please! See my movie! Talk about my movie!

As I've often said, only Geeks care about the plot points of some cartoon. Normal people have lives to live, and could care less what a bunch of dweebs are doing in a story room.

My advice? Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if more of the studios protected their properties with silence, then we'd see a lot less rip offs.

MrFun said...

Fat chance.

In a business where talent moves from studio to studio on a regular basis, that's not likely.

And, why would you expect loyalty from your employees when you discard them when it suites the company's purpose?

Finally, when it comes to ethics and integrity, why would anyone in their right mind expect that from the movie business?

John S. said...

Waaaaah! No one will dish dirt anymore! Waaaah!
What will poor poor Jim do now that he can't just beat the bushes and talk some disgruntled employee into dishing dirt on whatever movie they are on?

Anonymous said...

If only a Cone of Silence would descend on Jim Hill.

MrFun said...

Such angst over cartoon making.

Who the hell cares about the secrets of animation studios? There are bigger problems in the real world.

Forget Jim Hill. Consider George W. Bush when it comes to secrets.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the "dweebs" but we're trying to help the "grownup geeks" that frequent our site get a better understanding of exactly what "hand-drawn animation" means in the 21st Century.

NO we don't want to go snooping around the production meetings for "Frog Princess," but we would like to better understand how stylus and computer are being used beside or in place of pencil and paper.

Anybody know of any seminars on modern hand-drawn animation I might be able to attend?

Anonymous said...

> If only a Cone of Silence
> would descend on Jim Hill.

That would be one ENORMOUS cone...

MrFun said...

Is Peter Jackson the only producer-director out there with a brain?

If you're so concerned about your "secrets" getting out -- then control the process the way Jackson did with "Lord of the Rings" and "King Kong."

Turn your "leaks" into marketing. Make it work for you. If a bunch of Geeks have an interest in your film project consider yourself lucky.

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