Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another Watercolor Seascape

Ralph Hulett waves on rocks
(c) by the Estate Of Ralph Hulett. Click on the thumbnail to see a full-sized image.

Here's another "wet paper" watercolor, mostly painted out on site.

Ralph H. painted a whole series of seascapes in this style, and I'm trickling them out here. He won a lot more awards for his watercolors than his oils. But the oils (and acrylics) sold for way higher prices.

So guess what he painted a lot of?


Anonymous said...

I was sad to see in the new newsletter that Kevin continues to scratch his head over actor salaries. Of course it's ludicrous. But no more ludicrous than live action actor salaries, if you are one of the dozen people that can open movies. But I'd imagine if you are Eddie Murphy and you're part of the highest grossing animated movie of all time, when it comes time to negotiate for a sequel, you have about a billion times more leverage than anyone whose name isn't featured prominently on the poster. As to it somehow having ANYTHING to do with how hard the work is, come on. Actors doing broadway shows 8 times a week work harder than someone doing a sitcom, but I bet the average pay is but a fraction. Pretty much any below the line person on a movie set is working harder than the star, but they're not getting paid for how hard they work, they're getting paid for how much money their name is worth. Is it fair? No. Do I understand why it is that way? Uh, yeah.

Does the president of our union? Not based on the fact that he's now posted here and printed in the newsletter the same silly piece.

Seriously, Kevin doesn't understand how the giant leaps in box office dollars would pretty much end the old "do it for my kids" era? When Robin Williams signed on to Aladdin, I'm sure the idea that a cartoon would be one of the top grossing movies of the year probably seemed laughable. Once Dreamworks decided that the celebrity name value would be part of their standard operating procedure, the era of cheap voice talent was over forever.

I'm honestly puzzled as to what about this puzzles him.

I'd love to see him do something about getting us a bigger piece when we are part of a hit, but to put not too fine a point on it, I've got to think that if anyone from management would read his naive thoughts on this topic, his credibility and therefore our credibility would be shot.

Steve Hulett said...

I won't presume to speak for Kevin.

So how did you like the painting?

Kevin Koch said...

Mike, I'm sorry I saddened you, but I think you misunderstood the point of the Peg-Board column (which was simply a reprint of an earlier blog post). My issue was not that someone like Eddie Murphy gets tens of millions of dollars for a Shrek movie AFTER its an all-time blockbuster, it's that those kinds of salaries have now become fairly common for voice actors even before the truck-loads of money are rolling in.

And, in a couple of cases I know of, voice actors were paid fabulous sums even when their voices weren't even used in the final movie. It's a horrible business decision that could damage our industry. Of course a company like DreamWorks can do what they want, it's their studio. But it's potentially endangers our jobs, and that's what saddens me.

Also, your naive idea that cartoon blockbusters began with Aladdin and Robin Williams is mistaken. Snow White was by far the biggest blockbuster of it's year, and one of the most successful films ever. Many, many other Disney features are on the all-time movie cash-generater lists from the eras before Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy. Bottom line -- there was no reason for studios to start raising the costs of making these films by 20-30%, and in a few years I predict we'll read execs pissing and moaning about the issue they just created.

Finally, your comment that I could somehow single-handedly get us a bigger piece of the pie if I only put my mind to it is, well, so far disconnected from reality that I don't even know where to begin.

Steve Hulett said...

Not too fine a point on it, I've got to think that if anyone from management would read his naive thoughts on this topic, his credibility and therefore our credibility would be shot.

Mike, let me put your mind at rest.

I've been in a lot of negotiations over the past few years, and the reality is this:

If a union negotiator came in both focused and highly knowledgable about the issues on the table, he'd get a somewhat better deal than somebody who walked in wearing a Napoleon hat and spouting gibberish from Alice in Wonderland.

But only somewhat.

The benefits package (negotiated by the IA) and most of the wage bump-ups (heavily influenced by the IA) would be pretty much be the same.

(The difference in recent years has been in freelance rates. In this area, TAG has gotten substantial boosts. Separate and apart from the IATSE.)

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