Friday, July 13, 2007

Media Convergence!

Electronic Arts topkick Neil Young

When you talk animation today, you need to talk about a much wider universe than the world of Disney features, Huckleberry Hound and Bugs Bunny that existed forty-five or fifty years ago.

In 2007, animation means digital visual effects, television graphics, internet shorts, television episodics, theatrical features.

It also means the huge world of video games -- which today far outstrips the traditional entertainment media we know as films and television. Electronic Arts honcho Neil Young talks about the convergence of games and the other media platforms in an interview with Game Daily:

"We've evolved from an industry that licensed Hollywood IP for games to one that now works with creators like Steven Spielberg to create original IP that can translate across multiple interactive and traditional media," said Young, who's overseeing the three original games Spielberg is developing for EA. "That journey is accelerating as musicians, writers, actors and directors are all getting involved in video games. The lines are being blurred between a great IP that comes from the imagination of a game designer and one that comes from a Hollywood creative."

Young believes the blurring of which came first, the movie or the game, will become a moot point inside of three years.

(A longer interview with Young on this subject is here.)

I know a number of animators and TDs who shift back and forth from video games to animated features. Electronic Arts has a big facility in Playa Vista, and competes with visual effects houses and animation studios for digital artists coming out of Cal Arts, UCLA, and elsewhere.

I'm told that base salaries are often similar, but benefit packages and overtime rules are not.

(h.t. Kathleen A. Milnes)


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