Monday, August 13, 2007

And Yet Overtime

I got an e-mail today from one of my labor relations pals at a Major Studio. ("Labor Relations Departments" are part of every large company, staffed by lawyers and non-lawyers. They deal with all the different Hollywood Unions. Of which we are one.)

He's part of the committee with which TAG will be meeting about overtime issues, and his message, slightly paraphrased, goes as follows:

We're still working to get the whole committee together for a meeting, and it's difficult with all the other talks going on. But we're working on it..

If you could get us a list of examples for non-payment of overtime, that would be helpful...

And so forth and so on.

Now. I have my own list of uncompensated overtime problems, but if you have firsthand knowledge of examples of non-payment of o.t. at one of our signator studios*, I would like you to put your example down below in comments.

And if you want to be part of the o.t. committee, e-mail me or call me at the office.

*DreamWorks, Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Animation, Universal Cartoon Studios, Sony Adelaide ... or some studio I've overlooked.


Anonymous said...

Starz Media? Fox? Tom T?

Anonymous said...

nickelodeon and disney are both very guilty of this although its not on every show. its certain producers at those studios that pressure people into unpaid overtime. im sure those producers tell their bosses that everything is fine to cover up their incompitance.

Steve Hulett said...

The way it usually goes is this:

A producer/production manager/ director has changes on an already tight schedule, and the only way artists can hit the mark is by working nights and/or weekends.

Some shows are nasty in this regard, others are pretty good. But overall, schedules have gotten shorter and the requirements for more drawing has gone up.

What I'm looking for here are some SPECIFIC examples.

Anonymous said...

But that's the snag.

If an artist gives a specific example, chances are their producer/PM/director will discover who it was that "ratted them out" and make their lives hell.

By coming forward with specific information, you're rolling the dice with your livelihood.

Meanwhile, your fellow union members can't wait for you to shoot yourself in the foot so that you get fired and they move up the ladder.

My director is an insane tyrant, but I need my job. All of the other artists I work with feel the same way.

It's just a lousy situation to be in.

Anonymous said...

It's always a gamble. On the show I'm on I work with a supervisor who insists on making sure every minute of OT is paid if an artist needs to do OT. I would consequently kill for this man.
It's crunch time and he's on it. And that's with and on the orders of the producers.

On the other hand in the past I worked on a show over on Alameda(hint hint) where though I didn't have to work insane hours a lot of the artists DID-unpaid-because "it just hss to get done". Uh huh.
One of the director/producers told me the reason for the "crunching" was the big, fat bonus the exec producer would receive if the show came in UNDER schedule and UNDER budget. It did and they did.
This producer btw spent a lot of time at lunch, coming in whenever, leaving early etc.
Nice, huh?
This is over 10 years ago now but there it is. I've never forgotten that at some studios the person at the top can very well have a big ol' incentive to break the backs of people who shouldn't have their backs broken. Especially when those same people are laid off the second the production sked is met. Something to think about.

Anonymous said...

I really think this needs to be said:
If you are the producer of an animated film/show/commercial and you can't get the job done on time, on budget and WITHOUT breaking the backs of your workers - you, sir/madame, ARE A SHITTY PRODUCER.
Executives don't seem to appreciate that accomplishing all of those tasks is a big part of a producer's job - and if you're unable to get your job done without your underlings working tons of overtime, you're not suited to be a producer.
The shame of it is that executives don't bother to notice this little detail... if they did, there would be far fewer problems in this area.

Anonymous said...

There's two options:

1- Not to do the OT if you feel will not be compensated.

2- Do the OT, like an idiot,then not be compensated for it, and not have the balls to complain about it.

If you're employed, that means you have the skills nessesary. They need you more than you need them.


Anonymous said...

"the Squeeky wheel gets the oil..."

Site Meter