Thursday, September 06, 2007

At the Sherman Oaks Galleria...

...the former home of Warner Bros. Animation is being turned into the new headquarters of the Motion Picture Association of America.

This top-secret information was told to me in deepest confidence several months ago, but now that there are, like, public notices plastered to the glass doors of what used to be the WB cartoon factory, and those notices say: "Warner Bros. (leasee) is sub-leasing floors 1 and 2 to the MPAA," the proverbial cat is out of the bag.

Two construction companies appear to be reconstituting the interior of the building.

It's sad, actually. In those vast, high-ceilinged spaces where storyboard artists, animation writers, designers and cg animators once roamed, there will soon be MPAA administrators, secretaries, and other movie bureaucrats. And no doubt the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as well.

Change is the only constant in the world.


Anonymous said...

It's incredibly appropriate that the MPAA is now in that horrible space that Warners used to be in. Talk about having no soul...that space was a dreamkiller for the creatives.

The squalor of the old Imperial Bank bldg. space is preferred over that May Co. hellhole.

Steve Hulett said...

I nver did understand why Warner Bros. Animation moved from the Galleria office tower -- as eccentric as the various floors it occupied were -- to the old May Co. building.

Jean McCurdy's farewell gift to Warners, I suppose. WB still has the space under lease.

Anonymous said...

I remember having a cubicle with a nice view of the entire San Fernando Valley in the Imperial Bank building. Never again, I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Warners originally planned that former May Company building to house WB Animation and Cartoon Network combined, including a substantial area for ongoing feature animation development. This decision was made just after the peak of the 1990's boom and as it glacially slid forward with diminishing expectations, the thing was finally too big to completely curtail. The company ended up with a 15 year lease on a white elephant eating over 10 million bucks annually, not including executive parking costs (which were, of course, markedly higher than those of the creatives). As final Sherman Oaks division head Sander Schwartz kept hacking the budgets and operating costs (even beyond his naturally cheap inclinations, under his corporate superiors' demands), the once-great studio wound up churning out crap with production values on par with those of DIC. The seedy Imperial Bank building was certainly superior in every respect, because it took itself less seriously. The suit who picked out all the furniture and managed the Sherman Oaks decor went around bragging how the new building "was designed specifically for animation" when it always seemed more like a generic business office. He was canned soon afterward, as part of the first of many waves of corporate cutbacks. The MPAA should feel right at home and it'll be poetic justice in one regard: WBA once mocked former MPAA president Jack Valenti in an episode of "Freakazoid", using Valenti himself to do the voice. "Hello, I'm Jack Valenti, and these are my cheeks!"

Site Meter