Monday, January 07, 2008

At Starz Media

My morning was spent at what used to be the Film Roman studios ... and is today known in many circles as the House of Homer and Marge. Work on The Simpsons series is slowly, steadily winding down ...

As each unit working on its respective show completes that episode's animatic (storyboards on a digital reel), work for those artists is finished, since no revisions can take place without the writers. And so it's layoff time.

The designers told me they have about two weeks left, then it's "adios" until the WGA strike is over. So who's hiring out there?" a couple of artists asked me. I gave them a short list of candidates and wished them good luck.

Naturally I get lots of questions about "how long will it last?" "What's the news?" Sadly, I don't have any. I can speculate with the best of them, but I've got no hot information and am basically as ignorant as a freshly-hatched chick.

Some of the speculation directed my way was how hairy the future work load might be if, at the end of the WGA strike, Simpsons artists have to rush to finish the old, half-completed season while also working on a new order of episodes. "If that happens, it'll be just as crazy for us around here as it was last year, with the feature and series going at the same time."

One director wondered aloud if this might be the one time when TAG writers were happier to be IA than WGA, since at least they're working. I said: "You'd have to ask the writers. Everybody probably has a different opinion."


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