Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Siddown, Shaddup -- A Go?

Yesterday (Monday) I heard from Sony that the company is "close" to an agreement on Sit Down, Shut Up "unless something else comes up." And I read this:

... now it looks as though things are finally progressing forward. The issue has been about which union the show's contract falls under – with Sony Pictures Television insisting the show is IATSE ...

It appears the show will remain under the IATSE contract, as Sony insisted it would. At the Television Critics Association event in Beverly Hills, FOX head Kevin Reilly said he had hoped to have everything finalized by the time he faced the press this morning. "We're still crossing Ts," Reilly said. He added that, as things seem to be heading now, "Mitch Hurwitz will stay, a couple of writers will leave, and we'll add a couple of writers." He added that "By today we'll hopefully be moving forward with a writing staff."

As I've said here and elsewhere, the company has consulted with the IATSE (our mother ship) and the SDSU writers. We're still hopeful that the show goes forward and everyone returns to work -- writers and artists both.

Maybe in 48 hours (or less) we'll know for certain.


Anonymous said...

I took a look at the animation sample you linked to. It looks like the kind of animated show you get when you put writers in charge. Ugh.

Seriously, what were they thinking in using live action backgrounds and simple, ugly character designs? Any artist could tell them that the eye is drawn to detail and to contrast, and all the contrast and detail is in the backgrounds. The characters aren't doing anything, and they can't compete with those backgrounds. Instead of having an integrated, cohesive cartoon world, it looks like a cheap mess.

Anonymous said...

I disagree!
Sit down, shut up!


Anonymous said...

That show looks absolutely horrible. Not just visually, but the writing too.

After all the hub-bub concerning this thing, it is going to get canceled. fast!

Steve said...


Three out of three people who don't put their names on post agree. Or maybe it's the same person discussing it with themselves. Who knows?

Regarding this show: It's either going to be a hit or it won't, it will either be hilarious or not - that's not what this conversation should be about, really.

It's about the business side of it.

What the conversation is, to me, anyway, is about these writers looking for parity in what they're paid, based on what their peers make on similar prime time animated show.

I hope they get it, regardless of what union they get it under... and I hope TAG looks at this deal and works to up the money for EVERYONE that creates cartoons, not just the ones who work on this one show.

- Steve

Anonymous said...

Steve, the business side of it doesn't matter a bit if the show is a turkey. Those live-action backgrounds are ugly, and undermine the animation.

Why fight for residuals if you're making a show so butt-ugly that it will never be re-run?

Anonymous said...

Why fight for residuals if you're making a show so butt-ugly that it will never be re-run?

Two words: The Simpsons.

Anonymous said...

Matt Groening said...

Why fight for residuals if you're making a show so butt-ugly that it will never be re-run?

Two words: The Simpsons.


Anonymous said...

The Simpsons art is excellent, and the relationship between it and the writing has been, at least in the near past, as close to perfect as television animation has ever come. South Park's art is also original and amazing. As for the rest of the endless spin-offs launched in this direction? - their attempts at 'ugly' have been motivated by all the wrong reasons, and as a sad animation footnote. They all remind me of the recent Coca-Cola campaign appealing to what is "Real." Forced authenticity. Vomit. Yack. Hurl.

The writing better be funny.

Anonymous said...

Love the canned laughter in the promos. This show actually might BE a sit-com.

Steve said...

To the nice anonymous person, a few replies up:

"Why fight for residuals if you're making a show so butt-ugly that it will never be re-run?"

Lets take residuals out of it and simply talk about profits.

Why fight for the deal? Because back-end is formulated before the first script is written, and the first storyboard panel drawn.

That deal represents what everybody's share is - in both failure (the least you'll make for the episodes you produced) and success (what percentage you get if it starts making money).

By the time you know whether you've got a screaming hit, or a steaming turd, the deal has been signed. And usually, that deal is a boilerplate.

And if you're a creator/writer/artist and you've sold a show (animated or otherwise), you make more under a WGA boilerplate than you would IATSE.

For what it's worth, all the usual "it's opinion" caveats, blah blah blah

Steve Hulett said...

...you make more under a WGA boilerplate than you would IATSE.

Depending on the boilerplate.

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to validate the previous opinion with my agreement that yes, that show looks like an absolute TURD.

... and i love bad animation, but there is a difference between bad animation and an ugly cartoon. To put together a cartoon that look that unimaginative one has to really be inept.

Steve said...


I'm game and legitimately curious.

Under which TAG boiler plate would I make more than a WGA boiler plate?

That's the boilerplate I'd like.

Kevin Koch said...

I think he means the opposite scenario -- the "WGA boilerplate" for any animation outside of primetime, which is where most of the writers under TAG labor.

Compare the WGA deals outside of primetime to the TAG deals outside of primetime. Then you're comparing apples to apples. Then things don't look so shockingly different.

hoopcooper said...


I just read about the SDSU deal. Sounds like a decent boilerplate for the next round of animation negotiations.

Glad everyone's going back to work.

Kevin Koch said...

I agree, it's an excellent boilerplate for award-winning live-action sitcom writers coming to work in prime-time animation.

As for how it applies to the rest of animation . . .

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