Monday, February 07, 2011

Employment is down (some), but fairly stable

When you consider that TAG lost its third-largest employer last year, the numbers for union-shop employment have overall remained very steady over the last twelve months. Were it not for the shuttering of IM Digital, these totals would look even better.

The signing of Hasbro and 6 Point 2 has gained us well over a hundred new jobs, which along with pickups at DreamWorks and most of the TV and cable shops have made up for downticks at Disney and Cartoon Network.


vfxsoldier said...

Sorry to hijack this thread but in a related note:

I've wrote a post how many of us in the US can help bring back VFX that we have lost over the years through foreign subsidies.

Please forward to any vfx artists/producers you know:

Anonymous said...

All the entry level jobs in animation and vfx have gone overseas. As recent grad from a top art school in LA, I can't get a job or get a break in either industry or you have to be in the Guild to get the job. Now I'm stuck with 100K student loans I can't pay off.

Anonymous said...

As recent grad from a top art school in LA, I can't get a job or get a break in either industry or you have to be in the Guild to get the job.

This was not my experience in 2004. I got a Local 839 gig and union membership despite not being a prior member of the Animation Guild.

Also, have you considered applying to video game studios like Electronic Arts or Blizzard?

Anonymous said...

It's totally untrue about needing to be member to get hired. It's either a runaround to deflect why they don't want a person or more likely, their way of saying they want someone with experience(without saying so). An easy out. Just keep trying.

Anonymous said...

The above poster is absolutely correct. It's is against the law to not hire someone because they're not already in TAG. If you've been told this, they probably just don't want to be straight with you. Sorry about that, but as you've been told, keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff

Could you break down what "Disney" means? Lke, what percentage is WDAS, Disney Toons, etc. I think that'd be valuable information.


Jeff Massie said...

Of the 595 people listed at Disney, 410 are working under the IATSE-TSL agreement (feature animation), and 185 under the Local 839 agreement (mostly TVA and Disney Toons).

Anonymous said...

Cool. Thank you

Brubaker said...

I never heard of 6 point 2 studio. What do they make? The google search only turns up a blank webpage.

Anonymous said...

6Point2 is a sister company created by the studio 6Point Harness. Their new production for MTV is being produced with employees offered union membership, whereas the other production at the same company is non union.

My opinion: one is better off working for the non union production.

The 6Point2 crew is working at or below the union minimums while still getting hefty bills for union dues in the mail. Couple that with the compressed schedule and the only way it works out for an employee to pay the union is if they never take a sick day and accrue the maximum amount of hours.. and for what? So they can have benefits that start in June and end in November?

Add an individuals monthly health insurance bills plus the union fees and subtract them from what 6Point2 is paying and you don't have anything close to a living wage. Which is why most artists at 6Point2 are forgoing paying the union dues and just trying to get through the production.

A production that is demanding all artists work unpaid overtime and a production that's supervisors surrounded and chaperoned Steve like he was an unwelcome intruder when he stopped by to visit. Ushering him out the door after a brief announcement about pensions and then laughing to themselves about "what a close one that was!".

6Point2 is not really a functioning union shop. There is no benefit for the union being attached to it because if the show isn't continued there( a real possibility), the 6Point2 moniker will simply be dissolved. There are no industry veterans that will work the hours and low wages. And there is no way that young artists there can afford to join the union.

Steve Hulett said...

Actually, I answered multiple questions in both big rooms of Six Point when I was there, and was told of the issues the the company before. The words from on high: "Don't let Hulett know what's going on. Don't let Hulett know about the unpaid o.t. ..." (etc.)

I'm pretty aware of the shit that goes on. (Been encountering it since 1990.) Happy to file grievances anytime, anywhere.

But the anonymous person right above is a little misleading, in that we've waived initiation fees for a sizable number of folks at 6.2, and our crushing dues are $33/month.

As always, I'm available at (818) 845-7500 for anyone who wants to discuss.

Anonymous said...

Just curious - how many employees does Pixar have?

Anonymous said...

"and our crushing dues are $33/month."

What? Steve my first bill was $635.00 and monthly payments were $210.00. Thats fine for a gig at a big studio like Disney with Job security, but this run at 6Point is four months tops for every artist there.

Everyone there WANTS to join the union. From my coworkers that I have talked to there, few will with that being the arrangement.

Anonymous said...

I believe Pixar has just under 1500 employees.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous above doesn't sound like they were at 6point2 when it went union, which is too bad. For all the people who were there at the time, the initiation fees were waived. If you were there and the fee wasn't waived, you should talk to Steve.

I've heard this a million times, so I'll repeat it here, even though I can't speak for the Guild. Pay your initiation fee in installments. Stop paying and go on 'suspension' when your gig ends. You won't get any more bills, at least until you get another union job.

If your gig only lasts 4 months, you won't end up paying much. Since you won't have gotten a bill for the first month (it takes at least 30 days to be entered onto the union books), and since you can skip paying the last month, then you'd end up only making a couple of payments before your union account is suspended. You'll also get a good portion of what you put out as severance pay after you're laid off. At the end of the day, your brief union membership won't have cost you much.

Steve Hulett said...

Listen to Anon 11:17. If you're paying initiation fees, you can stretch them out. Just talk to Lyn here at the office.

(818) 845-7500

As for this:

What? Steve my first bill was $635.00 and monthly payments were $210.00. Thats fine for a gig at a big studio like Disney with Job security, but this run at 6Point is four months tops for every artist there.

This person (whoever he or she is) can contact us. Half the crew at Six Point had their initiation fees waived. (People who came in after the initial round of hiring did not. But we worked with the studio on this. And we're happy to work with individuals if they will only pick up the phone and call.)

Anonymous said...

The only way anyone can "force" you to work without pay is if you let them. Period.

Come in at 9, kick some butt/do yer scenes like a pro, and leave at 6. No one will complain. I've been doing it for nearly 7 years now, and have yet to encounter an issue with ANY studio.

Gran Moff Tarkin said...

I was at 6 Point when the rep from the union came by. I don't know if it was the person in these forums, but I had my headphones on working as hard as I could like most of the crew so I didn't catch the beginning of the brief address. The entire time the union rep spoke our supervisors stood on either side of him with their arms crossed looking at us all and no one could stop working because our directors were still on us about deadlines. I really didn't come away from that experience feeling good about our representation. I would have liked to have had the crew talk to the union rep without the management standing over him, but he started his address that way and as soon as it was over he was indeed ushered out the door by the owner of the studio and two production managers.

The only way we could have had a real meeting with our union rep is if we took a break from our work to do that, and management would not let us. We had to work while he talked to us. It wasn't cool at all.

The workload at 6Point is so heavy that we can't stop to have a meeting in the middle of the day and we can't work 9 to 6 like the poster above incorrectly guesses. Two directors and a storyboard artist have already walked away from the project because of the workload and hours.

Steve Hulett said...

The only way we could have had a real meeting with our union rep is if we took a break from our work to do that, and management would not let us.


Anonymous said...

Gran, I'm the poster above, and I work at 6pt2 too. I arrive between 9 and 10, I leave between 6 and 7, and I work hard inbetween. No one has complained.

Steve Hulett said...

Nobody has complained to me.

(Sorry, but of necessity I have to discount complaints from anonymous writers on blogs.)

Anonymous said...

If those are your hours, then you aren't very important to the production.

Steve Hulett said...

... or so says an anonymous person.

Anonymous said...

Which one?
The one you choose to believe, or the one that recounted your feeble meeting and how you were kept under check the whole time you were at 6 Point Harness?

Anonymous said...

Jeeze, if you have something to say to Steve, and management at the company wouldn't let you talk to him while he was there, then stop with the anonymous bullshit and call the man on the phone. Grow a pair or shut the hell up.

Steve Hulett said...

I have received no phone calls.

Just so everybody knows. (And the number again: 818-845-7500.)

Happy to return to the studio. Happy to take people to lunch (my treat.) Happy to file grievances or talk to management or do whatever you want.

Only thing I can't do is respond to anonymous ghosts.

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