Wednesday, September 07, 2011

An Exciting Event

Last week I got a call from Women in Animation, asking that I be a member of a panel they're having. I said "Sure, you betchya."

And today, a knowledgeable person tipped me off to this announcement found elsewhere on the internets:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Women In Animation (WIA) GENERAL MEETING



Representing The Animation Guild: Tom Sito, Craig Miller and Steve Hulett

Representing Independents: Charles Zembillas




Should be fun. Should be a crowd. (Or not.)

But there's one error (I think) in the announcement. Craig Miller (a writer) is an officer on the Animation Writers Caucus at the Writers Guild of America.

So ... unless I'm way out of the loop, I think he'll be representing the AWC inside the WGA, and not TAG.

Mark your calendars!


Anonymous said...

and chuck zimbillas represents ONLY himself. No one else--and certainly not "independents."

Anonymous said...

Putting Chuckie on a panel is like asking Sarah Palin to speak. It instantly lowers the IQ and credibility of the entire affair.
I thought more of WIA until I saw this announcement.

Charles Zembillas said...

Thanks for the warm welcome TAG. I'm looking forward to this event. By the way Steve, the announcement you posted here came from this part of the Internets...

WIA invited me to participate. I thought it was going to be a conversation or some sort of debate between myself and Tom Sito. It wasn't until later that I was informed there would be three of you. Which is fine with me. Stack it up with as many of your people as you like. The more the better.

For the record, I don't know who Craig Miller represents. I'm assuming he's associated with TAG in some way. The info I published is from WIA.

Also, I should say that I'll be representing the independent point of view. I claim to represent nobody but this point of view which is widely shared by a lot of people in the biz, including many of the roughly 80% of TAG's own membership that doesn't seem to care enough about their own union to involve itself in TAG unless it's the great Christmas party you guys sponsor. WIA and myself figured that "independents" sounds better than non-union. I am not against the union as some in your organization seem to think and have found it convenient to portray over the years.

The feedback I'm getting looks like there'll be a great turnout for this. Who knows, maybe even your trolls will come out from under the bridge for what I'm sure will be a discussion that will be in the Guild's best interests as well as the interests of everyone in animation that wants to see a strong industry on behalf of the artists.

And besides, it's on your own turf so there's nothing for you guys to be afraid of.

Mark Mayerson said...

I would hope that somebody would record this event and post it on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Mark, Somebody already put it online:

Anonymous said...

I agree! chuck is the palin/ross perot of animation. When people realize he's got nothing to say--or if he feels like he's not getting his way or enough attention--he'll take his ball and pout home. Like always.

WIA must not be very serious or they'd have looked for more than 30 seconds for someone independent animators respect before making such a hasty announcement.

Bill Plympton, Joanna Preistly, Evan Spiradellas. People who've actually DONE something instead of just "talked" about it just for attention.

Hopefully, WIA will wise up and make an updated list of panelists today.

Anonymous said...

I thought to "represent" the independent animator POV you actually had to have worked as an animation person - independent or not.

What type of reception should a pariah and bottom feeder expect?!

If WIA wants to be legit they will rethink the "independent" side of this discussion.

The shocking thing is that WIA has a multitude of their own members that would fit the bill of Indy animation people a lot better than this unemployable "animator"

Anonymous said...

I hear Charles has a table at CTN.

Good thing he'll have this panel to build some attention for his booth since he gets an average of 3 posts per thread on AN(hint: all 3 posts are from him).

Oh if only Amid could be on this panel...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

At least he had to pay for the table. Hopefully he won't scam any kids into putting money into his bank account - I mean "school"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warm welcome TAG.

Charles, with all due respect, you can distinguish between anonymous internet commenters and the Animation Guild, can't you? For all you know, the people ragging on you have never been involved in TAG, and might well be former regulars at Animation Nation who know you well.

For the record, I don't know who Craig Miller represents. I'm assuming he's associated with TAG in some way.

We all know you've been very good at making incorrect assumptions about TAG, and publishing that misinformation, and then not retracting or apologizing for it when you were called on it. This is typical.

until later that I was informed there would be three of you. Which is fine with me. Stack it up with as many of your people as you like.

Shouldn't this complaint be leveled at WIA? TAG obviously doesn't have anything to do with who is on these panels.

Who knows, maybe even your trolls will come out from under the bridge

As I recall, you grew a pretty substantial crop of trolls at AN before you shut down the open discussion forum portion of the site. What is it about you that inspires trolling, anyway?

Steve Hulett said...

I don't have any position on this. I was called and asked to be on a panel, and I said fine. Whatever the panel is titled is somebody else's doing, not mine.

I don't have any axe to grind with Mr. Z. or anybody else. All I was doing with this post was putting it up there. I was informed about the announcement by a third party, and thought it worth reporting.

Should be an enjoyable evening.

Anonymous said...

Yes, It'll be like watching the GOP debate last night. Will Chucky be Perry- I don't believe in science crazy, Bachman - bug eyed crazy or Paul - I don't live on this planet crazy.
You never know what you're gonna get when Chucky shows up, but you know it'll be some sort of crazy.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea who any of these people are.

I'm going to go back to animating while you guys fight about...something?

Anonymous said...

This will be an extremely interesting panel. 1stly I totally get what the union does for the animation community directly and indirectly...And it's deeeply appreciated.
I am not familar with Charles Z beyond his school. Would it be more balanced to have a representatve from a smaller studio, and a representative from a large like Pixar, as well as overlapping into a vfx facility as well, because of the blending of vfx animation and straight all encompassed animated film.
If at all possible, for any of us not able to attend, I would love to see a video or listen to an audio podcast of this panel.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this "chuck zumbellis" either. But having been a very successful independent artist for 35 years, I can say whatever he says or thinks won't matter. If he were so successful, more people would have heard of him. Why would the Guild lower themselves to such silliness? Can't our monies be put to better use than arguing with a nobody?

Anonymous said...

Where does he get this 80% ??? What it is this? Theater of the absurd. Pathetic. Stay home Steve.

Charles Zembillas said...

So much fear in this Guild. What are you all afraid of? Why all of the personal insults? Is there any professionalism left in your
organization? You guys behave like grade schoolers.

This is going to be a great event. You'll be surprised at the turnout.
There's going to be more than a few people that are going to show up
and put some serious questions towards you folks.

The 80% no shows in your union that I'm referring to are all the people who didn't bother to vote in your election last year. By the way, what kind of a response did you
get from your membership in your wage survey just now?

How many show up for your meetings?

Sure Steve, take the advice of your trolls. Stay at home and avoid dealing with people who have some serious questions about your
leadership, or lack thereof judging from the way you moderate this

Insults from cowards. How do you guys think this is being perceived by people in general? Do you think it puts TAG in a favorable light?

This event is going to be videotaped by the way folks, so if you don't have the inclination to show up for it and engage in something positive and progressive for a change, you'll be able to see it online afterwards.

I'll be there in any case. If you have something to say you can say it to my face or just keep hiding in the shadows.

If you have something to contribute to a progressive discussion you're more than welcome to attend.

Charles Zembillas said...

Looks like my response keeps getting deleted. Here it is on the AN Forums...

Steven Kaplan said...

Cool your paranoia Charles. No one is deleting your comments. Blogger catches responses over a certain length and calls them Spam. They need to be verified before posting, and I get to this once a day in the early morning hours.

Don't believe me? Here's a screencap of the folder before I release some comments.

I will release the 2:17am version of your comment, as its the newer of the two.

Anonymous said...

I don't know this Charles guy either. But the TAG blog isn't exactly the New York Times. There's maybe, 8 people who follow it? Slow your roll man.

Anonymous said...

Attendance of panel:13
Hits on youtube:500,000

Who's going to pay $10 for this when they can watch it online for free?

Why didn't Charles ever just set up an appointment with Hulett to go in and talk to him face to face about these issues? Oooohhhh right, gotta build up some drama so at least SOMEONE knows who he is at CTN.

Good plan!

Notice how he keeps posting links to his own site to get more traffic.

Desperate much?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know why WIA is having independent animators represented by someone whose expertise is running a minor website and doing some teaching? A real independent animator could talk meaningfully about things like the difficulty of getting insurance, dealing with self employment taxes and business licenses, incorporating, negotiating hours and rates under 1099s, and on and on. I've been to a couple of Animation Nation meetings, and besides a lot of emotional rhetoric, Charles Zembellis doesn't know the first thing about the day to day life of an independent animator or how to make a living at it.

Comparing his comments here to Steve Hulett's shows you exactly what a waste of time this event will be. I get bored by the sneering, condescending, no-nothing pandering in Charles's writing. I don't need to see his tired schtick in person.

Anonymous said...

As an independent animator I represent myself. The indy movement is so vast and diverse, to label one person as are representative of it is.

Animation Nation, which I'm a former member of is an Important vehicle for indy animators as a resource and marketing tool. The Union which I'm also a former member of is important to the growth of the entire animation community as well.

So maybe both sides can bury the egos and rhetoric and instead of debating, maybe discuss how both groups can work together to foster change.

Otherwise, same as the current political situation we're in - you'll both alienate and disenfranchise potential participants, like myself.

big bad balloon said...

"both sides"? I'm not even a member but I don't remember seeing Hulett throwing tantrums and having an ego about issues.

Charles is so big on people "saying things to his face, man to man", yet when has he ever gone into the Guild office to speak to ANYONE there about issues facing animators?

He talks about "people hiding behind the keyboard" but what do he and his 3 followers on AN do? Trash talk the Guild and Cartoon Brew. Whattaman!

Like I stated earlier, this will be a good engine for Zembo to get his name out there before CTN but overall it's going to be the uselessness and insanity of AN - only LIVE! Such a shame because AN was once a great, great place for independent creators to gather. But now...

Send in the clowns.

Charles Zembillas said...

Thanks for the explanation Steve Kaplan as to why my comments were deleted. I'll keep my responses shorter.

First off, WIA asked me to do this. I didn't set it up myself. I have no booth at CTN as of this writing. I don't care for Sarah Palin either nor Rick Perry.

I'd welcome Amid Amidi of Cartoonbrew as one of you anonymous posters suggested. I was scheduled to debate him in 2007 at the Platform Festival in Portland but he pulled out of the panel. Bring anyone you'd like to bring.

I include a link to AN to be sure you guys know this is me. In the past trolls have used my name to post comments here.

big bad balloon said...

2 more little nuggets:

1. On Animation Nation why does it say "Me vs Tag"? Shouldn't it say "Independent Animators vs Tag"? Or is this a personal vendetta?

2. Also you shouldn't mislead people on AN saying "the people from the Guild are so rude!"...just because people post on the Guild blog doesn't mean they are members.

Let's keep it honest.

Charles Zembillas said...

Thanks for the explanation Steve Kaplan. Keep trying to post a response here but they keep being blocked. Thought the last one was concise enough. Maybe you can clear it. Thanks.

Charles Zembillas said...

To Big Bad Balloon and all. WIA seems to be very happy about having me represent the non-union aspect of this discussion. They're welcome to include whoever they want. I wanted to call it a debate, but they framed it as an argument because it's part of a series of debates they sponsor that go by this title. I'm am outpsoken advocate for independents and union members alike. I believe in progressive industry reform. I have a lot of confident that I can represent a perpsective they want me to represent, and I guess they have confidence in me as well. Show up on Oct 21 and contribute to a meaniingful discussion.

Anonymous said...

Both sides I was referring to is Charles and Union in General, not Steve, considering Tom Sito is also on the panel. The Union used to have an ad campaign that basically stated if you are not using a union artist then you are using an inferior artist. Which was an insult to artists who weren't union because they haven't been hired yet by a union shop, but were as talented.

Steven Kaplan said...

Seems to be the link in your name that's doing it Charles. I apologize for the confusion. I'm checking more frequently and will release them as they arrive.

Charles Zembillas said...

Also, how can anyone tell who here is from the Guild or not when you allow anonymous posting and truly malicious behavior. This was something that was happening at AN and I decided to end it. When I did these people found a home here on your blog. The continuous personal attacks over the years only adds to the harsh feelings and poor image that many people have of the Guild. This is a topic that can be addressed and can help you resolve some of the problems you guys experience with a general perception of the union.

Steve Hulett said...

I was informed it was a panel discussion. I was told Sito and Craig Miller would be attending. Having Charles there is fine.

One point of clarification: The opinions expressed on this blog are mine ... and whoever else is credited as author of the post. (Read the statement up top.)

From Charles:

... take the advice of your trolls. Stay at home and avoid dealing with people who have some serious questions about your leadership, or lack thereof judging from the way you moderate this blog.

Where the angry invective comes from, I don't know. But allow me to say this:

I'm out in studios five days a week, going office to office, cubicle to cubicle. Talking to members. I'll be continuing this practice until I'm carried out of here on my shield.

I answer most e-mails (SPAM excepted), respond to most phone calls (Solicitors excepted.)

TAG elections have received the same percentages of ballots as most entertainment unions, in the 20-30% range. Charles is correct that this number is low. But it's also (sadly) the norm.

This blog was started by myself and President Kevin Koch five-plus years ago. Kevin has moved on, but I'm still blogging away, with assistance from staff. I plan to continue the practice.

I look at the blog as a way to communicate with members and others, to add something to the general discussion of animation. (That's why we've started the TAG Interviews.) A large part of it is done away from the office, after hours. We have neither the time nor the interest around here to closely monitor comments. But understand that "comments" are by individuals other than me/us.

As to the way I run things here, I understand that you and others think I'm doing it all wrong. There's a simple solution to that. You (or others) can run for this elective post and show us how to do it right.

What could be simpler?

Former poster on AN said...

Charles, are personal attacks okay if your name is attached?

I've seen your immature behavior toward AN contributors in the past. Respectful contributors who were doing nothing wrong, but posting their perspectives. You mocked them, called them names, were abusive, and chased them off your site.

Numerous examples of this. The fact is, the more we got to know who you really were, the less we liked you. And that's the REAL reason why everyone stopped going to AN.

You were the cause of your own problems.

yahweh said...

No, Chuckie, you found it intolerable because people disagreed with YOU and your little minions.
Steve doesn't seem to have an issue with open discourse. You do. Sure, some of it can get nasty and offensive, but you won't and can't have open discourse if you treat your forum like it's your personal ad for how wonderful you think you are and attack anyone who disagrees with you. Steve seems to understand this - you don't. Ever wonder why Pros heave left AN for good? or do you not even notice because you and your minions are perfectly happy strutting around like you actually have some real knowledge.
And let's be absolutely clear here: YOU SPEAK FOR NO ONE BUT YOURSELF!
You are as far removed from being an independent animator and representing what they feel as Steve is if he were trying to represent doctors and nurses. Sure he sees them occasionally and he hears their stories, but he sure can't speak for them and you can't speak for anyone in the animation business unless you want to discuss what it's like to run an animation trade school (and I'm being nice by calling it that).
Okay, so it wasn't who suggested you be on this panel, but the correct response when you were asked to 'represent' the independent animator pov would have been: "I'm sorry, but I can't. I'm not a working animation professional - inedpendent or not. Let me suggest some names for you..."

Charles Zembillas said...

If I could go back in time and do it differently on AN I would, but the truth is that it's been a two way street. On a forum like AN at that time, it was getting increasingly difficult to manage or deal with the hostility that some people were continuously bringing to the forums. I did my best to deal with it. When it got bad, I would apologize for things that I shouldn't have been apologizing for, and it didn't seem to make a difference with some folks. It's a long story, too long to explain here. It served its purpose for what it was at the time. I'm very happy with AN the way it is now, and I can focus on promoting people through the site rather than fighting them.

Charles Zembillas said...

To Steve Hulett, your attitude tends to turns people off. Personally, I think the Guild could be doing many things differently. Your comments impress people as being jaded, tired, and even unenthusiastic about what you do. I'm sure you deal with a lot of crap, but if this is something you don't want to do, then don't do it or have someone else step up and help out. You're not winning over people and you're not being as effective as you could be. The Guild can be making progress, but not with an attitude like yours. You strike people as being resigned to defeat at a time when the Guild should be leading with confidence. This is something else that can be addressed on Oct 21 or sooner if you choose.

big bad balloon said...

Apologies are useless if you, repeatedly, behave the same way. So don't use your empty, transparent apologies as some kind of bargaining chip.

Just as everyone here knows already, and just as you'll show during the panel, you don't listen. Things have been explained to you on your site by Kevin Koch, Hulett, Kaplan and others but you and your warriors 3 refuse to listen to reason.

"If you aren't with us, you're against us and part o' da problem! arrrrrrr!"

Really looking forward to his NEW UNION you're cooking up to watch it blossom into something much better than the current Union.

You can honestly look at AN and say it's just as useful and meaningful as it once was? How many creative professionals made the switch to Brew, your arch enemy? I don't care who you are, that's gotta HURT.

Many people don't agree with what Amid says but at least he gives them their say to disagree with him. Also you are able to contact Amid easily. Something that was impossible to do with you on AN. Why was that? Don't answer it for the panel.

Charles Zembillas said...

To Yahweh, I can save it for the panel or give it to you straight out here. The problem with Amid is Amid. And I disagree with you, I don't believe he gives people the editorial freedom that you think he does when he runs a blog that is as moderated as Cartoonbrew from the beginning. If I ran AN from the beginning the way that Amid started with comments on Cartoonbrew, it would be a different story altogether. I provided an open forum with AN and it was continuously abused by trolls and even others who weren't as anonymous. This went on for years. I would never go back to doing that again. It was a very stress filled time of my life and I'm glad it's over. I supported Amid long before Cartoonbrew existed and I have my issues with him. Bring him along for the panel, I would welcome it.

As for my professional experience in animation as an independent, I've been in the business for 30 plus years. I helped develop three major series for Filmation in the 1980s. I developed the first Saturday morning cartoon for Hallmark Cards, which was produced by Hanna Barbera. I developed American Tail which was later animated by Don Bluth and produced by Speilberg. I developed three major video game properties that are among the most successful character based games in history. I've worked at studios all over town during my career. I've been an art educator since 1981. I started my own school with an investment of $15 in 1998 and it's still going strong today. I'm on staff with Cal State Northridge as an instructor in their animation department. I've had several thousand students over the years and helped bring many people into the union. I've started my own company several times over the years. Sometimes they work, sometimes they didn't. I'm involved in developing yet another one now.

I bear no ill will towards anyone, but I have strong opinions and I don't back down from a confrontation. I've been openly advocating an artists' revolution in animation since 1985. I've been active behind the scenes in many ways over the years that have helped the industry. I've advocated unity among artists repeatedly. I've always used my name and never
tried to hide behind a fictitious moniker.

I sponsor AnimationNation Night on the last Tuesday of every month in Burbank and we get large turnouts. You guys are always welcome to attend, whether it's an off night for your own meetings or afterwards.

If I didn't have something to contribute to this, WIA wouldn't have invited me to participate.

I hope that some of you can deal with your own anger and bury the hatchet long enough to do something positive with the opportunity we have before us on October 21.

Charles Zembillas said...

Sorry, to yahweh or big bad balloon, or whoever, losing track of who I'm addressing.

Steve Hulett said...

To Steve Hulett, your attitude tends to turns people off.

Could you give some specifics?

Personally, I think the Guild could be doing many things differently.

What, exactly? (I'm not being facetious here, I would truly like to know.)

Your comments impress people as being jaded, tired, and even unenthusiastic about what you do.

Which comments? What people?

If this is something you don't want to do, then don't do it or have someone else step up and help out. You're not winning over people and you're not being as effective as you could be. The Guild can be making progress, but not with an attitude like yours.

So you know, I like the job. I've enjoyed it a lot over the years, and enjoy it more now than I did a decade ago.

Who am I not winning over? Specifically.

What is the attitude I have that you dislike? Specifically.

You strike people as being resigned to defeat at a time when the Guild should be leading with confidence. This is something else that can be addressed on Oct 21 or sooner if you choose.

What people? I know I can't strike you as defeatist, since we haven't spoken in years.

The last interaction we had was through Kevin, when you complained that Kevin and I weren't coming to AN events, and I stepped up and said I would be happy to come to the next one, and you turned down the offer. (This was Fall, 2010.)

Again, I don't know where all your angry, roiling negativism comes from, as I scarcely know you. I ran for the job of business agent last year against a TAG executive board member, and won by a comfortable margin. I wouldn't have run for biz rep again if I didn't like the position and didn't believe that I could be effective in it.

As always, happy to talk about my shortcoming and TAG's shortcomings here, over lunch, or at the panel. My number is (818) 845-7500.

Talk soon.

Former poster on AN said...

For a particularly horrible example of how abusive Charles and his Administrator friends Snakebite and Skynet would bully, taunt, and chase off a reasonable commenter, check this out:;f=1;t=014047;p=1

For the record, I am not any of the participants in that thread, nor have met any of them. I was just a horrified reader who never forgot about it. And keep in mind, this incident happened even AFTER Charles was apologizing for his ineptitude as a site moderator.

Charles Zembillas said...

Sorry about what Snakebite did in that topic, former AN poster, but bigshot kind of did it to himself. Wish it went differently, but it is what is is. I went to an ASIFA-Hollywood meeting and confronted the situation. Apologized to his face, apparently did no good, happy the episode is over with. Wish Bite didn't do what he did the way he did it but this was building up for a long time. I can also share stuff that bigshot did that I took offense with but it serves no practical purpose.

My replies seem to be not getting posted so I'll try responding with shorter comments.

Former poster on AN said...

The last interaction we had was through Kevin, when you complained that Kevin and I weren't coming to AN events, and I stepped up and said I would be happy to come to the next one, and you turned down the offer. (This was Fall, 2010.)

Yes, I remember that thread. That was another typical example of abusive, immature attacks and taunts by Charles and Snakebite.

The AN crew is all about anger, but when reasonable solutions come knocking, they turn them down and run away. They have to, as anger is their only currency.

Former poster on AN said...

Charles, I read that "Bigshot thread, and at the time was familiar with the lead-up to it.

I didn't then, and still do not, understand how Bigshot did it to himself. It seems plain that the abusive behavior was only coming from one side.

If there was outside, offline stuff that I would not be privy to, well I can't speak to anything like that. I'm going by what I saw on the forums at AN.

At the very least, I'm glad that you attempted to apologize to him.

big bad balloon said...

Actually I'd like more information on the panel itself.

"Union: An Argument."

Got it. So what issues will be addressed? Is there a laundry list?

Or is this going to be the airing of personal grievances by Zembo about how "TAG took down the AN link on their site" or "how Hulett can be nicer to people?"

It'd be nice to know there's going to be some sort of order or regulation of the issues to be discussed.

If this is going to be a shouting match about hurt feelings then what's the point of a panel?

If it's going to be "how the Union can be more effective", you don't really need a panel for that. You can march into the TAG office, call, or if you're a member attend one of the monthly meetings.

Why exactly do indy/studio artists need to attend this?

Not being a jerk just honestly asking why this panel was created in the first place?

Charles Zembillas said...

Also, former AN poster, I never claimed to be an effective moderator. Moderating AN was very difficult, especially with the broad range of personalities I was dealing with, most of whom I did not know and many of whom are as much to blame for what went down on the old forums as anyone else, including myself. As I said in a reply here that didn't get published, I would never go back to that again. I did not enjoy moderating an open message board with the kind of hostility that was being brought to AN, as is evidenced here in the way some of you guys are behaving. I'm glad those days are over. I'm still purging the aftermath of it all. The way some people conduct themselves here keeps the bad feelings going. It doesn't have to be this way.

Former poster on AN said...

Ok, fair enough. Mistakes acknowledged in the past.

I will not bring it up again. I hope your new version of AN will be better.

Charles Zembillas said...

Bigshot did it to himself, the way we all do it to ourselves. He'd hijack topics, turns things personal, take what I posted out of context and turn it into something confrontational and personal, and yes, Bite is right. He never supported AN. Our links disappeared from ASIFA's site when he took control, he used AN to promote the organization's interests and ignored the long and significant history of support that I and AN had given his organization. Of course there's going to be bad feelings when the relationship becomes so lopsided. There's two sides to the story guys, and when all you're open to is the side you want to hear, you don't get the full picture. It's over now. Why not let it go and move on.

Charles Zembillas said...

Sorry, I wouldn't have kept this going, but I posted my last comment without realizing that former AN poster had posted a response. I'd rather not focus on one individual or rehash an ugly past. I regret what happened and would like to go on.

Steve Kaplan, it would be great if you'd clear the replies I posted earlier. Thanks.

Steven Kaplan said...

Apologies again Charles. I've been keeping a few plates spinning today and took my eyes off the Blog for a bit.

Another reason I'm checking options for a new home for the TAG Blog.

Anonymous said...

This is a horrible, useless and sad discourse. Reminds me of some of the arguments I overhear at the homeless shelter I volunteer at. It's meaningless. Just a pathetic and absurd spectacle. Please stop.

Charles Zembillas said...

To big bad balloon, you'd have to ask WIA why the panel was created. It's their idea, and the title of "An Argument" is something they chose to use. It has to do with a series of panel discussions they have under the title of "an argument". I asked if it could be titled "A Debate" but the idea was to keep the name of their panels consistent. I'm not looking for a fight. I'm looking to help, but the air really needs to be cleared if progress is going to be made. Besides, I don't see an argument as a bad thing, especially if it's civil. As I said, I'm looking to help and contribute, but there's so much frustration and disillusion in the community towards the union it's getting in your way. My guess is this is probably the reason why WIA wants to do this. Give people a chance to openly air their feelings. Listen to what they have to say. It will be beneficial for all. The Guild is strong enough to endure one evening of open and honest discussion, and I think it will be a better organization as a result.

Charles Zembillas said...

For those who think this is a pathetic and absurd spectacle, I respectfully disagree with you. I think it is very important and is potentially historic in its significance for the animation community. WIA is right in sponsoring this. Also, the proceeds from the event will be going towards funding their Phyllis Craig Student Scholarship, so there is a genuine and tangible benefit from having a large gathering on October 21.

Steven Kaplan said...

Charles .. I'd be glad to remove comments you made without knowing others had replied thanks to Blogger and its Spam filter. If you provide the timestamp, I'll excise them from this thread.

Again, apologies for the confusion.

Yet another Former AN member said...

I stopped participating in the Animation Nation discussion board for a lot of the same reasons that many other people dropped out. But you know what ? That's in the past. I'm not angry about it , just disinterested. I have better, more productive things to do with my time online. So you guys who haven't gotten over it yet: Just let it go. Who cares anymore? What's all the hate and ill-feeling going to get you ? Nothing. Stop dredging up the past unpleasantness and let's deal with the present.

The Women in Animation panel discussion about the place of the Union in the animation industry sounds interesting. Let's see how the panel discussion goes and then comment about it , not prejudge it based on past experiences with any of the people involved. I look forward to hearing the discussion between Tom, Steve, Craig, and Charles.

(although if anyone from WIA is reading this, I would suggest you try hard to find at least one more panelist to represent the "Independent" side of things , so it isn't 3 against 1 . As has been pointed out by others, the "indie" movement in animation is pretty wide and represents a broad spectrum of opinions. It's not fair to expect Charles Z. to shoulder the burden of representing everyone from the "indie" side. )

Yet another Former AN member said...

By the way, if it's a panel sponsored by Women in Animation couldn't they find some women who are union members and some women who are independents to participate in this panel ?

big bad balloon said...

"For those who think this is a pathetic and absurd spectacle, I respectfully disagree with you."

Totally agree with Charles here. Even tho I don't agree with Charles on many things and think he's a bit of a nut(smile) I've always respected his passion and fire to attack issues. Others can feel free to sit on the sidelines or simply stop coming to this thread if they're so repulsed. We won't stop.

I'm still curious to see a list of issues that might be discussed at the panel.

Anonymous said...

@Former Poster on AN

I have to ask, please don't pull me into a conversation where I don't belong.

It would seem that the old post you posted here from the retired AN message board is not relevant to this discussion so you only succeed in using words said in the past as a weapon to attack a person's character in the present moment.

Also, in that old topic you blame me as being one who was bullying and taunting, but in reality I said nothing offensive to or about anyone and I only posted a few semi-short replies where I was either trying to be positive or briefly bring up comments of other individuals involved in the conversation. Speaking for myself, please don't spread negative rumors about me that are false. Who am I anyway? Even if I was Joe Famous, who would I be in the scheme of the known universe? We are all essentially brought into being on the same playing field. Some better off than others, but that is another topic.

Ironically, this is from one of my 3 replies in that topic:
"As far as I see it, it is only ideas that are under consideration, not individuals. (What is an individual anyway? That's a rhetorical question because I know ultimately it is impossible to answer. We are all changing into different individuals within each smallest amount of "time" that passes). But that's what people seem to keep losing track of. If people would keep in mind that it is the ideas we are discussing and not individuals, maybe there would be no personal attacks."

In defense of everyone here (except for the unknown people or trolls that hide behind pseudonyms), what you've said in the past, even in the immediate past, is not necessarily who you are right now unless you live in a stagnate mental state that never positively progresses and you keep repeating the same statements and mistakes throughout life. I'm assuming we all want the world and our situation in it to be better and that takes a positive forward movement on every level.

Talking negative about AN or the people that run AN will not get you anywhere, make you better, or solve any problems. It only creates negativity for everyone because you in turn attract what you think, speak or believe. I've only been more deeply involved with AN for a couple years and I'm not concerned with anything that happened years ago in a totally different reality. I'm only focused on solutions for what's happening now.

The creative atmosphere at the monthly AN Night's has been so overwhelmingly positive over the years that I'm surprised anyone could speak negative about it.

In the end I hope you all can come to the table and speak your mind with unwavering optimism.

Adrian (Skynet on AN)

Anonymous said...

Why don't you go home and play in your own sandbox? You can be as negative as you want there, without getting snarked on. After all, you don't allow anonymous posts.

Tom Narey said...

I'll be there. This looks to be an interesting discussion.

Will the panelists be taking questions from the audience?

Anonymous said...

Yawn. Looks like chuck is already whining that no one takes him seriously. Rightfully so, but his whining is fun to watch, nonetheless.

Steve Hulett said...

I'll be there. This looks to be an interesting discussion.

Will the panelists be taking questions from the audience?

Not my clambake, but I'm perfectly happy to answer any and all questions.

Anonymous said...

Oh that's right, I was forgetting. The anonymous "people" posting without their real name are all one person.

I hope I can make it. As Tom said it does sound like it will be an interesting discussion.

Do not seek without

Anonymous said...

I hope I can make it, maybe we'll find out why Charles gets so upset when his comments don't get posted here, when he feels free to remove comments over at AN.

Steve Hulett said...

Nobody here is moderating or deleting comments. I checked with Steve Kaplan; the only thing he can figure is that some of Charles's comments -- when they're linked to someplace else recognized as Span by Robo blogger -- get flagged and stopped.

I really don't have any other explanation. Because nothing around here ordinarily gets stopped by the system until a post is several days old. And we sure as hell don't stop very much (if anything). We don't have the time.

Animator at DreamWorks said...

This is the first time I've even heard of Animation Nation or this Charles Z guy. And I'm not some young kid either. This appears to me like some sort of fight between 4 people or something, and they all think it's really important or something. Oh well.

big bad balloon said...

Zembo and Skynet representin'.

That leaves one last AN stooge unaccounted for.

Is there going to be a moderator for this panel? Especially if the audience is allowed to ask questions?

Maybe the panel should have a discussion and the audience asks questions near the end?

With such a heated history it seems there needs to be some sort of referee to keep things in check.

Anonymous said...

Heated history? Referee? Looks to me like Charles is the only panelist with his panties in a wad. What's that all about?

Anonymous said...

Dear WIA: please get some women on this panel. The absence of women on an interesting topic hosted by an organization with women in the name lends little credence to you. It's not as if there aren't any women working in the creative side of the animation biz whether it's at a studio or independently. Do us all a favor and help stop the pissing contest here.

Tom Sito said...

Wow. I was invited by WIA also without knowing who else would be there. Well, if this thread is any indication, it should be a fun discussion.

Stephen Worth said...

I need to clarify something said above...

Charles attended an ASIFA-Hollywood Board meeting. He apologized for any misunderstanding and explained that he didn't intend to disrespect anyone on the Board. His apology was accepted by the Board, and I let him know I didn't hold any hard feelings, reminding him that I was the one who consistently attended his meetings over the years.

Charles apologized for deleting my posting account on Animation Nation and explained that it was Snakebite's decision to ban me, not his. Charles said that was Snakebite's perogative, but he hoped that at some point in the future Snakebite would reconsider and the ban could be lifted. I said that I would be happy to return to participating in Animation Nation again when it was. That's where we left it.

I have no hard feelings against Charles or Animation Nation. I was the first person to arrive at the first Animation Nation meeting, and I've always supported the idea of an open and independent place for animators to converse and socialize. Why else would I spend three decades working for ASIFA? I understand the difficulties in operating a resource like this. It can be a bit like herding cats, and it's easy to become frustrated. Animation Nation was once a great forum for the animation community. The need for that kind of forum still exists, but no one is obligated to provide that sort of service. If Charles prefers to run the site as a personal blog instead of an open forum, I support his right to do that.

As for myself, I'm trying to show my support for independents by hosting at my home the monthly meetings of a group of talented kids that call themselves the "Animation Creative League". So far the meetings have been fun and productive. You can find them on Facebook if you're interested.

Animation folks aren't naturally cranky, but they can be passionate about what they believe. That's a good thing in my book.

Stephen Worth

big bad balloon said...

Yes there is a "heated history" between Zembo and the Guild. As proven in this thread it's always one-sided. One side rants and one side provides facts.

Another "nemesis" of Zembo, Amid, has moved on in life with a highly successful blog, numerous panel offers and writing relevant animation books.

From what I hear the Guild has never had more members(or more studios), has a monthly gallery show presenting work of members, a computer lab with software, cintiqs and other goodies.

Charles has moved on to...uhm...well, he...

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Since Chucky is so intent on blasting his AN site on here I'll save people the trouble and post stuff from his last AN post on here:

"This is an opportunity for people to publicly address the Guild. You don't see this at all. It's a first."

You mean aside from the MONTHLY membership meetings? Or the open office where anyone can come in and talk to someone? Or CALL?

Hardly a "first".

Anonymous said...

"There some confusion at the union as to why WIA would like me there. To underscore how out of touch they are, Women In Animation has been a steady participant at AnimationNation Night for the past 2 1/2 years."

WIA has been using the Guild building for well over 2 1/2 hears and even had a gallery show at the Guild Gallery.

How many WIA meetings has Charles attending lately...?

Anonymous said...


"Unfortunately, the Guild has been a no show at AN Nights. While they've been avoiding AN, WIA has been with us all along."

So "the Guild" as in the entire membership base? Or the people in the office? Or the Guild's acting officers?

I can't think of a worse person to represent the Independent Animator than Charles.

This is sounding more and more like Charles asked WIA to have this panel as a chance to bad mouth TAG in their own back yard. Classy!

Stephen Worth said...

One more quick note... I didn't delete any links. I managed the Animation Archive site. Others were in charge of the ASIFA-Hollywood site, and they decided to eliminate the entire links page from the site. They weren't singling out anyone specific. The link to my personal site and the personal sites of other Board members were deleted at the same time along with all the rest. There was no animosity to anyone involved. I never had a links page on the Archive site. I've explained this before.

I appreciated Charles's support of ASIFA-Hollywood, and continued to participate in Animation Nation as an individual after the Board of ASIFA-Hollywood decided that the organization itself would no longer participate. I'm the one who steadfastly and patiently remained a part of Animation Nation, and kept my cool even wen others didn't. I didn't turn my back on Animation Nation at all. If my participation was welcomed, I'd still be participating.

My interest in participating in the Animation Nation message board and meetings was always to provide resources to the students to help them grow as artists. That's what I do.

Stephen Worth

yahweh said...

Unfortunately, Stephen, it's hard to do something and be recognized as altruistic when the sole purpose of AN has ALWAYS been for one of personal gain - though Chuckie managed to hide it with a thin veneer of 'social responsibility' initially. I gave up and haven't bothered to go back there in years. You're just a better man than I am - or a glutton for punishment.

I love Chuckie's claim "I can't control what my minions and toadies do even though it's my personal forum that I use to promote my agenda".
He's still good for a laugh....despite his toxic personality

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