Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What I Know About Paramount Animation

Because we inevitably get questions from artists when a company puts out press releases about a new animation division, or the newly appointed head of a division, let me tell you what information I have (thus far) acquired ...

Sadly, it isn't a whole lot.

This morning I talked to a Paramount executive-type person who said:

1) The division is in the process of becoming. (They haven't yet finalized a business plan ... or at least, aren't telling me that they've finalized a business plan. That should happen over the next several months.)

2) They're not looking to have a BIG footprint and infrastructure the way that Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, or Pixar has a big footprint and infrastructure.

3) The company plans to hire crew as needed, on a picture-by-picture basis.

All of the above is, no doubt, subject to change and amendment, as circumstances warrant. Here is my (semi-educated) guess about what kind of unit Viacom will be constructing:

The new division will be closer to Chris Meladandri's Illumination Entertainment than DreamWorks Animation. No big space filled with riggers, animators, lighters and finalers staring at flat screens. No big tech support group. I would project that they'll have a pre-production staff here in town that scripts, storyboards, designs and does key layout.

Probably some fine European, Canadian or South Bay c.g. studio will sub-contract the production work.

The new division will develop 2-4 projects at a time and look to release one feature every year or two. They're not looking to sink gajillions into the endeavor, but to manage costs. Their press release yesterday said the company is looking to budget features at around a $100 million. I take them at their word.

They hope to get their first production into theatres by 2014. They can do that schedule, provided everything falls into place. Illumination Entertainment did it, so it is certainly achievable. Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

This whole thing smells of some exec scratching his head and asking 'How hard can it be?' I'm sure JL and JK have dismissed these clowns already.

Anonymous said...

with stainton they have sealed their fate and seem doomed with him in the prexy seat. unfortunate for sure.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Animation Community! I am so damn proud of the way we have all dog-piled on the newbie and wished them failure! Hat's off to us! Why id ONLY we were running the joint it'd be big salaries and free Cocker Spaniel puppies for all!

Jesuz, can we at least let them get off the ground before we look to push them 6 feet under?

Anonymous said...

Could be worse!! As someone already said, it ciuld have been hacks like frank gladstone or max howard. They're like low rent versions of David stainton and sharon , only less well respected in the industry.

Anonymous said...

Yay. Another opportunity to outsource animation work to another country and away from the local talent pool.

Feng Shui me , baby said...

Anon at Tuesday, October 11, 2011 4:25:00 PM sez:

”I am so damn proud of the way we have all dog-piled on the newbie and wished them failure!”

Not at all. You haven’t been paying attention (and my guess is that you probably aren’t part of our Animation Community) . They have wished themselves failure by choosing one of (if not the) worst people to run an animation division. We’re just all amazed that anyone could be so stupid and/or callous.

Basically 'el diable maloso' on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 4:29:00 PM said it all. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, Max Howard's reality has been retired to the "lecture" circuit, while that gladstone guy has been sidelined into making ASIFA Hollywood even more irrelevant than ever before.

Sadly, their kin, david stainton is still alive and kicking. One can only hope Paramount kicks him right out like Disney, Warners, and Dreamworks did max and frank.

Anonymous said...

Hope they don't get Barry Blumberg. Then its a guaranteed disaster!

Anonymous said...

If they don't outsource overseas I'll definitely cheer them on. But that's a big if.

Anonymous said...

never cease to wonder how these bozos always end up landing on their feet with better and better packages

Anonymous said...

for the uninitiated can someon summarize why stainton is so ill-liked ?

Anonymous said...

... can someon summarize stainton is so ill-liked?

High-handed, mercurial, lousy creative abilities are the main complaints.

OTOH, he did preside over two Disney money-makers: "Chicken Little" and "Brother Bear."

Jim said...

"Jesuz, can we at least let them get off the ground before we look to push them 6 feet under?"

Here here Anon 4:25! Totally agreed. There's no reason to wish them ill when they haven't even done anything yet.

el diablo said...

Im NOT wishing them ill, you dumbass! But the comments are about the poor choice they have made. Get that through your thick skull.

el diablo.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. $100 million for a feature with no infrastructure and overhead. I can't wait.

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