Thursday, April 05, 2012

Free Labor!

Hey kids! Pay a big fat animation studio/visual effects house to work on their movie! It's all the rage!

We've been following this issue with VFX Soldier for some time now. (And we've commented on variations of this charming practice multiple times before.)

My own thought: In 2012, nothing surprises me anymore. When there are politicians beating the drum to get rid of Medicare and Social Security and the minimum wage, why would it be a surprise that a Chief Executive Officer is touting the joys and advantages to having twenty-year-olds pay for the privilege of working on a big-budget feature?

Sort of shreds the idea of minimum rates, but ... oh well.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Build a school to finance your projects. Isnt this what its come to? The thing is, DD is depending too much on tuitions because they cant get income from investors. Just what is the promise of a career AFTER senior year? Young people need to see what the bigger picture is, and they'll most likely be advised to look elsewhere.

diablo said...

Wait a minute,isn't 'oh well' kind of a defeatist attitude? DD should get sued over this!! If what they are doing is illegal, why should they get away with this? And if they get off scot free, I can imagine other studios adopt the policy as well. This should be nipped in the bud!!
What DD is doing is unacceptable!

diablo.

Anonymous said...

So you pay your tuition to work on a feature and have a great addition to your resume, then what? You graduate and then start looking for a job that pays but you can't find one because all the positions have been filled by more students.

Anonymous said...

Imagine putting yourself through 4 years of that school, doing the work, excelling at it on your own accord, and bypassing the option to work on the movie projects available at that time. Graduating, then applying for a job at this 'studio' built upon tax-payer dollars, then being denied a job because you dont have a resume. Sounds like a good setup for a lawsuit. Also, if you do well with the instruction without working on their projects, are you going to get a lower grade for your $105,000? This schemer is asking for trouble.

Anonymous said...

PS. His wife is pretty hot considering she's pushing 40-something.

diablo said...

Wouldn't it be a privilege for Textor to work at DD? Shouldn't he be paying to work at such a place too? He would have a response, I'm sure. But It's obvious there's a double standard going on here.

No way this is legal. It would be sad to see this not being challenged in court.

Anonymous said...

As someone who recruits for one of DD's many competitors I would like to thank Mr. Textor for making my job so much easier because no one is going to want to work for this guy!

Thanks buddy - by all means KEEP TALKING!

"Free labor is better than cheap labor" that's recruiting gold!

Anonymous said...

Butch Hartman is pulling the same shoddy trick on his YooToon Channel. Bastard.

Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT Digital Doman, FSU, and Tradition Studios.

Dollars are the only thing Mr. Textor and his *well* past forty wife respond to. So when nobody shows up to watch their films... or wait, even better yet, lets illegally download and distribute them...

Too bad there's no Union in Florida to stop this maniac.

Anonymous said...

jester says: I'm scared.

Anonymous said...

Corporate Communism at it's best. Texlor is a textbook case of the economic malfeasance and shameless greed of the bush years.

Anonymous said...

This same scheme is alive and well in India and China.

Anonymous said...

The big question I want to ask here:
How many hours/week do the students work? (Is it a full 40 hour week, or more like a 15 hour work study week?) There's no way 30% of his work force can be full time student level work. There aren't enough experienced people on staff to coach, mentor and manage them.

(On a side note, DD does offer some students scholarships in exchange for a short term contract upon graduation. Get on the job training now, and get a full time job later).

I get the idea that Textor is playing up the 'free labor' angle for investors. He's gilding the lilly to get money to pay for production (i.e. animator salaries). Much of this rhetoric is blowing smoke for people richer than he is.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the practice of exploiting students, or indentured servitude. The labor department needs to look into this to make sure all is legal and fair...and hopefully ethical as well.

- Former Floridian

Anonymous said...

As pathetic as this is - the students aren't the ones getting scammed. It's all of us that who have to compete with a "free" workforce.

Students pay huge amounts of money at other schools to make a self indulgent student film, which may get some airtime on Cartoon Brew, but has no extra value at getting a job than completed footage on a feature.

This sucks for our industry, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Anonymous said...

"Students pay huge amounts of money at other schools to make a self indulgent student film, which may get some airtime on Cartoon Brew, but has no extra value at getting a job than completed footage on a feature."

Any student that goes to college JUST to get a job will get what they pay for. It's called "education,". Not "training."

Anonymous said...

"Any student that goes to college JUST to get a job will get what they pay for. It's called "education,". Not "training."

Yeah I agree. And the universities are failing at doing both. Most animation students, after graduation can't draw very well, nor animate, board etc. So not only have they not learned their craft, they aren't marketable. So it's a lose lose situation for them.

Anonymous said...

But it's FUN! Its EASY! You Too can get your degree at the ACME University of Animation! Just SIGN for this student loan and we'll put you on the Studio-Approved hardware and software our last year's students paid for. We need you to pay ourselves our administration salaries and costly overhead and for next years latest gear for the highschoolers who are dreaming of becoming ANIMATORS! Then when you get hired at a Union Studio, you'll get to give them a whole chunk of cash for administering until you are age 65, an amount of money that you'll accrue in what will be likely a fraction of your whole working life. Because although they say 'seamless cloak of benefits', the reality is, nobody but the smartest few of you are going to have a working career in this business that has a substantial length of time. Come one, come all! Animation jobs here!

Anonymous said...

I agree that this is unethical and probably illegal. But I'm not worried about it affecting the industry, because it can't work. Anyone with significant production experience AND significant animation teaching experience will know immediately that the goal of having even 5% of their workforce being undergraduate animation students is a joke.

Their first feature film has failure written all over it, and so does their business model. In three years ago we won't even remember this any more than we remember Delgo.

Anonymous said...

Mama, don't let your children grow up to be animators.

Anonymous said...

Or cowboys.

Anonymous said...

Or scumbag cf/ceo's who want to rape student talent to make a profit.

Anonymous said...

i have a solution to this. all experienced artists/teachers should boycott teaching at DD Institute. No teachers means no students. No students means no school. in order to be effective, experienced artists/teachers who worked in this industry over 5 years should boycott 100%.

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