Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Moving On

Mr. Schwartz never allows the grass to grow tall under his feet.

Just days after leaving FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment, LA-based producer Sander Schwartz is plotting a return to television production by launching his own indie.

Schwartz ... is in the process of developing his own production company and plans to make an announcement on its structure and make up “within months”.

Sander Schwartz has been in the cartoon business for some time. He was affiliated with TMS when it was doing Peter Pan & the Pirates. He then went to Sony and built Sony Adelaide Animation into a big whomping cartoon studio before exiting for Warner Bros. Animation shortly after the turn of the century. A half dozen years on, we noted:

Sander Schwartz is ankling his post as Warner Bros. Animation prexy after six years with the studio.

Schwartz will segue to a production pact with the studio. He'll focus on developing a range of animated projects for broadband and new-media outlets as part of the Warner Bros. TV Group's big push into original programming for the Net. Warners has yet to name a successor for Schwartz; ...

Sander has his fans and his detractors. (I'm understating here.) But one of those who worked with him observed:

... A good Saturday morning cartoon used to have a budget of $450,000 per episode (or more). Last time I saw a budget, you were lucky to get $150,000. It is simply not possible to create good work for one third the money. I find it amazing that Sander was able to maintain the size of team WB had, let alone product the number of shows they delivered on time.

When I worked professionally with Sander and Marge they were nothing but professional, paid on time (about the only client that did) and just got on with the task at hand ...

As a union rep, I found Sander prickly, but he did grow several of the studios at which he worked, studios that shrank after he left. One of his employees noted:

I thought Sander was an interesting guy who was helpful at times, cruel at times, and strange at times. I could never figure him out. If the cruelty was not directed at "you", he was very funny. Often, I would laugh my ass off at the stuff he said. It's a tough business these days. ... One more thing-- I know this for a fact-- if you ask Sander for help, he will try to help you.

The only thing I'm reasonably certain about is: Sander will land on his feet. And he'll more than likely be back again in the animation game.


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