Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Playing Well WIth Others

Mark Evanier has one of those blogs that I read at least once a day because there's always something good to read in it.
Here's a piece he wrote that resonated with me on several levels, especially when it comes to "auditioning" for storyboard work.

My point of view has moved slightly toward the other side of the table, at least enough so I can understand the alternative point
of view.

-- Bob Foster (TAG e-board member and Prez Emeritus)

The last paragraph of Mark's piece (but please read the whole thing):

... The world keeps turning and you have two choices: You can turn with it or you can spend your time trying to shove it back in the other direction. Since no one has ever succeeded at that yet, I don't know why people — especially people who could be as brilliant as Sid Caesar — keep trying. Besides, it's so much fun to hop on and go along for the ride, especially when the alternative is being left behind.

Mark has an interesting point-of-view on Ageism in the article above.

I get a lot of phone calls from veterans who tell me (unhappily) that they have trouble getting work. I think there's a bit of gray-listing that goes on. But I also think, as Mr. Evanier does, that sometimes it's attitude. I mean, over the years I've helped seasoned artists secure jobs; sometimes they land the gig and perform their new tasks with enthusaism and vigor. And stay for years. Other times, they get the job but are soon let go. Sometime it's because their skill sets don't meet the requirements of the job, but other times it's bad attitude.


Floyd Norman said...

A wise man, that Mark Evanier.

Clearly, I'm a codger at age 78, but I'm still in the game because I've learned how to play nice. And, the young people I've had the pleasure of working with have often been great. I came into this business in 1956. In spite of this, I've never had any desire to remain there while the world continues on.

Unknown said...

Thats an enlightening piece for actors, or voice actors who have to audition. I have a friend who is an actor and he is often running around town to different auditions. Usually he can do 2 in a day, sometimes 3.

But that piece doesn't apply to storyboard artists at all. (We're left to assume you are alluding to artists being asked to take tests for a job.)

Do you seriously think it possible for a storyboard artist to take 2 or 3 storyboard tests in a day? I don't even think taking one storyboard test could take a day because a good artist researches and practices for a day before even putting their stylus to their cintiq on a test with characters they have never drawn before.

Studios give you a week to do a test. Thats the standard. So its hardly equatable to a 20 minute round table meeting for an actor's audition.

Tests aren't going anywhere. The studios have a stubborn logic that they can use successfully to argue for tests.

The issue should be RAISING THE RATES for storyboard artists. Technology has expanded the position to include more and more duties. Layout, animatics, design, animation key frames, timing, etc. on top of the "free work" we all do for studios in the form of tests. When I tell people in another line of work - ANY line of work - that artists in my field have to work for free for days on end to even be considered for a job, and there is no guarantee anyone even looks at that test, and usually no one at said studio has the courtesy to call back with a reply if I do not secure the position... it stops them cold They can't f**ing believe it. They look at me like I'm an idiot for being in this field, and eventually they ask if the testing practice is even legal. There is probably a strong argument that it isn't.

All storyboard artists wish is that the union works on raising rates for us because out of all the different jobs in animation our position includes more responsibilities with every passing decade. With every passing year.

The union can't change schedules and they can't stop studios from asking for tests.
Please negotiate higher rates for storyboard artists.

Steve Hulett said...

We'll be discussing these things at tonight's Craft Meeting. Hope you'll be there.

Floyd Norman said...

I've never taken a storyboard test - ever. Not even for Walt Disney back in 1966. Storyboard tests are total BS.

Site Meter