Thursday, July 31, 2014

Of Surveys, Work, and Wages

One more report before the weekend.

We now have a 30.3% return rate from survey forms issued. This is, by a country mile, the highest return rate we've had since the 1990s, and will mean after we tabulate all the numbers, there will a good overview of animation wages in and around Los Angeles.

The deadline for survey forms (digital and paper) is tomorrow. ...

The last few weeks, I've been asked where I think wages are. My answer, I think they're up from '13, because there's a hell of a lot more work around town. But how much? That will be known when we crunch some numbers.

But there's still abuses going on. We get reports that some studios with Animation and Editors Guild contracts are having board artists work on animatics (the Editors Guild's jurisdiction). And there are still tight schedules, uncomped overtime, over-long board and design tests, etc. etc.

In short, some things haven't changed from the days when Depression-era cartoon studios had applicants work free for a week or three (you know, to "show what they could do") before getting put on payroll.

But it was the freaking Depression. And there were no rules against that kind of crap. And now there are. But un-enforced laws/rules/regulations (or whatever) are like having no laws/rules/regulations at all.

And Steve Kaplan and I have talked to board artists and designers at some signature studios over the past few weeks, and whattayaknow? There are abuses going on there too. (Who would have thought?) Extra long workweeks, lower pay and all the usual things that make America what it is today: A fine, bare-knuckled corporatist state, out to drive the best bargain -- for the conglomerates -- possible.

Just ask the wage-suppression crowd up in the Bay area. They'll tell you.


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