Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Expanding Universe of Cable Animation

More cartoons on more platforms.

FXX is moving into latenight with an original animation block anchored by “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” and “Stone Quackers.” ...

The heightened presence of animation on FXX is no surprise as the comedy-themed cabler was turbo-charged in September by the arrival of “Simpsons” reruns. Expanding into latenight animation has been a priority for FX Networks execs, no doubt inspired by the ratings garnered by Adult Swim’s out-there toons. ...

These new productions are part of Fox-News Corp. low wage partner ADHD, located in Hollywood, and using a lot of new artists. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. ...

The bad thing is, the newbies are underpaid and Fox happily keeps feeding ADHD work. TAG's job is to convince the crew that there's a road to higher (as in livable) wages. And quality benefits, they're good too.

Because, friends and neighbors, the animation business in Los Angeles is all of a piece. If Studio X starts paying skim milk wages to the artists turning out its shows, that puts downward pressure on salaries at other studios.

This is nothing new. Years ago, a Disney TV Animation timing director was collecting union wages at her home studio while picking up freelance work at a non-signatory company that was way under going rates. I didn't think there was much point in asking her to knock the behavior off (money is money, after all, and she was out to collect as much as she could), but I told her fellow directors what she was about. They weren't happy and talked to her. She wasn't happy that I had made an issue of it, and snarled at me to "mind my own business" on the phone.

But this is simple, really. If pay unravels at one place, the odds are higher it will unravel at other places. Econ 101.


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