Saturday, March 07, 2015

Buck an Hour

Now with Add On.

This works well donnit? Except for anyone who tries to eke out a living.

A newbie animator in Japan gets paid around 120 yen – that’s one, yes, one dollar – an hour.

That’s the word from animator and character designer Sachiko Kamimura (City Hunter, Arslan) in a recent blog post where she appeals for the industry to change its ways.

Kamimura writes “after seeing so many new animators unable to eat and slowing wasting away, I feel like something must be done.”

The problem, Kamimura writes, is animators are paid not on a fixed monthly or hourly salary, but for each completed drawing. ...

TAG has been fighting piece work for as long as I've been working for the guild. It just never works out well for artist. Today's okay piece rate for a background, layout, whatever, is tomorrow's starvation wage.

Fifty-fve or sixty years ago ago, some piece work for scripts and storyboards was written into the Animation Guild's collective bargaining agreement. They might have worked great in ... oh ... 1962, but they suck now. And when something gets into a union contract, it takes and act of congress (and/ or God) to get the something out.

Yet as bad as some rates are, they don't compare to an animator's take home pay in Japan.

Add On: Henry Thurlow is (so far as he knows) the sole American working in Japan's animation industry. He says this:

...“The projects are amazing and there’s a sense of pride that you’re among (or at least surrounded by) the best of the best. Unfortunately, as far as ‘good things about the anime industry go, that’s about it.” ...

“Let’s just be clear: It’s not a ‘tough’ industry… It’s an ‘illegally harsh’ industry. They don’t pay you even remotely minimum wage, they overwork you to the point where people are vomiting at work and having to go to the hospital for medicine. They demand that you come in whenever they realize a deadline isn’t going to be met. That probably means about a month and a half of nonstop work without a single day off. Then you will be allowed to go back to your regular six-day workweeks of 10-hour days.” ...

“Keep in mind all of this hard work was essentially all for the sake of simply being involved in and credited in the animation projects I love.” ...

More power to Henry, I guess.

h/t to Tom Sito, Larry Houston and Robin Steele.


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