Friday, November 06, 2015

More Players Into the Pool

Yesterday I was walking around the studio of one of our fine entertainment conglomerates, and a board artist asked me: "Aren't we losing jobs here? I mean, California is a high tax state, right?"

To which I answered, Yes, Cali is a higher taxing state, but no jobs being lost here, boss. One example: Southern California's animation industry, which is at record highs employment despite the lack of free money and an abundance of taxes. Cartoonland is thundering along, and here is yet another specimen that keeps the area at a high decibel level:

... Video game giant Activision Blizzard Inc. on Friday announced the creation of its own movie and television studio to bring hit titles such as “Call of Duty” and “Skylanders” to screens big and small.

The company, based in Santa Monica and with revenue of $4.9 billion over the last year, is the world’s fifth-largest video game maker by sales. The TV and movie studio announcement comes amid an ambitious expansion drive that also includes mobile games and spectator-based video game contests known as eSports.

With the studio, Activision Blizzard is looking to deploy its deep trove of characters and plots into new mediums ...

We continue to get reports of shortages in various job categories, "We need more board artists! We need more timing directors!" There are talented artists coming out of universities and art schools, but the companies want people who have production experience, and there is only so much seasoned talent to go around.

I don't know from where Activision Blizzard is drawing its employees, but it's likely from the greater Los Angeles area, since that's where Activision is located. And likely a number of Guild members.

And that's fine, because we'll be happy to deliver a fresh-printed TAG Agreement right to their door. We're not greedy, and have no desire to keep wages and benefits to ourselves. We wish AB well, also wish AB to quickly sign an Animation Guild contract. (TAG's number is 818-845-7500. Ask for Steve.)


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