Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Oncoming Negotiations

The trades tell us:

Negotiations for a new three-year contract covering hundreds of feature film animators at the Walt Disney Animation Studios will get underway Wednesday. In years past, the contract with IATSE has covered the animators, storyboard artists and writers behind such films as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. Disney’s upcoming Zootopia also was shot under the contract.

The current contract, which had been set to expire last October 31, was extended at Disney’s request. It’s the only major film industry contract that will be negotiated until the three-year cycle of DGA, WGA and SAG-AFTRA contract talks begin again next year, followed by the IATSE, Teamsters Local 399 and Basic Crafts in 2018.

The Disney Animation Studios contract is similar to the pact that the Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, has with the rest of the industry but is negotiated by its parent union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. ...

The Secret Lab agreement (known as the "TSL contract") has been in existence since 1999, when the IATSE negotiated a visual effect agreement with Disney for live-action visual effects then being done under Disney Feature's expansive umbrella. (The division was doing "Dinosaur" at the time, and so the livea-ction visual effects must have seemed a good fit.)

Long story made briefer: Disney's visual effects group did the VFX for a number of movies over a three-year span, then went out of existence. In the meanwhile, however, Disney Feature decided it really really liked the TSL contract, and migrated its CG animation staff ... and later its Princess and the Frog staff ... under the newer agreement. The TSL agreement mirrors the 839 agreement in many ways, but has fewer classifications. The Mouse has been using it as its theatrical animation and Disney Toons union agreement since the early oughts (the year 2000).

Walt Disney Animation Studios has approximately 560 union employees in North Hollywood, Burbank, and Glendale. So the TSL agreement covers a goodly number of animation employees.

You will find the Variety version of the above information here.


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