Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jeffrey K. Speaks

Per a fine entertainment journal:

... "The next chapter of our company’s historic journey begins today, and as I’ve said many times, there is no doubt that the best days for DreamWorks lie ahead.

"This was not a deal that we [DreamWorks Animation] needed to do, but it’s the deal I’d always hoped would come along. Not only are we passing the baton to a company that understands and values our brand, but it’s also a place that will nurture and grow our businesses to their fullest potential.

I rest easy in knowing that the house of dreams we’ve spent the past two decades building together – the stories, the characters, the joy and the laughter – has found the best possible home; a home where its future is secure and its legacy is embraced.

As always, thank you for the amazing work you do every day, and most of all, thank you for the laughter we’ve shared together.” ...

I was told by a DWA employee that Jeffrey also said the new owners wanted to develop a lot of new pictures.

These kinds of meetings are to boost morale in times of change and accompanying stress. I've been here a while and I've seen lots of studios do the reassurance thing: calm anxious hearts, say everything will be stable and ice, no layoffs so don't worry.

But seriously? I expect that DreamWorks Anmation will have some reorganizating ahead of it, with downsizing in one segment of the company and expansion in another. Chris Meledandri uses a different corporate model than Jeffrey does, and Chris will be calling a lot of the shots. It's anyone's guess what becomes of DWA's upper management; down the road, changes will probably be happening there as well.

Add On: And with Jeffrey now picking up his many marbles and heading for DWA's egress, The Wrap stumbles on to an obvious point:

... [Chris] Meledandri [now becomes] Universal’s own version of Disney’s John Lasseter, who runs both Pixar and Disney Animation. The DreamWorks acquisition has also turned Universal into a major animation powerhouse that can now compete with Disney.

Illumination has “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Sing” hitting theaters this year, with “Despicable Me 3” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” due in 2017. All are expected to come out on time. ...

A couple of observations: John Lasseter started out in the artistic ranks at Disney in the late seventies. Chris Meledandri served at Disney a bit later in the executive ranks. At the time he worked in live-action.

But yeah, they both head up animation studios. And both have been wildly successful. But there are major differences in backgrounds and business styles.


Colin Lee said...

So Dreamworks Animation sale was set in motion because CMCSA got word a Chinese buyer wanted to partner with JK to do a management buy out:

Site Meter