Thursday, March 30, 2006

Good Animators Aren't Cheap, Cheap Animators Aren't Good

Snazzy title don't you think? A couple of my fellow animators came up with this mantra and I think its great. They need to toss that on a shirt or a bumper sticker or something. In my opinion it sums up one of the big problems with this industry; studios wanting top notch quality for bargain basement prices.

The only way to solve this problem is for animators and artists to know their worth and to not settle for less. I have heard several stories of people who were given offers by a studio and they took it straight away without any counter offer. Most times the money offered was less than they wanted or were currently making. But the opportunity, that foot in the door, makes up for it right? Wrong. Studios will always make offers that are in the best interest of the studio, not the artist, optioning for the ol lowball approach first to see if the talent goes for it.

And don't even get me started on outsourcing. I believe the director of Hoodwinked, defending the decision to do the production overseas on an animation forum, said something like "...the movie could not be made in the US for the budget we had..." Well yes I suppose you are right seeing as how US animators like to be paid for their work. You have to spend money to make money. Its true. If you are only willing to spend $10 then your movie will look like it was made for $10. But again studios want the quality, they want product that makes them lots of money, yet they don't want to spend a lot themselves. Funny how that works.

4 comments:

tonymation said...

Yes... we are going into the shirt business, and this will be our anchor product. Soon to be unemployed animators learn to diversify!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.
But, how does one gauge their worth? For a new animator, any sum of money might seem like a lot when it is infact, far below a good starting salary...
I wish that there were a more open dialog among the artists about the "fair" wages an animator should expect. It is only in the company's interest that the artists don't devulge such "sensitive" information as this might cause those that are being cheated to realize their worth...
Granted, there are a slew of factors to weigh when arriving at the "right" number, but it sure would be nice if we shared more so that a general standard could be reached.
then again, maybe I am just a dreamer who should just forget about the whole thing and join Tony's shirt-making venture...

Animator-Boy said...

Yes anonymouse how do you gauge your worth. One thing to do is: research. Check out the area you will be moving to and check out the cost of living. 20k a year will go farther in Texas than San Fran. Visit the Animation Guild web site and check out their past wage surveys http://www.animationguild.org/

Yes talking salary is taboo in this industry. If you have friends or contacts that are working in the industry you could always hit them up for info about you. "Hey if studio X offers me Z, is that too low in your opinion? Gimmie a ball park of what I should be asking for."

And try to keep in mind the the inital number a studio gives you is more than likely much lower than they are willing to pay.

Shephard said...

I believe Hoodwinked *was* actually made for $10.
~S