Thursday, November 09, 2006

You Are a Tool

Shawn Kelly of Animation Mentor has written a column that accurately describes the animator's role in a large production. Animation students who currently have creative freedom are advised to read it (and perhaps weep). Having personally created a TV series, I found that I was still a tool of broadcasters and distributors.

Richard Williams once said that the golden rule was that the guy with the gold makes the rules. Unless you're financing your own work, you're going to be answering to somebody.


JCasual said...

I prefer the term "happy cog." It has an elder feel and a conotation of Chaplin and the Industrial Revolution. It is also the name of a site I visit.

Cooked Art said...

Thanks for the post Mark.

I'm personally concerned with my creative freedom remaining intact via with all the rules being in place for the individual films, let alone after I graduate.

Boris Hiestand said...

haha, 'happy cog'. An image comes to mind of a guy in a hawaiian shirt with a plastic smile pasted on his face...

it's the big old question wether to call our work an art form or a business isn't it.

And dammit we all know the answer.

it's the reason everybody in the industry (a word everyone uses without shame)moans and bitches all the time, even though we have the best job in the world!

and independent film makers moan because they can't afford thier rent...

Steve Schnier said...

I don't think that being a "tool" or a cog is the fault of the animation industry itself. If you consider the financial or manufacturing sectors, that's what workers are, "parts" to facilitate the process.
I think the problem is that animation as a profession is viewed as a life-long creative party. The product is fun, so the process must be as well.

Stephen Worth said...

If Milt Kahl was alive and working today, you'd be able to hear him hollering all the way up there in Canada. Executives can't make cartoons by themselves. If animators would grow some balls, they might have more creative power.

A friend of mine got great advice from an old time New York animator... George Bakes. George had a Brooklyn Yogi Bear accent and a blunt attitude. My friend asked him for advice on how to handle studio politics, and George said, "The best thing you can do as an animator is save your money, so you always have some 'Fuck You' money on hand if you get fed up."

See ya