Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Working Conditions for Board Artists

"It would be good to have audio, designs and b.g.'s BEFORE we start a board."

"Somebody who's never done the work has created the schedule.  [Storyboard]  artists never have input on the time that's realistic. Writers should use a stop watch when writing their scripts. They write (overlong) 16 page scripts for 11 minute segments."
The Animation Guild in Los Angeles recently had a meeting about the conditions facing storyboard artists and published several comments on its blog.  As there was discussion in Canada recently about studios asking storyboard artists to cut animatics (for no additional pay), I thought it was interesting that even in a union situation, board artists are being squeezed for time, handed scripts that are unquestionably too long and being asked to work overtime for free.


Khylov said...


Though, it seems the no-design aspect is more a cumulative thing that happens further down the road, later in the season/s. No fault on the designers themselves, it usually only takes one hiccup in either scheduling or design requests from higher up and the whole thing snowballs into everything being perpetually behind from there on out.

Adding to the critique above on scripts being too long, would add that they've generally become more ambitious over time - which isn't necessarily a bad thing - but it usually means more of anything and everything thrown into an episode and thus, more work for the design dept.

Arrows don't seem to cut it anymore when it comes to animatic expectations. More acting, more beats. More drawings. Which can be cool strictly in the creative sense if you favor longer, drawn out scenes in animation. Though it's probably hell for whoever has to animate and keep track of it all.

The no audio thing's a new one to me.

Khylov said...

...Reading through the rest of the list on the Guild blog: I saw these things go down from time to time, but it's another thing to realize how endemic it all apparently is to animation. The "plus background designer and layout artist on reduced schedule"... That gets the dad expression when his kid asks him if they can go to the moon today.