Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Crackpot Executive Beliefs 1

Executives in Hollywood are like cultists. They believe fervently in things that completely go against common sense and reason. They are like Scientologists, except that executive beliefs change faster than established religions. The religion of executives follows trends.

Every time someone comes along and breaks all the previous religious beliefs and is successful, a new crop of nutty executives displaces the last and tries to find the magic reasons that the latest new entertainment phenomena succeeded. Then for years and years they try to repeat a formula that wasn't there, until a new rule breaker like me or Mike Judge or Matt Groening comes along to dash the previous religion to bits.

The executives never come to the obvious conclusion that a normal sane person would, that when a new show comes along that destroys the previous religious beliefs, that the reason for the success is the person who made the show.

Here are just a few preposterous beliefs of current executives in animation:

Someone With Talent Who is A Natural Entertainer Needs Someone Who Has Never Entertained Anyone To Tell Him How to Do His Job

That's the justification for why you need executives in the first place. That's it. They freely admit and with great pride, that they were previously dentists, lawyers or secretaries and now they tell cartoonists how to make cartoons. They never think they need to explain why they should know better than someone who actually can do it, has done it and does it naturally and has spent a few years learning the craft.



You Can Direct And Create Cartoons With No Experience

This is a fairly modern belief. It happened after Ren and Stimpy. All the shorts programs have as their goal to find a young kid who has the latest greatest idea in the world.
They actually believe that you don't need to have ever worked on cartoons to create a cartoon.

It's as if they were hunting for the latest choreographer and they put up a sign saying, "Dancers need not apply".

This is a hugely dangerous and evil belief.
One exec actually told me, "we can't buy cartoon ideas and characters from someone who has been working in the business, because his ideas won't be fresh."

They then get some kid from nowhere who has never worked for anyone in cartoons or has very little experience, doesn't know how cartoons are made and they put him in charge of a short or series.

Of course SOMEONE has to have experience who works on the cartoon or the cartoon won't get made.

So they put an inexperieneced kid in charge of artists who have paid their dues (and would like a chance to make their own cartoons) on other people's cartoon series and all the experienced people are jealous of the guy who came from nowhere and won the cartoon lottery.

So if you plan to make a career of cartoons, you better sell a show the first couple years you're in the business, because as soon as you have learned something the execs think you can no longer be creative. But be prepared for your crew to hate your guts.

A Cartoon Character Has Inherent Value

Execs think that characters by themselves have inherent value. "This character is worth millions". They never get that the artist who is able to create great characters is the thing of value.

Bugs is a great character, right? Then why hasn't anyone been able to do a good cartoon with him in 50 years?

Because they don't have Clampett, Avery or Jones to direct him. These guys created scores of great characters.

This obvious fact of history that repeats itself over and over again is completely over the heads of executives.

You Need To Find The Next "Look"
Another modern executive belief. Because Ren and Stimpy came along in 1991 and looked "different", they expect this to happen every year at every studio.

Things tend to evolve (or devolve). Very rarley throughout history do "new" things spring into existence out of nowhere. When they actually do, all the execs and establishment do everything they can to crush them out of existence.

Instead of just wanting the cartoons to be good, and strong and funny and amusing, there is this insane search for something relatively insignificant.

An exec told me a month or so ago, again, that experienced cartoonists were doomed because they couldn't create one of these new looks, but some 16 year old kid from the Ozarks who can barely scrawl, can.

The exec admitted one drawback to this doctrine and rolling her eyes said, of course "these kids are a pain, because they have never made cartoons before so we have to hold their hands throughout the process."

D-uh!!!

"Adult" Cartoons Have To Look Like They Were Drawn By Kids
Because the Simpsons and Beavis and Butthead were so successful, the execs tried to figure out the "secret" of their success. The magic ingredient taht could be injected into every cartoon ever after.

Execs being simple of wit and illogical, looked at the most superficial aspects of the shows-that the drawings were primitive and looked like kids drew them, rather than professional artists.

From then on, every "adult" cartoon show has looked like it was drawn by 8 year olds.

They seriously believe that if you had a show that was aimed at adults but was drawn well, people wouldn't watch.

Adults Don't Like Slapstick
When I was developing the George Liquor Program for MTV, the executive in charge of my creativity kept telling me to take out the crazy stuff. Formerly from MTV, and never having worked on The Simpsons, she told me what she thought the formula was for the Simpsons: "Your cartoons are too lively and animated. Adults don't want that. That's for kids. The Simpsons works for adults because nothing ever happens. They sit on the couch and say witty things. Adults don't like slapstick."

This was at the time Jim Carrey was making hit after hit of wacky slapstick films for adults.


Anybody can write cartoons (except cartoonists)

Executives believe that anyone is qualified to write cartoons-that is anybody except cartoonists.

Secretaries, friends of execs, psychologists, film editors - this is where execs find their "writers". Not experienced real writers, let alone cartoonists with story ability who are funny-
the folks who built the animation business and created the greatest cartoons and characters in history do not qualify.

I guess they think you can only have one talent at a time.

They would also assume that The Beatles needed plumbers to write their songs for them and that Walt Disney, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Tex Avery and a horde of other cartoonists couldn't decide for themselves what cartoons to make.

Anybody can direct voices, as long as they didn't have anything to do with creating the cartoon story

Execs believe that you need a special person to tell the actors how to act out the cartoon voices.

They don't believe that the creator of the show, or the writer of the episode or the storyboard artists, all people who have spent considerable time on the actual episodes know how the characters feel about the events in the story.

They believe that someone who has just this moment been handed a script, knows exactly how to direct the voices. Someone seeing the show for the first time, who has no creative stake in the show, because she also "directs" 15 other shows every day.

Now, maybe you think the reason this person is better qualified than the people who made the stories and characters is because she has some special training.

The voice director of course used to be an actor.

Nope.

A writer?
Nope?

A cartoonist?
God no!

Voice directors are usually the studio head's secretary, someone who spends most of her time under the most important desk in the studio.
After awhile, the boss wants a fresh new secretary and promotes the dusty one to "voice director".

There are many more crazy executive beliefs. In fact if you have experienced any, feel free to share your experiences in the comments-better post anonymously!


By the way, don't take my word for any of this.

Read the crazy religious beliefs of some of the most renowned crackpots in the cartoon business:

http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=search&sval=RD01&article_no=2738

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Depressing stuff. It's the same with films, but if you look at the box office numbers, it's the watered down executive driven stuff that makes the money. I don't know about TV, but I find is so hard to believe that executives are making things that people don't like. Think of the millions of fat idiotic Americans sitting in their living rooms not wanting to think or see anything too smart or it'll make them feel dumb. I think executives know how to please these idiots and make a load of cash from them.

Of course I'd love it if TV shows and films were a process purely done by the creative people, but then look what would happen, creative people are smart, they'd come up with too many good ideas and where would that leave the majority of idiots?

JohnK said...

>>It's the same with films, but if you look at the box office numbers, it's the watered down executive driven stuff that makes the money.<<

I keep rebutting this and people keep coming back to use this false assumption to justify stupidity.

Executives are the biggest money wasters in the world.

They are not business people. If they were, they would not let religion stand in the way of common sense.

No one would spend their own money in such a shameful wasteful way. Executives spend the corporations' money to amuse themselves and hire their friends, not to make money for their companies.

Anonymous said...

John is spot on with that. I recommend William Goldman's classic book Adventures in the Screen Trade and the sequel Which Lie Did I Tell? for more enlightenment on studio executives.

(Hint: The latter title is from a real quote from a real studio executive.)

Ben Jones said...

I can't believe you posted so much about wacky executive belief systems without mentioning focus groups. Those execs sure do love their focus groups.

Anonymous said...

Man, this reminds me of high school...Friends sticking up for friends and making useless "popular" clicks that amount to nothing. Executives only care about making one thing... Money not a Legacy.

Anonymous said...

ugh... this is horrible stuff. I just finished working on a tv series as an animator (for the first time) and it really opened my eyes to a lot of these things. The voice director one is spot on. It was like he didnt even read the character desciptions or look at the story boards. We'd constantly get these flat takes back and we'd have these wonderful poses drawn by the storyboard artist that no longer fit.

There were other things that bugged me. like gettin crazy comments like "It's too cartoony" from my director. Or the designer over designs so it's impossible to animate.

That being said working in that enviroment with experienced animators is so dam important. I totally agree that you need to earn a director roll.

Alicia said...

Hi John,

I'm not in animation but both me and the hubby work in television and in other aspects of the arts. Trust me, this crap is across the board. I have coined the term "artistic prostitution" to describe my experiences in working in the arts. Degraded to do a career of jobs which I wouldn't tell my best friend I did in exchange for a paycheque.

Nathaniel said...

Hmmm.

John long time reader first commentor...

Love your blog, all things about execs are true. In my very limited time as animator's assistant and jr clean up artist. My experience lead me to believe that the industry is dead and run by money hungry morons that have no sense and too much money to burn.

More thought goes into what harbour view apartment which they should rent instead of the art and the animation at hand.

More time and more money went into finding a studio that would do the animation for free in India, as if we need more stiff animation.

And final point.

Execs = Reality TV!

Reality TV has dumbed down the worlds populations. Now i can't watch a tv - its all dance idol, cooking idol, singing idol, crap idol, big brother idol and my idol idol.

Its all freaking pathetic and i'd rather make love to a fist full of sand paper then watch that crap...

well thats my first comment. Thank you for the time to vent.

Oh and more importantly you have reinvorgorated my interest in animation. I am now making my way back into the industry - well trying. I'm in training to join you and your band of looney toons.

Cheers Nathaniel.

Anonymous said...

"They are not business people. If they were, they would not let religion stand in the way of common sense."

I'm sure there are a lot of nut executives, but look what has been number 1 at the box office for three weeks straight... Stomp the Yard.

It isn't number one because the public knows enough to respond to auteuristic integrity, it's on top due to their boundless artistic ignorance and trashy taste.

The biggest mass audience right now craves down the middle entertainment, they don't like to be challenged because they are not up to meet it.

There are obvious exceptions, but if you art is accessible it can’t possibly be very personal.

queefy said...

That adult cartoon thing is right on.

Every show on Adult Swim looks like some guy jizzed on a black piece of construction paper and folded it over.

sean said...

"keep rebutting this and people keep coming back to use this false assumption to justify stupidity.

Executives are the biggest money wasters in the world.

They are not business people. If they were, they would not let religion stand in the way of common sense.

No one would spend their own money in such a shameful wasteful way. Executives spend the corporations' money to amuse themselves and hire their friends, not to make money for their companies."

ha, i never though of it that way. that totally makes sense.

so then why not go to HBO or showtime?

they don't sensor anything.
is there not enough money in it?

Mr. Semaj said...

No one would spend their own money in such a shameful wasteful way. Executives spend the corporations' money to amuse themselves and hire their friends, not to make money for their companies.

Sounds exactly like what was happening at Disney only three to eight years ago.

Speaking of which, I'm thinking some of your listed myths are what caused the downfall of The Proud Family, one of many cartoons that were shown as Disney Channel "originals". Bruce Smith had a great concept, but whomever was put in charge of the project sucked all the fun out it. After a while, watching the show became a real pain.

Anonymous said...

Scary and depressing stuff John. Do you think there's anyway to change the system? Have you faced any repercussions for voicing your opinion here? They may be douche-bags, but they're in charge.

I haven't even bothered to look into a day job on a series since I moved to LA. I'm scared of getting stuck on a shitty cartoon with jackasses at the helm. Drawing cartoons is fun (though hard work) and I don't want to grow to hate it because I spend all day making crap. At least when I do cartoon style illustrations for magazines I only have myself to blame if they look bad.

Anonymous said...

This one time, the 'creative producer' called up me and the editor to come up to the edit suite to watch the leica reel for the latest 7 min episode (of a Flash series) that we had just timed out.

So the editor and I sit down with her (after she had viewed a tape of it in her office an hour prior), we hit play and start watching it through, 30 seconds into it, she says "stop". She turns around in her chair, stairs into our eyes and says, "Is it possible to lower the angle slightly on all the storyboards for the entire episode? Since this is kinda the spooky-Haloween Special, I think it might add more ambience to the whole mood of the show."

The animatic editor and I slowly glance over at each other, I slowly look back at her and say "um.... that would require us to re-draw the whole board......so... um....no?".... She looks at me like I had ten heads, as if I was just being the most uncooperative prick she had ever seen. She says "can't you just hit a button on the computer to lower the angle on all the shots?" Again, like a zombie, I reply... "no".... She slams her clipboard down on the desk, folds her arms and says "Fine!.... we won't do it, I just don't understand what's so hard about my request, I mean, come ON!"

We finished the animatic in silence, and then she left slamming doors behind her.

Executives are useless, they know nothing of business, know nothing of humor, timing, voices, or what is an appealing drawing or what isn't.

They should be eliminated from the equation, they only hire their buddies and if the cartoon is a success they gloat saying "yeah... I did that cartoon", to all their friends. If the cartoon isn't a success. They carelessly blow away the company's money, waste valuable oxygen in the studio, and make WAY too much money for what little they do. I have yet to meet a producer who was worth his or her salary.

They slow down production, drain the life out of the studio, and waste resources. Does anyone have a story or know of a producer who isn't like this?

Anonymous said...

That's pretty eye opening. While I can't comment on my experiences in the animation industry (not yet at least...) However I can draw a straight line from any exec in industry A to any exec in industry B. Bottom lines and 'Obvious' trends rule their cowardly approach to work. And Isn't that really it? It's work to them. Numbers, profits, etc...For me, my art - whether I ever get the chance to animate or not, I'll still do what I want because it's a love of creation, energy, commentary and by god, ENTERTAINMENT. Harvard business school doesn't teach that. Hell, Art schools don't teach that. You gotta have it.

-B

Anonymous said...

There you go John! You've solved your own problem without even realizing it. The way to convince executives to make great cartoons is to wait 20 years or so until it becomes trendy again! Then after the executives sabotage the cartoons and bring animation into another decline, wait another 20 years! Hopefully someone who knows what good cartoons actually look like will still be alive by then.

Or your other option is to stage an armed insurrection. A lot of people will die, but the high casualty numbers will probably be less depressing than the cartoons on TV today.

Jorge Garrido said...

WHOAH!!! Eye-opening stuff! This makes me glad I didn't waste time going to animation school so I could work in cartoon sweatshops for Canadian telvision.

So you're not a fan of Andrea Romano and Charley Adler, eh?

>You Can Direct And Create Cartoons With No Experience

Seth MacFarlane did it! People hailed him as a "young genius" because he sold a show at 21. Drunken fat idiot.

I love it when John's angry and does rants. They're well thought out and eloquent but with that certain bite that us Kris-tians love.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever see "the Secret of my success" with Michale j Fox? ... Corney '80's movie, doesn't have anything to do with animation really, but the execs get what they deserve, so i recommend it for any one who is pissed off at the boss.

Anonymous said...

These are all things I have to look forward to!!!

Anonymous said...

Preach on, brother John! Preach on!

No seriously, this is really insightful. I really really hope to one day be a part of this crazy mess of showbiz, and these things you mention make me leery, but in a healthy way.

I agree with all your points, save for one. I think that most people associate non-realistic cartoon violence with the classics, and therefore, assume it's appropriate for kiddies. (Although, ironically, the P.C. police has gone ape-shit trying to censor a lot of the classics). But that's the preconception most of us have. Beavis & Butthead, South Park, & the Simpsons all have a very small degree of slapstick, but the character usually bleeds. If Daffy gets dynamite in the face, his brains don't splatter all over Bug Bunny's menacing smile. I can't think of a cartoon show that has been "a hit" and combined non-realistic violence AND adult content. (Unless you count some Anime, but I'm talking strictly North America here.)

Even "Drawn Together", which is a piece of shit, sometimes tries and fails to be cartoony, but even there you'll see graphic violence.

Jim Carrey is one of my favorite comics, but his medium is film. In film, slapstick has worked for both adult and kids films ( e.g. Dumb and Dumber/Home Alone), but the rule still applies. Note that in Home Alone, there are instances where the thugs clearly should have been dead or hospitalized. And look at Monty Python for the flip side of that.

I'm not saying it can't work, but I think most people have this preconception. If I see good cartoony animation, I assume everyone is included. If the characters have universal appeal (Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Ren & Stimpy), I assume the content will follow suite. Perhaps this is why "filthy" looking drawings are allowed "filthy" content.

Anonymous said...

Suits live in Bizarro World. Apparently they also believe trendy live-action actors can create cartoon voices - as if Halle Berry and Julia Roberts have distinctive voices that someone can tell apart.

Does that really have any marquee value in an animated film, anyway? Would you go out of your way to see a CGI cartoon feature just because Bruce Willis did one of the voices? Or Demi Moore? Or Whoopee Goldberg?

Modern cartoon soundtracks sound like they were recorded by your next-door neighbors, they're so fucking nondescript. We used to get geniuses like Mel Blanc and Daws Butler creating voices - now we get Tim Allen and Ellen DeGeneres.

The mind boggles.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to give spectators more credit than that... it seems to me that marketing takes the lion's share in determining what's successfull and what isn't.

Right now, there's a huge following surfacing for the canceled TV series Arrested Development. Most people who watch the show are unanimous that it's the best thing on network TV in years, but it ended up flopping because someone high up on the totem pole at Fox decided it wasn't worth marketing properly. If the Office on NBC is such a mega-hit right now, I have no doubt that Arrested Development would have done just as well if Fox marketed it in the same way. But some exec didn't see it the same way. So it was ultimately one guy's call as opposed to a "majority of idiots."

Family Guy and Futurama both resurrected from cancelation after failed marketing strategies (on the Fox network as well). But these shows didn't originally fail by themselves- they weren't being promoted properly.

I don't think the public are idiots individually. Maybe as a group their IQ drops, but there is so much media to sort through these days, it seems marketing is kinda necessary for anything to succeed on a large-large scale. And that's where the exec gatekeeepers come into play, right?

Anonymous said...

So Fred Seibert has his "Freddies" tonight, eh? Well, I have my "Kalies" -

"Best Rant Award goes to....



JOHNNIE KRICFALUSI!"

You'll get your golden statue likeness of me in the mail in about 6-8 weeks.

Ted said...

Have you considered renting your own executive? Someone vicious to run interference for you. You could give them credit for ideas, and as they are not creative (or at least you believe them to not be creative) and do not know how to make a cartoon, then by your understanding other executives will accept the ideas and let the production run on its own. You know, your own personal Fred Quimby.

Anonymous said...

I work in live action film production and everything you said in this post applies to my work as well. It isn't what I signed up for and it drives me fucking bananas sometimes.

dieselcreek said...

This adult wants well done animations!

I'm sick of only getting half the entertainment value. You'll come across shows with somewhat decent writing, but then get horrible visuals that are more repulsive than artistic. What sorta cheap trick is that? Hell I might as well head over to "old timey" radio.

I want to be impressed with quality and creativity of the actual animation- get drawn in. Then I want a good story, insightful or subversive or whatever; with some damn brains.

I also don't get this idea that a cartoon shouldn't be cartoony for adults. The creator is the creative, all the focus grouping in the world won't get past the fact that the person creating the cartoons knows best as to how they express themselves.

You must be some sorta hell-raiser with these execs...


.

Anonymous said...

Easy Four Step Process To Make a Cartoon:

Step 1: Work hard, learn to draw, animate, entertain, tell jokes and make an animation. Show it to someone with money, make cartoon, done.

Step 2: If you don't have time to make a whole animated cartoony, try something else, like a comic strip. Show it to someone with money, make comic, sell it as a property, make an animated show done.

Step 3: If you don't have time to make a whole comic, make something else, like an illustration or drawing. Learn to draw, sell yourself as a character designer, make a great character, sell it as a property, make a comic, sell the comic as a property, make a cartoon done.

Step 4: If you don't have the talent to draw or come up with ideas, hobknob, network, and weasel your way up the corporate ladder until you find a position to make a creative decision, even if you don't have a talent. Buy some poor saps idea that he's been starving himself to work on, turn it into a property, cut him out of the money, (bonus points if they've been working for over two decades) turn it into a cartoon, done.

See, it's easy...you just have to be inventive!

dieselcreek said...

Oh yes, and all this applies to the graphic design world. It tends to be Marketing vs Design. Heads of marketing depts. are usually very afraid of taking anything on they assume is a risk. Not so much a risk in profits, but a risk to their job. No waves!! Follow what was done before, and all that.

I've seen a lot of turnover in the marketing executive world for major companies over the last 5 years (mainly due to economic factors beyond their control- but still get the ax because the VPs need someone to blame) . Quite often I'll deal with new marketing people, who just replaced the old exec. 6 months ago. They have no idea what's going on, or have some grand idea to reinvent the wheel. Then 6 months later, another new person is in the job. It's uncanny, and not helping.

There is sooo much creativity out there, but it's all boxed in by "Focus groups" and pension chasing execs.

Ever watch a focus group from behind the 2 way mirror? I have, many many many hours. It is pure unbridled hell! Basically put people in a room to nit-pick, or say common sense things that could be figured out without spending $50,000-$100,000.

Focus grouping is the addictive drug of marketing execs. They can't wipe their own ass without focus grouping it.

But I'm not bitter!


heh.

.

EM said...

This meshes for video as well. I make backgrounds for 3-D compositing. Every beautiful, creative, rich, well designed background I make gets dumbed down, pissed on and generally ruined by marketing, art directors with no background in art and the worst of the worst, the compliance department. Compliance's job is to make sure I can't be proud of anything I recieve money for.
I'm also a videographer and editor, constantly directed by people who have no clue about shot composition or timing. It's a maddening environment to say the least.

akira said...

wow! amen brutha! tell it like it is!

i don't know about them looking for fresh new young talent so much any more.. seems like they are going for people who were successful in things other than animation, that way they're proven moneymakers AND fresh since they have no cartoon experience... such as giving andre 2000, or the wayans brothers a show. i'm sure the "creators of" "Lost," "american idol" or whatever other show is popular could get a green light on an animated show in about 1 second.

the offices of creative executives i've seen are usually full of toys and comic books that they're trying to figure out how to make a show out of, and sometimes they'll gloat about having the rights to this toy or that comic book.

but hey, there've always been bad cartoons getting the green light, off the top of my head thinking back to childhood: "Rubik's Amazing Cube," "Monchichi's" "the Wolfman Jack show" "animated Teen Wolf" so, history repeats. then again, Hanna Barbera did some real crap, too, back in the day .. i'm thinking of stuff like jabber jaw and that genie show and speed buggy(although that girl was HOT).. who green lit some of those wacky pitches? did they have non-artists in charge there, too?

Anonymous said...

If nothing else is to be said about you John, it is that you have some BALLS! All of this stuff needed to be said and as loud as possible! I wish John had a studio in Burbank, a wooden termite infested studio if nothing else that had little if any exc. imput in cartoon development so we could see some great cartoons start emerging out of Hollywood once again. I would even consider going to see a shitty Shrek Movie if there was a John K, or Chuck Jones quality cartoon playing in front of it. Lets bring back the GOOD shit! Holly crap it would be about time!! The Golden Age was over Fifty years ago now, what's the learning curve for Hollywood anyways????

Anonymous said...

i'd post anon. but i'm too pissed about the truth here. i've only been out of college and working in animation for a little over a year...but i've already experienced buttloads of this.

let's not forget, wealthy people who aren't animators that own animation studios "have ideas" and get huge "created by" credits...and their friends make GREAT "story editors". Oh and seasoned vets are never paid as much as suits. let's not forget that.

i had to go in to work and bring the fred flintstone model sheets you posted to explain to a producer what a model sheet was and why i needed one if they were going to keep yelling at me [and the other animators] to be on model.

and this cracks me up:

"Your cartoons are too lively and animated. Adults don't want that. That's for kids. The Simpsons works for adults because nothing ever happens. They sit on the couch and say witty things. Adults don't like slapstick."

some of the best jokes in the simpsons are slapstick!

i'm hoping the more and more enraged i become, the more driven to keep learning i'll be as well. let's just say i'm pretty driven these days. thanks for all the rage!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame the Execs have such control over what goes out in the public arena but for the past 5 years now the Internet has brought the control back into the hands of those who use it.

With essentially all the walls knocked down by the Internet, you could most easily construct a team of artists, animators, voice actors, writers, etc. and most of these people would probably band with you as something to do in their spare time and for free. The generosity of the general public is something that has been hidden for a long time but has finally been brought to life through the Internet.

The Internet gives the person with no opportunity, as much opportunity to reach a large market as a TV station in some backwater country like New Zealand (my location!). One example is the fan-made production of "The Fanimatrix". It reached at least 1 million viewers and that's just from downloads via BitTorrent networks.

So yeah, TV execs don't know shit. Best thing to do is prove them wrong by going by your gut, producing what you love with those who also love to produce and you'll have a great production that if no exec ends up picking up, you'll get the props and respect for creating and completing without any poisonous input from an exec. And the upside is if it gets so popular you'll probably get all those money hungry execs bashing down your door trying to buy you and your IP off.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad fact that average people, the ones that don't know about animation or movie industries, that only will watch the final product, normally don't have any idea of all this. They think cartoons are weak, childish (I'm saying it as a bad thing, you can have a kid show that is not "childish" in the sense I'm using it here) or movies are crap because there is no talented people out there. I actually kinda think like that long time ago, I thought there were nobody talented enough to create great new characters or making interesting animated features (every time I see an animated movie that is slightly different from the rest I think it's a success). But no, they are usually talented people working on those things, but usually the final product don't include all their ideas, some of them are lost in the process because some good-for-nothing executive guy said it so. I read that executives suggested they wanted a mechanical dog at the end of Looney Tunes: back in action...I mean, what kind of silly suggestion is that? Instead of being interested in the characters or the gags they are interested in including the first out of nowhere stupidity they have in their mind.

Anonymous said...

This has totally nothing to do with your post, but i had a question. I'm pretty new to this blog thing so i made today a blog. If you have some time would you check it once, and give some comments on my drawings?

greets,
Laury.

Anonymous said...

Its the same same across the board. Ive been working in Illustration & design since '95 (I even applied to work at Spumco back when they were doing Weekend Pussy Hunt – got turned down by Jim Smith himself, and Ive still got the letter to prove it) and its the same stupid story, anything you poor yourself into and make brilliant some bigwigs (theres usually a whole board of them that give you they're changes one at a time) step in and give you 'creative input', because your degree and several years experience means nada and you couldnt possibly know what would attract people.

And wasting money? The company I now work for just spent 40 million pounds (about 70 million dollars US) for a program that makes it look like the pdf files of the magazine are turning! And they refuse to give raises saying they cant afford to do such things!

I could go on forever on this, but it boils down to this:
The people in large companies dont know they're ass from a hole in the ground

Hryma said...

Amen, you also forgot to mention they get paid a butload and the talent gets shit on

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that executives have their heads stuck up their asses to the extent that the whole fairytale "rags-to-riches" idea seems realistic to them. Except y'know, it's "monkey trained to perform open heart surgery" in this case.

Another personal exec peeve of mine (I'm not in the animation industry quite yet - still studying - but it's my big fear) is the entire "core demographic" idea. I'd personally work on things that are maybe considered "edgy" and as such, I can realistically picture a suit telling me there's no audience for what I'd propose. Even if most of the things I do are quite popular with all my friends, their friends and even some complete strangers I show.

Where do they get this belief that there's only ever an audience for anything that's blatantly a variant of something established. Other than y'know, lazy thinking.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, my first 30 minute cartoon I was working on for 5 months was yanked from under me when the "CEO" of the public access network didn't want me to use voice of a local town celebrity.

He said, the town celebrity said, "It might hurt his career as a musician."

I e-mailed the celebrity and he said he wanted to do the cartoons.
I found out the "CEO" had put a lot of "time" into the celebrity's career. And didn't want anyone making money off of the celebrity except himself. "BULLSH*T".

I didn't want to make money I just wanted to air my cartoon! Is that so wrong to ask?

Evidently he must have been afraid I would get more praise and glory for being more creative. And like you said STOMPED me flat!

Anonymous said...

Same thing happening here on the production of a kidsmovie with a 3D character that is supposed to turn out as believable (and successful) as the 'hippogriff' in harry potter...

The director: kid that just graduated from filmschool
The scripwriter: fellow student of director
The Executive: former girl at front desk of same filmschool (no joke)

Believed formula to make this work:
put in as little money as possible,
surround the kids with people with former feature film experience...
oh, and give the people at pixar a call to see if they want to participate.

I can totally see it happening!
(...must leave sinking ship...)

Anonymous said...

The year 2131, The world is full of cartoon show look-alikes no different than 120 years before.

Executives have a mind control microchip implanted into a baby's head at birth.

The baby was the answer to their problems. Instead of letting it grow, learn and create, they molded the child to what they thought worked from the past cartoons.

They have conformed the child to a executive society that does not care for creativity or originality. All they care for is the next new cartoon and it never comes because they have destroyed it.

The irony like in a Twilight Zone episode.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, John! Quite upsetting. But you know looking at this always cheers me up!!

http://www.happyhourshorts.com/gifs/beaky2.gif

hen said...

I wonder, how to pitch an animated series to these guys...

Bad pitch:
"It's like Tom and Jerry, only it's not. And it's about a fat cat and a small dog and they do crazy stuff and there's no connection whatsoever between the episodes. And sometimes it's effin' gross. But it's well animated."

Good pitch:
"It's like Futurama or Family Guy, but with more pop-culture-references per minute. And it's effin' gross and offensive all the time."

Anonymous said...

I have never made a cartoon and have worked non-productive middle-management jobs all my life. Lots of folks don't seem to care what I have to say, but I happen to think I am THA SHIZNITZ!

OK, there's my resume. I expect to be your boss any time now.

Lattaland said...

Speaking of no one doing a decent Bugs cartoon in 50 years, did you see Looney Tunes Back In Action?
'Ho boy- I 've never hated Bugs so bad in my life!

Raff said...

Why are we bitching and not putting our heads together to think of possible solutions to these problems, i.e. alternative and effective methods of producing and getting animation to the public?

Is it because there are no possible solutions? Please! Once upon a time there was no cure for athlete's foot! This is a BLOG, people - one person posts something, the other person continues the train of thought.

"Well I've got a solution, but it's a secret plan and if it leaks out, someone else will steal my idea and beat me to it." If you're the only one doing it, no one cares and no one will offer help or money and it won't get done. If several of us do it, it's a scene and a movement and it'll get attention and benefit everyone in the process.

That's my theory and I have a few ideas; anyone disagree?

Franky said...

Matt Greenwood wrote: The biggest mass audience right now craves down the middle entertainment, they don't like to be challenged because they are not up to meet it.

There are obvious exceptions, but if you art is accessible it can’t possibly be very personal.


I can't agree with you here, Matt. The audience these days haven't been into to as much good entertainment because that's not what's being pushed. If there were more good entertainment options out there being promoted, it would be snapped up and become popular. It's easier for big corporate types to pretend that they know what people want and keep feeding the public pablum. The audience gets so desperate that eventually some piece of crap like Family Guy becomes popular.

Anonymous said...

John, all this bitter reality has gotten the wheels in my cabeza turning a bit.

What about the internet? It seems the perfect venue for large scale exposure with minimum bureaucratic bullshit.

And if I'm not mistaken, you did try this didn't you? What happened to George Liquor or Weekend Pussy Hunt? I really think that if you had a central site hosting these toons, and if you put out a new toon every so often, you'd get serious momentum going. You've got the star power amongst the cartooning crowd already.

Homestarrunner, for instance, is ridiculously popular. They lack any sort of serious animation, but their business model has succeeded. They have very appealing shows, free shows, guaranteed new episodes, and a homebase on the internet. They bank on their popularity through merchandise sales.

I really think you could kick ass on the internet.

Mr. Semaj said...

Step 4: If you don't have the talent to draw or come up with ideas, hobknob, network, and weasel your way up the corporate ladder until you find a position to make a creative decision, even if you don't have a talent. Buy some poor saps idea that he's been starving himself to work on, turn it into a property, cut him out of the money, (bonus points if they've been working for over two decades) turn it into a cartoon, done.

That's what I meant to bring up a little earlier. With the way corporations are designed, it seems the only way to retain full control over one's project is for the artist to acquire some business skills, perhaps morph into one of the big bad businessmen.

If the businessmen can play parasite on animation, we can do it vicey-versy. :P

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
when you suggested the "preston Blair book" do you mean this
http://www.amazon.com/Cartooning-Animation-Preston-Blair-HT26/dp/0929261518/sr=8-1/qid=1169744189/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-8705255-7094349?ie=UTF8&s=books
or this:
http://www.amazon.com/Cartoon-Animation-Collectors-Walter-Foster/dp/1560100842/sr=8-2/qid=1169744189/ref=pd_bbs_2/104-8705255-7094349?ie=UTF8&s=books

thanks,
-psachyah

S.G.A said...

Here's some of the note on some of my rejections from cartoon proposals, from Cartoon Network;
Your cartoon doesn't "look" like a cartoon network cartoon, ..."They could mean it isn't flat and blocky enough."
Nothing too high concept. We want simple ideas for children between the ages of 6-11,... "They must be talking about abdult swim."
When personifying an otherwise inanimate object, one must always consider how outlandish SPONGEBOB is and use that as a meter stick. ?????

These are from TC and LJ at cartoon Network...
here's one cartoon they rejected- www.pajamaexplorer.blogspot.com

Ryan G. said...

Is there any hope John? Sometimes I get depressed reading these posts. The industry doesnt sound very rewarding.

Anonymous said...

Wow...just wow.

The puzzling part - all of this is happening in studios, not just the networks. I would think that the studio would foster the creative process...silly me.

A bright spot is people are going against this. They are forming their own "studio" and are using alternative methods to get their material out (ex: YouTube and JibJab). Internet sites such as YouTube and JibJab have become wildly successful, and they have actually given networks and "mainstream" studios a run for their money. John was ahead of his time with this... ;)

Anonymous said...

it seems the only way to retain full control over one's project is for the artist to acquire some business skills, perhaps morph into one of the big bad businessmen.

You're assuming that the execs are businessmen. They aren't. None of their decisions are based on what is good for business. It's all desperate flailing around to try to justify their own existence and blind ignorance. If your logic on this held true, an artist would have to acquire desperation and morph into a big bad moron.

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

John, I have an off-topic question:

On the Simpsons Season 1 DVD in the extras, you see a 6 minute clip from the first finished episode coming from Korea, and this pilot was NOT used and completely re-animated later, because it contained lots of visual gags and funny, cartoony drawings which were not in the script. On the audio commentary, they said, the Korean animators added this stuff on their own.

Question: could your work on the Ren & Stimpy show or The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse have influenced them?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry guys - the internet is killing these fuckers in droves.

Max Ward said...

What a coincidence! I'm currently writing an compare/contrast essay on American business of the early 20th century and comparing it to modern business. It's all about how logical business was handled 100 years ago and how modern business depend on psuedo-science. I think it would be something you'd like to read, I'll e-mail you a copy when I'm done with it.

Gabriel said...

raff says:
Why are we bitching and not putting our heads together to think of possible solutions to these problems, i.e. alternative and effective methods of producing and getting animation to the public?

While your questioning is really important, we have another problem: in case we figure it out, can we deliver the goods? I'd like to see the system change, but after the artists conquered this freedom, would they be able to do amazing cartoons? They can't be any worse than the crap we have to bear with now, but i hope there is enough people taking john's lessons to heart and amassing the skills to be able to do the cool stuff for which the road will be paved.

Mr. Semaj said...

You're assuming that the execs are businessmen. They aren't. None of their decisions are based on what is good for business. It's all desperate flailing around to try to justify their own existence and blind ignorance. If your logic on this held true, an artist would have to acquire desperation and morph into a big bad moron.

See ya
Steve


Maybe.

What I was getting at was that unless those above the executives caught on, the artist who was "desperate" enough to climb to the exectuive status would have lesser problems with the higher-ups toying with his/her project.

Anonymous said...

I also hate how executives think that just because someone is a celebrity that they are automatically a great candidate to be a voice actor for cartoons, (Hugh Jackman, Avril Lavigne, Scarlett Johannsen, etc.) Their voices stand out only because they suck balls compared to trained and talented voice actors that are mixed into the movie.

Anonymous said...

I know it's hard to believe that this is the way the animation business works, but an artist would NEVER be allowed to climb to executive status. They don't want artists in their ranks. Read the article at AWN that John links at the end of his post. THAT'S the kind of person that gets put in charge of animation at networks. Everything that sounds like a wild exaggeration is 100% true.

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

"Your cartoons are too lively and animated. Adults don't want that. That's for kids."??! Jeez, it's amazing that you could refrain from killing her after that.

PCUnfunny said...

Excutives also don't belive voice actors are real actors. Billy West said that he and Bob Bergen were denied an invitation to the primere of Space Jam because the executives said they were not real actors.

Anonymous said...

It's hard for me to get upset over this nowadays. I walk in expecting this whenever I look for work. The best way to avoid this is to start your own studio.

NARTHAX said...

The lack of a viable new animation paradigm will kill the current crop of executive poseurs. This problem would challenge even the brightest individuals and we're talking about people who are, at best, only adept at their own short-term survival. The network and studio systems will go the way of the industrialized world, post peak oil. It must all get simpler to work again.

Anonymous said...

i saw a commercial today that was pretty distrurbing, at least to me, that kind of ties into the "leave the creativeness out of Art and just make something that sells" mentality of these suits. it wasn't about Animation, but it was still pretty eye-opening. it was a commercial for a Graphic Design course. the girl in the spot was saying how great it was to work for a record company, ad firm, or in music videos since she finished the course. this is the line that got me, and i quote " not an Artist? that doesn't matter anymore!" boy oh boy. what's the world coming to?

Anonymous said...

you are dead on on this one!

i work as a creative director and for years we have been trying to get the execs to do something creative instead of the same crap everyone else is doing (is an educational company) and it took us to actually create a prototype of something creative and get a bunch of people in the field exitecd about it, to convince the execs that it worked.
Now all they want to do is the same thing, and myself and all my animators are like NO! now we need to come up with something new and innovative again, and so the vicious cycle starts again!
Johnk i am addicted to your blog mate! and influence all my animators to read as well, great work!

Anonymous said...

I love Eek the Cat. I think he speaks for all of us in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpthOOEce5k

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I disagree wholly with Mr. Kricfalusi's original post. Educated, criticial thinkers with an understanding of (if not talent in) the craft can do quite well. Examples certainly exist, too. However, those qualifiers that I mentioned are crucial, as Mr. Kricfalusi's arguments and final post (which nearly ruined my day the first time that I read it) show.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for posting successively.

I think far too many here overestimate the public's taste for animation. A disclosure: I attend Dartmouth, a supposed bastion of high thinkers. Many are oblivious to animation history. That's fine, of course, as there's no obligation to appreciate it. However, most are incapable of analyzing quality work and, thus, appreciating the best output. The problem is that most watch televised animation passively and 1 time. There is no impetus to review the writing, sound, animation, and all of the other bits of a work, so they'll never learn to do so. Thus, they'll always except pathetic animated situation comedies over quality programming. "Family Guy" holds sway here over the admirably independent "South Park" and "Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends." As flawed as the assemblies of those latter shows are, I find numerous things to admire about the writing, art style, and pacing. Unfortunately, most would prefer unfunny text and plot, boring, poorly-executed animation, negligent sound production, and utterly catastrophic flow.

Blanco said...

This is exacly why John Lesseter has moved all of the executives from disney out of the creative posts.

Lets hope it works, because Disney hasn't done anything worth while in years.

Executive also think viewers are sheep.

Anonymous said...

"This is the line that got me, and i quote " not an Artist? that doesn't matter anymore!" boy oh boy. what's the world coming to?"

People think because they have a computer and a pirated version of the Adobe CS suite that they're a designer. I don't know how many so-called designers I've met you can't even draw and have never made typography from scratch. If you're in a creative profession and you couldn't do your job without a computer you're just a hack.

Adam B said...

That AWN article made me feel sick...

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I disagree wholly with Mr. Kricfalusi's original post. Educated, criticial thinkers with an understanding of (if not talent in) the craft can do quite well

If someone doesn't know how to make films, it doesn't matter how educated they are or how critical their thinking is, they can't tell someone else how to make them. The best that they can do is say what they don't like after it's already made.

In order to supervise a crew of artists, you have to be able to visualize your ideas and get them across in a concrete way. The best way to show an artist how something should look is to be able to draw it. A non-artist can spend all day thinking up words to try to describe what they want, but it won't get the specific visual across to another person. This is why executive dominated animation does so much "parallel parking" with revisions and revisions of revisions.

Filmmakers should make films and cartoonists should make cartoons. That really shouldn't be so radical a concept, but it seems to be in this backwards age we live in.

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

I learned one good rule while ploughng through life:
Never go into the kitchen and tell the Chef how to cook.

Anonymous said...

I pitched to cartoon network recently and a criticism they gave was that the artwork looked too much like cartoon network. ???? The intended to take things in a new direction and didn't want to be associated with their past. Their own product? Maybe it should be a criticism if you don't like cartoon network but it just proves the point made in the post.

Anonymous said...

I pitched to cartoon network recently and a criticism they gave was that the artwork looked too much like cartoon network. ???? The intended to take things in a new direction and didn't want to be associated with their past. Their own product? Maybe it should be a criticism if you don't like cartoon network but it just proves the point made in the post.

Anonymous said...

But, out of all the brain-dead executives out there, this guy has to be the worst of all: Sander Schwartz

I experienced a bit of this corporate bullshit when I worked at Collideascope in Halifax 2 years ago. I didn't see the people responsible first hand but I was certainly a victim of their crap. A bunch of us were laid off because the powers that be at Disney just had to slash the budget for some mysterious reason. The show was of course cancelled.
I also saw a huge boatload of this at the animation school I attended. I'm sure that former and current students/faculty wouldn't appreciate me going into detail about it here so I won't. I'll just say that there was WAAAAAAAAY too much money wasted foolishly through a fatal mixture of sleaze and incompetence. (I'm of course referring to the incompetence in the bookkeeping because there was wasn't of that in the teaching).

Bottom line, I'm with you 1000% on this one, John. Executives must go.

Anonymous said...

>>I attend Dartmouth, a supposed bastion of high thinkers. Many are oblivious to animation history. That's fine, of course, as there's no obligation . . . blah blah blah blah

Hey, we're not saying that the public is throwing a fit at all the bad programming. Of course people don't give a shit--and that's the exactly the problem. People aren't watching cartoons. If people DID give a shit about animation, then obviously someone is doing their job right. Do you see the point?

People don't prefer unfunny bad animation. Today's generation doesn't know better, and they aren't required to "review the writing, sound, animation, and all of the other bits of a work." Who the hell said they should? Good cartoonists who can deliver just want an audience, not a fucking research paper. John is simply pointing out why there isn't an audience.

Anonymous said...

There's kind of a cult of management calling itself a science, which is fed, I think, by MBA programs, also those self-help books, and consultants shilling things such as the "Sigma Six" managment system. A lot of money is paid into this, so it's good isn't it?

It's not just cartoons or films, it's North American business culture in general (and maybe elsewhere).

Anonymous said...

Art and business simply don't mix. They can, but it was never meant to be. I love drawing, animating, creating, etc. As soon as I have to report to someone above me about the ideas I want to express, the process gets screwed up. No longer is that my art, idea, drawing etc. And thus is the life of a commercial artist and with time we all learn to deal with it and make a living. But when you get right down to the core of why you do what you do, it's because of selfish personal satisfaction. When you were a kid with your crayons drawing your favorite cartoon characters it was because you wanted to. It was fun and no one was behind you telling you what to do. You grow up really trying to keep that dream alive. You made comics and flip books and did your thing telling everyone you were gonna grow up and be an artist. Little did you know there'd be so many people standing in your way if you actually wanted to make a living enjoying your work. It disheartens me completely when I stop to think about all the drawings I did as a kid and how much fun I had. I still do what I want to do - but I have to make time for it and I'm not getting paid. I know that's all completely selfish, but I'm just trying to illustrate the point that we're artists for a different reason. We don't care about making money or doing things efficiently or staying on schedule. The execs are the exact opposite and I find it hard to believe we can both be happy in the current production situation.

Story time:

I worked for a small company producing "animated" comic books on DVD. Pan and scan, motion graphic type stuff. Brainiac product I know. It was a sweatshop essentially. Long nights just cranking this stuff out. Execs on the phone telling my producer to sacrifice composition and common sense for anything that was larger on screen even if the art was small and low rez. They ended up not even paying us in the end. Bad business management. So we scrambled to make a product to sell and stay in business. It was actually a fun time for me because I got to develop random ideas and draw anything under the sun that we could turn into some sorta product. I could tell we were floundering frantically but for a change I was enjoying the work. The VP of creative content dismissed our ideas and scribbled an elementary school doodle on lined paper. "We" agreed on that concept. I proceeded doing all visual development. I mocked up some animatics. I was one of 2 people on staff with any experience in art/animation. So the question eventually came from my producer in a studio meeting with a completely straight face:

"How long would it take you to do a 22 minute cartoon?"

I couldn't even answer for a minute. Then I think I said "...months." (which would really be more like years) and that was enough to put an end to that idea.

It just validates the point that the people in charge don't have the qualifications.

The studio closed soon after. That was my third job and second layoff.

A quote from a good friend:
"Art is a decision making process. Take away the decisions and you take away the art."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but making movies involves big bucks. Artists don't usually have that. That's why the suits are in there pulling all the levers.

I guess we can always blog, and publish zines, but hard to live off that. So, we're sucked into the machine.

If, as John is saying, they realised that artists could make good and popular stuff, we'd also have better and more original movies than "Shrek III."

Eric C. said...

Hey John,

Since you were talking about painted backgrouds and stuff. You should use Adobe PhotoShop.

IT's Awesome and I use it for my animated shorts.


And I think there's different types of animation prime time shows.
The Simpsons and Matt's Style is more of a comic strip style cartooning whille your stuff is more ment / made for the medium and should be seen more off. I would love to see a George Liquor Show on Fox. I'll have something to watch before or after The Simpsons.

_Eric ;)

Anonymous said...

It isn't depressing stuff, i simply find you are the funniest man on earth.
You can change the world.


All the best

Billy Bob said...

I had once read in an interview with Japanese Animators that american productions are so expensive because "they have a lot of things that they don't need". Based off what I hear, this excecutive mentality/influence must be one of those things. Im just a lowly college student that aspires to do animation down the road but it seems dire at the moment. Im still trying to learn about old pop culture that Mr. K loves from before the 70s and understand why/how it's better.
I suppose the executives are in place by order of networks right? It sounds infruiating, somehow there must be a way to establish good buisness relationships with distributors,make fantastic work and (hopefully but not to the point of selling out) make money. I don't think it's impossible to have a balance of art and buisness but it does seem pretty damned difficult especially with the information overflow and glut of lazy unambitious productions.

Shorty said...

I've had a production coordinator say to me, "I want to become a producer so no fucking creative can tell me what to do"!
If you've been a receptionist, runner, sectary and are working your way up, you look more for the power. Nasty vindictive people who hate artists end up the bosses.
The system is perfect, it keeps the struggling artist, well struggling..

-Shorty

Oh and on films best returns are often on the lower budget more story driven, and better executed, and on the other extreme look at what happens where no one is in a position to tell the director they're being an idiot. I liked the Chuck Jones comments on road runner where there was a series or rules that sould not be broken, and that made people more creative..

Billy Bob said...

One poster pointed out (with some terse words) that cartoonists should figure out a way around this problem.
Mr. K offered a fascinating idea of direct sponsorship through the internet. It sounds like a wonderful idea but I wonder how feasible it is, as in how you could ensure profit returns on the production to stay in buisness and continue making great cartoon work. Part of which has to do with conracts and copyright nonsense I'm sure. But the internet route seems a little rocky when compared to the simple system of tv (ratings) and films (box office cash). If I'm wrong please enlighten me, cause either way TV/Films distro are loosing influence.

The GagaMan(n) said...

One way to get around execs seems to be what the guys are homestarrunner.com are doing: making their own wages on self made merchandise and DVDs, and spending their entire time on making new episodes for the website every week or so. They have no sponsorships, execs or staff, just the two of them running things how ever they see fit. Read these articles about it:
http://www.coldhardflash.com/2006/10/homestars-show-runners-part-1.html
http://www.coldhardflash.com/2006/10/homestars-show-runners-part-2.html

Ignore how the cartoon looks (because I know you wont like it) and just read how they get around the whole selling out to execs deal. It's not a whole lot different to what you more or less kicked off in Flash years ago, but take note they've never had to resort to advertising or signing up with sponsors...ever. Quite an achievement no matter how you look at it.

hans bacher said...

from the past I remember lots of situations like the
ones you describe. but you are too friendly the way you write about them. they belong to the caves, and there they would not even understand the paintings
on the rocks.

Stephani said...

While everything's that's veen said in this blog are on the button, I wonder why most animators don't bother to try get a position in an executive level. Aside from thet fact that most of the executives are self-congratulatory people, there were probably one or two chances of an animator rising up through the ladder, no?

I mean this whole myth of if you become executive you become evil isn't really true. Like Dean said in Iron Giant, "You are what you choose to be." In the end it depends on each and everyone's decision to be "evil" or not.

So come on, isn't any animator going to rise up to the challenge to go to an executive level, representing the actual artistic side?

Geritopia said...

So why does this wrong-people-in-executive-positions phenomenon happen over and over again? Could it be something organic to the structure of the system itself which creates the vacuum where only the most fat-headed, self-deluded, with designer eyewear can thrive? The people who interface with the financial end of the corporate structure DO, on the average, fit the personality profile to stomach the daily bullshit of doing their dance to placate their own overlords. I don't know many artists that can do that without hating themselves, although they do exist.

The golden age of animation will be next to impossible to recreate because so much of that great work took place when the industry wasn't so fixed and bureaucratized. But there will always be those breakaway exceptions just waiting to be assimilated into the commercial pile.

Mattieshoe said...

John, why don't' you become a head executive for a big-budget Animation firm? It can't be too hard to get the job.

Fire the Idiots and hire people who really know what they're doing when it comes to Making cartoons.

Ken said...

I don't have any stories, but from your description, they sound a lot like that cult from The Omega Man.

Executives?