News

Adapting to a Changing Business

Steve Hulett / December 29, 2014

Business Savvy / no comments

Artists have to do it as much as anyone, here in the 21st century. … AS THE BUSINESS of comics syndication has changed, tethered as much as it is to the fate and fortunes of newspapers, it has been especially great to see cartoonists enjoy opportunities in other creative realms in 2014. “Doonesbury’s” Garry Trudeau…

Non-Photographic Director of Photography

Steve Hulett / December 23, 2014

Uncategorized / one comment

I’m sorry, but I find this a bit odd. The key live-action title has gaining traction in the animation business after years of being seen as a largely live-action only task. This year the field of computer animation passed a milestone when Pixar’s Sharon Calahan became the first director of photography whose work has been…

The Unionizing Thing

Steve Kaplan / December 13, 2014

Business Savvy, Union NewsWhy Union / no comments

As somebody who lives inside organized labor, this is heartening: Federal officials unveiled new rules on Friday that will streamline and simplify the union election process, a reform long sought by labor unions and fiercely opposed by businesses. Among other changes, the rules issued by the National Labor Relations Board will limit some of the…

One Big Suit

Steve Kaplan / December 2, 2014

Class ActionCollusion / no comments

And we don’t mean the double-breasted kind. Sony probably didn’t need any more bad news after last week’s brutal hacking that made the studio work like it was 1954, but it got some today. While not altogether unexpected, the three class-action suits over alleged anti-poaching and wage-fixing deals by Sony, Disney, DreamWorks Animation and other…

Saved by the Guvmint

Steve Kaplan / November 24, 2014

Disney Feature / no comments

President Emeritus Tom Sito notes: Nov 24, 1941 — After suffering a strike and declining revenue because of the war in Europe, Walt Disney’s studio was in trouble. Animator Ward Kimball noted in his diary for this day: “100 layoffs announced. Studio personnel from 1600 down to a Hyperion level of 300. Geez, It this…

Profit Margins

Steve Kaplan / November 18, 2014

Business SavvyDisney Feature / no comments

The Fool shines a light on Disney movie grosses and Disney profits. … Marvel’s The Avengers set new opening weekend records in May 2012, going on to earn over $1.5 billion worldwide. Among Disney pictures, only Frozen has produced more profit since the studio took full control of Pixar in May 2006. Most Profitable Films…

DWA’s Merger Mania

Steve Kaplan / November 12, 2014

Dreamworks / no comments

The trade papers tell us. DreamWorks Animation is deeply engaged in two potentially game changing negotiations that could transform the company — including one with Hasbro to forge a family entertainment powerhouse to be called DreamWorks-Hasbro. The other talks are with Hearst to turn DWA’s AwesomenessTV into a joint venture. We’re told that a DWA…

The Sweet Siren Call of Free Money

Steve Kaplan / November 11, 2014

tax incentivesvfx / no comments

Vancouver snares another VFX company: [M]ajor international visual effects firm Double Negative, with branches in London and Singapore, has chosen a key piece of recently vacated commercial office space for its new Vancouver branch operations in what amounts to one of the largest office deals in Mount Pleasant. Vancouver marks its third office and first…

What Molly Said

Steve Kaplan / November 5, 2014

Business SavvyWhy Union / no comments

Sent by a constant reader: … Companies are not loyal to you. Please never believe a company has your back. They are amoral by design and will discard you at a moment’s notice. Negotiate aggressively, ask other freelancers what they’re getting paid, and don’t buy into the financial negging of some suit. I’ve cobbled together…

TAG 401(k) News

Armando Estrada / November 3, 2014

401k plan / no comments

So I was in a long Animation Guild 401(k) Plan trustee meeting today, and we now have some newer bells and train whistles which will be rolled out in coming months.

TAG 401(k) Plan

Steve Kaplan / October 31, 2014

401k plan / no comments

A brief update on TAG’s 401(k) Plan for participants and/or interested parties. Plan assets total $221,022,647. $209,957,503 is in Vanguard funds. $11,065,144 is in non-Vanguard funds. There are 2,476 participant accounts. Fees for the Plan total .19% (19 basis points) of assets.