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View Full Version : Spidey TV Series Animation house off life support


RobertoOrtiz
08-20-2003, 02:49 PM
Quote:
"Mainframe Entertainment Inc., which creates computer animation for television programs such as Spider-Man and Barbie reduced its fiscal 2002 loss, as cost cuts more than offset reduced revenue.

The Vancouver-based firm, whose 2003 fiscal year ended March 31, reported Monday a 12-month loss of $7.5 million or 43 cents per share. That compared favourably to a steeper, fiscal 2002 loss of $18.9 million or $1.10 per share. Revenues were $14.3 million, compared to revenues of $21.8 million in the previous year. "

>>Link<< (http://www.superherohype.com/cgi-bin/news/fullnews.cgi?newsid1061299821,14655,)
-R

Pent
08-20-2003, 03:57 PM
aww...
they should bring back reboot, the new spiderman is kind of iffy
it reminds me of monster by mistake, for some reason

baldybaby
08-20-2003, 04:55 PM
Does anyone know how the staff felt about the company wide pay cut?

I`m wondering if on the whole they realised it was required or if they resented it.

Trying to figure out how the dynamics of that situation worked.

BB

FloydBishop
08-20-2003, 07:52 PM
Originally posted by baldybaby
Does anyone know how the staff felt about the company wide pay cut?

I`m wondering if on the whole they realised it was required or if they resented it.

Trying to figure out how the dynamics of that situation worked.

BB

I've been in a similar situation once. I think a company wide pay cut would have been a better solution in the long run than massive layoffs, which was the chosen course of action in that situation.

Unemployment doesn't come close to even a reduced CG wage.

schmoron13
08-20-2003, 07:59 PM
personally, I'm against massive pay cuts. As a whole, they lower morale and increase warryness. A much better (and proven) avenue for survival is firing some and increasing the salaries of those remaining. I know this sounds harsh but it serves an important purpose: not only does it quickly and efficiently relieve loses, but it raises morale for those remaining.

BoydLake
08-20-2003, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by schmoron13
personally, I'm against massive pay cuts. As a whole, they lower morale and increase warryness. A much better (and proven) avenue for survival is firing some and increasing the salaries of those remaining. I know this sounds harsh but it serves an important purpose: not only does it quickly and efficiently relieve loses, but it raises morale for those remaining.

No it doesn't, unless you are a sick narssisist bastard. I've been in that situation and It didn't boost my confidence in my employer that much.

Unless you believe everything your employers/management tells you, cost cutting measures that are out of normal business activity are not positive signs and may be a red flag. It doesn't mean you should look for a new job just yet, but it pays to be informed about what realities your employer is facing, and preparing for possible effects on you.

A guy I work with always says "It's good to always have a close relationship with reality". No matter how much an employer may want to do right by you, sometimes it becomes no longer possible. And denying that truth will only hurt you.

Sometimes if you trust your employer and the cost cutting is just something they have to do temporarily to get by, then you should probably give them a break and hang in there. It will probably be made up to you later. However, if your employer consistently is asking you to "take one for the team" because of poor executive or management decisions, then it may be time to start looking for new places to work.

schmoron13
08-20-2003, 09:05 PM
I'm confused boyd, it sounds like you're agreeing with me?

in terms of cost cutting, pay cuts are NEVER a good thing, and usually, don't solve problems, rather try to temporarilly hide them, usually to no avail.

BoydLake
08-20-2003, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by schmoron13
I'm confused boyd, it sounds like you're agreeing with me?

in terms of cost cutting, pay cuts are NEVER a good thing, and usually, don't solve problems, rather try to temporarilly hide them, usually to no avail.

Cost cuts are good (for a company) when they are made to save a company. But that does not boost morale.... even when pay raises are given to those remaining who say goodbye to friends and are left with guilt in addition to the feelings of loss for missing compatriots.

schmoron13
08-20-2003, 09:15 PM
i think we've hit a stalemate...

dudeguy
08-20-2003, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by baldybaby
Does anyone know how the staff felt about the company wide pay cut?

I`m wondering if on the whole they realised it was required or if they resented it.

Trying to figure out how the dynamics of that situation worked.

BB Hooray for pay cuts! :rolleyes: It's always nice when management isn't doing their job...and you're busting your ass around the clock with no compensation...to keep the company afloat...and on top of that you get a pay cut just when you received that long overdue and miniscule raise, that brings you down lower than your original starting salary...which isn't that great to begin with. I'm trying to think of a witty metaphor to express how low morale can be, but I can't think of any because I'm too resentful. :shrug:

Originally posted by Floyd Bishop
I've been in a similar situation once. I think a company wide pay cut would have been a better solution in the long run than massive layoffs, which was the chosen course of action in that situation.

Unemployment doesn't come close to even a reduced CG wage. Actually...take your pick, pay cuts AND layoffs, they've got it all! :buttrock:

Somebody please tell me other studios aren't overfueled with this wonderful magic? :surprised

BoydLake
08-20-2003, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by dudeguy
Hooray for pay cuts! :surprised It's always nice when management isn't doing their job...and you're busting your ass around the clock with no compensation...to keep the company afloat...and on top of that you get a pay cut just when you received that long overdue and miniscule raise, that brings you down lower than your original starting salary...which isn't that great either. I'm trying to think of a witty metaphor to express how low morale can be, but I can't think of any because I'm too resentful

Actually...take your pick, pay cuts AND layoffs, they've got it all!

Somebody please tell me other studios aren't full of this wonderful magic?

It's worth it to point out that Mainframe is primarily a broadcast (TV/cable) studio. Profit margins and budgets are extremely low for Broadcast TV progamming, so anyone considering employment for that market should take that into consideration. Many broadcast animation studios have come and gone because it's very difficult to turn a profit on a consistent basis. It's interesting that Mainframe is now having this problem given they're subsidized by the canadian government. Things really must be bad eh?

3DDave
08-21-2003, 12:17 AM
That's not good news for Softimage as well since one of their big selling points is efficient productivity. Mainframe must have a really high overhead to alway be in the red.

dudeguy
08-22-2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by Boyd Lake
It's worth it to point out that Mainframe is primarily a broadcast (TV/cable) studio. Profit margins and budgets are extremely low for Broadcast TV progamming, so anyone considering employment for that market should take that into consideration. Many broadcast animation studios have come and gone because it's very difficult to turn a profit on a consistent basis. It's interesting that Mainframe is now having this problem given they're subsidized by the canadian government. Not sure if I really agree with that, personally I don't think that is the reason behind certain artists/animators receiving low wages, like I said before it comes down to poor management...if you only knew the half of the story.

Things really must be bad eh? Well...it's definitely not the most fun time. I guess that's the way it goes though sometimes. :shrug:

dudeguy
08-22-2003, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by 3DDave
That's not good news for Softimage as well since one of their big selling points is efficient productivity. Mainframe must have a really high overhead to alway be in the red. I don't think this really has anything to do with Softimage or Avid. Softimage can be very efficient in production, I'm not saying it's the best tool for the job, but it's certainly not the worst. The best tool in my mind is to use a combination of everything, as each have something different to offer, but I think that is a different topic all together.

BoydLake
08-22-2003, 05:56 AM
Originally posted by dudeguy
Not sure if I really agree with that, personally I don't think that is the reason behind certain artists/animators receiving low wages, like I said before it comes down to poor management...if you only knew the half of the story.


Well, I was eluding more to the stability problems studios face rather than salaries. Salaries are generally competetive. But when the studio constantly runs near the red all it takes is a hiccup and bam..... another one bites the dust.

dudeguy
08-22-2003, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by Boyd Lake
Well, I was eluding more to the stability problems studios face rather than salaries. Salaries are generally competetive. But when the studio constantly runs near the red all it takes is a hiccup and bam..... another one bites the dust. Fair enough.

Bliz
08-22-2003, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by schmoron13
personally, I'm against massive pay cuts. As a whole, they lower morale and increase warryness. A much better (and proven) avenue for survival is firing some and increasing the salaries of those remaining. I know this sounds harsh but it serves an important purpose: not only does it quickly and efficiently relieve loses, but it raises morale for those remaining.

I don't know about Canada but here in the UK such a practise would make a company vunerable to industrial tribunals as you can't fire staff just because you can't afford to pay them. You have to instigate proper redundency procedures. If the staff you need to get rid of have been there for more than a couple of years their redundancy settlements will be quite large also.

Saurus
08-22-2003, 06:03 PM
I think a company has to do whatever it takes to survive. Whether it’s through downsizing and/or massive pay cuts. Believe me, I been at the butt end of a company restructuring. It is definitely better than no company at all. The industry market has its way of sorting itself out as far the abundant of position available and number of workers it can get to fill those positions. The good old days are gone. Schools with their fancy advertising and prospect of guarantee jobs are pumping out student like never before. It is true that experience is hard to replace, but some of these students coming can defiantly run some of the experience guys a run for their money, and they will work for peanuts…and there are also more and more crappy student works out there.

Mangaka604
08-22-2003, 07:18 PM
Interesting how this thread started up...

Well, I work at Mainframe currently, and I've been through the ups and downs of the business. All I can say is that, yea, paycuts and layoffs certaintly don't make my day better, but I'm grateful for still being employed. Sometimes there are tough business decisions that need to be made to keep the company afloat, and as artists that are employees, we have to keep that in mind.

As for the reasons of our plight, well, there are a few. Some have to do with the previous economy of the market a year or so ago. Some of it has to do with our overhead when we mass-expanded to cope with a bunch of projects. Not all the projects were highly profitable and well, here we are now.

Having said that, we still are here, and with the Spiderman series getting good ratings and some good upcoming projects (can't say anything), I think we'll be fine. We have some highly skilled artists in our company and we just need to flex that artistic muscle. Just wait...

My Fault
08-22-2003, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by Mangaka604
Having said that, we still are here, and with the Spiderman series getting good ratings and some good upcoming projects (can't say anything), I think we'll be fine. We have some highly skilled artists in our company and we just need to flex that artistic muscle. Just wait...

When does Mainframe ever let their animators flex any kind of artistic muscle anymore? Everything out of Mainframe lately seems like a whole lot of mocap wrangling. I'm more and more disappointed with everything they do. This isn't meant as a dig against the animators, more of ripping in to management for not letting you guys do your thang ;)

Mangaka604
08-23-2003, 05:04 AM
Originally posted by My Fault
When does Mainframe ever let their animators flex any kind of artistic muscle anymore? Everything out of Mainframe lately seems like a whole lot of mocap wrangling. I'm more and more disappointed with everything they do. This isn't meant as a dig against the animators, more of ripping in to management for not letting you guys do your thang ;)

No offense taken. :) While management has a bit of say on mocap or keyframe, it really depends on our clients usually. Take Sony/Marvel for Spiderman for example, most of the acting is done thru mocap, which is why it's kind of lack luster. The action in it is great because it's keyed, but hey, the client wants some mocap. Same with Barbie. Mattel wants it. They didn't really mind the keyframing on the HotWheels DVD's, and there are some nice character moments in it. I know what you mean tho about not letting us use our artistic skills...it's frustrating sometimes.

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