Its great to work at Disney!

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  05 May 2014
Its great to work at Disney!

I found this in my inbox this morning

http://animationguildblog.blogspot....ld-part-ii.html

Do you think Disney was justified? Or do you think the ex-employees have a valid grievance?
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Jeffrey Baker
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  05 May 2014
this kinda thing has been going on for decades, and theres always twenty sides to every story.. these thread usually get shutdown before any discussion can even start, but none usually do.. because its always the same thing
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  05 May 2014
This is exactly the reason that the VFX industry needs a union.

I've watched the industry nosedive in the past 15 years. I am earning less now then I did at the start of my career. It sucks and nothing is being done about it.

The fact is unless people step up and demand decent payment and contracts then they will be screwed over.

I've stopped doing movie work as it's utterly depressing. The full timers are expect to pull 14 hour days or contractors are Getting £200 a day an should be happy as they are working on a film or working or Cinesite or MPC or whatever. It depressing and shocking and all the money is going to the producers and the studio.

I make more with less stress doing shitty online HTML5 Adverts ( like 1999 flash ads ) than I could working for TV or film. Basically 18 years of experience is worth nothing to these people.

It's an age old story I know. The people who actually do the work are getting screwed while the money men get richer. But it's utterly self serving and shooting themselves in the foot. They have created and cool industry where they have oversupply of willing workers rolling out of uni every year with skills and they ditch experienced people without a care.

Its almost the million monkeys thing. The hardware is so cheap now they would rather stick 100 people in a room with mediocre hardware than 10 experts with State of the art kit. But as Red Adair said "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."... or I as I tend to say, "If you pay peanuts, Expect Monkeys"

Disney should know better. they created the industry and they should have a decent payment scheme. Ditching people before a bonus round is shocking and I suppose it down to local laws etc. I think in the UK you can sue for that or expect it in the redundancy package.
 
  05 May 2014
Originally Posted by strangerthings: This is exactly the reason that the VFX industry needs a union.


Disney is unionized, though.
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  05 May 2014
Disney is getting too big for it's own good I think.

Off topic and nothing to do with CG, my fiancée still does seasonal work with Disney and she's noticed a huge change since her 15 years of working with them. Now the company thrives off college program workers that get paid little to nothing and internships that don't pay anything at all.
The last "financial crisis" we had in the United States was also a perfect excuse to layoff a large amount of workers that were in management positions. Mostly because they were making too much.
She's seen various things since her career (or lack thereof) at the Disney company that doesn't seem to be what Walt Disney believed in. Now it's just become a corporation of cost cutting to protect the stock holders.
 
  05 May 2014
I'm pretty sure this is standard practice everywhere, and Disney isn't the first.
 
  05 May 2014
Of course, at any company you're an expense. Doesn't mean I like it, and I'm not going to give Disney the benefit of the doubt.
However it does show how far they've gotten from the grand days of Walt when he kept things in shape. A progressive slide to cheapness and low standards.
 
  05 May 2014
Bear with me for a moment here, but I was under the impression that this was a celebratory, surprise, entirely discretionary thing Disney did after the fact, not something that was in anybody's contract. Kind of like a nice bonus to employee they retained, and not something they promised everybody and wiggled out of.

If that's the case I can understand people being miffed they didn't get some free money while some of their friends did, but I see no issue with it, and it has a little bit of a stain of bemoaning someone else their luck.

However, if this is a case of bonii not paid and wiggling out of an obligation by early termination or non-renewal, then it's a different thing, but again that's not how I heard about it.

As for producers and executives getting large bonii, well, they negotiate that into their contracts, so including it (referring to comments, not the article) is misleading and part of a completely different issue.

I don't know, unless they used the carrot on a stick of future bonii with employees to cut other terms, and then didn't make good on it, I don't have an issue with it. I don't even find it questionable to be honest, as long as a satisfactory contract signed by both parties is respected to a T I normally don't take issue with such things. Before this episode I heard of nobody complaining about having worked on Frozen and being screwed by Disney.
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  05 May 2014
In some ways, low wages make us work harder, dream longer, think more intelligently. We have already seen so many bad movies with CG effects.
 
  05 May 2014
Originally Posted by strangerthings: This is exactly the reason that the VFX industry needs a union.

I've watched the industry nosedive in the past 15 years. I am earning less now then I did at the start of my career. It sucks and nothing is being done about it.

The fact is unless people step up and demand decent payment and contracts then they will be screwed over.

I've stopped doing movie work as it's utterly depressing. The full timers are expect to pull 14 hour days or contractors are Getting £200 a day an should be happy as they are working on a film or working or Cinesite or MPC or whatever. It depressing and shocking and all the money is going to the producers and the studio.

I make more with less stress doing shitty online HTML5 Adverts ( like 1999 flash ads ) than I could working for TV or film. Basically 18 years of experience is worth nothing to these people.

It's an age old story I know. The people who actually do the work are getting screwed while the money men get richer. But it's utterly self serving and shooting themselves in the foot. They have created and cool industry where they have oversupply of willing workers rolling out of uni every year with skills and they ditch experienced people without a care.

Its almost the million monkeys thing. The hardware is so cheap now they would rather stick 100 people in a room with mediocre hardware than 10 experts with State of the art kit. But as Red Adair said "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."... or I as I tend to say, "If you pay peanuts, Expect Monkeys"

Disney should know better. they created the industry and they should have a decent payment scheme. Ditching people before a bonus round is shocking and I suppose it down to local laws etc. I think in the UK you can sue for that or expect it in the redundancy package.


A union is not going to save the industry, you only have to look at prior industries in the manufacturing sector. It is lamentable to see people earning a day what I got as a junior when I started out all those years ago but that's the rules of supply and demand, the market is saturated with people all wanting to work on film because they think its cool. The simple answer is to move into a new industry thats on the up and not on the down side of the bell curve. Friends who left DD are now working for tec start ups in the world of VR , they are getting better pay and conditions that DD could ever afford.

b
 
  05 May 2014
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Bear with me for a moment here, but I was under the impression that this was a celebratory, surprise, entirely discretionary thing Disney did after the fact, not something that was in anybody's contract. Kind of like a nice bonus to employee they retained, and not something they promised everybody and wiggled out of.
According to Ed Catmull, employees at Disney aren't on contract. It is one of the aspects of Pixar that they applied to WDAS after the acquisition. The idea behind it being that without contracts, it is incentive to keep the company up as there isn't anything holding employees there.
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  05 May 2014
Well i was quite in the same situation, when i work at Illumination Mac Guff, i've work on one of their movie then leave the companie just after the end of the show. But when time was coming to share what they call the "bonus pool" they give me my part of it unlike disney and they do it while i have never ask for anything. They send you a letter at christmas time with a nice big cheque and a word of thanks sign by the big boss (Pretty rare today in this industry ... ). So some animation companies still believe that is it normal to share the bonus with those who have push hard on a show even if they leave after. To those disney frustrated guys i would say come work in Paris ! But from a leaving condition POV i would definitly prefer the sun and the palm tree of Cali !

Cheers

E
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