From the perspective as an employed artist, I feel for you guys and hope you get paid!
I am also very interested in understanding the big picture of what REALLY happened. Reading through the linked forum I was able to begin to see pieces of the puzzle revealed, however I wonder if it was an intentional flip of the finger to the hard working employees or was it some other unfortunate chain of events that made such an ending inevitable.
This is all my own conjecture here–Im not a part of this situation in any way–but I have been thinking generally about how such a business remains sustainable. I may be talking out my a@@ here.
Could it ultimately have been the television network client low balling the studio (was it an american network with its low-valued dollar trying to outsource to a country with a better economy?) and the trickle down from that placing the studio into an impossible situation to maintain? Perhaps the studio was in such a position where it needed to take any work it could in order to keep the cash flow going and maintain its overhead which of course includes employee paychecks, despite the numbers being low and demands being high?
I’ve sort of been in similar situations–worked for a tanking studio several years ago. At the time we were pissed and just saw it as me and my colleagues being screwed over. Years later I can look at things more objectively and see where there was no other choice for the business owners and can even say that on some levels some of the staff itself may have contributed to the downfall. We weren’t withheld pay in this situation so its hardly comparable.
Putting my feet in the other sides shoes, I can only imagine how challenging it must be to run such a studio, getting bigger all the time as bigger budget jobs start materializing. Then in order to keep things moving the small “mom and pop” shop must begin making that tough transition into a more corporate business model, with all the beauracracy and overhead that comes with it–and before you know it you have a run away train that needs a constant fix of large quantities of coal.
Or perhaps it was just a black and white sort of thing where the studio execs were just downright slime balls–end of story.
Sad indeed–Im sure its a nightmare for all involved.