So, now that the whole anibation thing seems to have imploded into a free porn site (wow), I'd like to pick up where the angriest man in animation left off...
...take the rubble and maybe build something a little less angry.
But the one thing I've figured out in the last 48 hours is... there is a huge sea of untapped resentment and anger about non-drawing writers and producers in this business.
So perhaps that's a good place to start figuring out what THIS blog should be, now that apparently, Voldemort has disappeared for a bit.
Cause and Effect #1 - Doors and Walls
Writer Ingredients: New writer comes in to studio, instantly gets an office.
Artist Ingredients: Artists, regardless of time in the industry, find themselves in cubicles, or jammed two to three in a room.
This one's easy to figure out, I think. A pilot gets green lit to series through the work of an EP, and maybe ONE writer... then produced by a talented team of artists who see the vision through. It gets picked up, more writers are brought on...
...and then each of them, including the story editor, gets an office, while artists are placed in group rooms, or in cubicles based.
I think two things happen here:
1) The writer gets into work but... as always, these productions are lower budget, he or she has to hit the ground running, so as soon as that office is functional, the writer is squirreled a way in there, writing like a mofo, to catch up.
What it looks like, of course, is that the writer could give two craps about the rest of the crew, because the door is shut and he's "busy." The mistake is not to leave the door open, to meet the crew that will be turning the words into animation.
2) The artists see the writer disappear into the office with maybe a quick smile, but in general, disappear to work, or go away to work with the executive producer/creator of the show and by the time that first script is ready, there's already a "writers get access to EP, writers get to do what they want" hierarchy (real or imagined) in place and an attitude (assumed or real) that needs to be addressed.
Personal story: I've been lucky with that - all of my offices have been next to and near artists. Next to the art director, across from the character designer, spitting distance from the board artists...
...close enough to the color and background departments that when a script came in, and they could tell, in advance, what a nightmare it would be... I would hear it. Even if I couldn't do anything about it, I'd figure out SOMETHING else to do to make amends for it.
The common area for the crew was outside my office where I had brought in a Tivo so everyone could watch what they wanted to watch on their breaks. (Me: Daily Show and Venture Brothers.) Lunches were had together where we just hung out.
Consequently I felt like part of a team, rather than somebody who tossed words from on high and then went on with my life. I felt that I was creating on a show, even if it wasn't by drawing. Because these people weren't just humans huddled over a pencil or a wacom tablet or a stack of boards, they were people I saw every day, ate with occasionally, and went out for drinks with on occasion.
And because of that, I think people knew my door was open to hear story ideas for the shows I was on, and I learned more about the process, and the reprecusions of typing "1000 Zebras of Different color do individual dances down a flowered hill." Artists pitched premises. And at the same time, I pushed for doing a few board driven scripts.
I'm doing that on Yin Yang Yo right now.
Maybe I'm incredibly lucky, and incredibly blessed, and maybe I'm naive. But the easiest way to beat this part of the equation is simple:
Writers, make sure you mingle with the people who make your words animation. Artists, do the same and if you think a writer needs a little "impossible to draw 101" let them know in a proactive, constructive manner.
God knows that would have saved me years of figuring it out, and a lot of people pages worth of bullsh*t.
However, if in the process of reaching out to you, you find your hand slapped by ego, they have a word for that person. And it's not "writer" nor "artist."
Lets all try not to be one!