Saturday, November 10, 2007

And now, a word from... your guess is as good as mine.

(Posted on the TAG board. Only of interest to me because tomorrow, they announce the election results.)

Anonymous said...

most animations studios have more than a few artists whom are independent creators outside of their studio jobs and can write just as well, if not better than the jaded, tunnel visioned writers from the WGA.

the majority of WGA writers working in animation are hacks. after years of hearing most of them freely admit that they would love to be writing for films or other projects over animation, excuse me if i'm not ready to heap respect upon them. as a visual artist and creator i've had to continually correct edit these jughead's "scripts".

one of the few places where John K. is absolutely correct in his convictions is his opinions on animation 'writers'. with few exceptions, they simply don't undertsand the artform.

And now, I'd like to dissect this, but going backwards:
one of the few places where John K. is absolutely correct in his convictions is his opinions on animation 'writers'. with few exceptions, they simply don't undertsand the artform.

Bad is bad, my friend, whether it's bad board-driven writing or bad script-driven writing. But I like how you say "one of the few places where John K. is absolutely correct," as though you disagree with him elsewhere.

Of course, If you do disagree with him, it could be because you're a Cal Arts graduate and he loves to piss all over that school. In other words: "When he dumps on you, he's right. When he dumps on me, he's a dick."

the majority of WGA writers working in animation are hacks. after years of hearing most of them freely admit that they would love to be writing for films or other projects over animation, excuse me if i'm not ready to heap respect upon them. as a visual artist and creator i've had to continually correct edit these jughead's "scripts".

Two points on this, if I may:

1) I don't know what position you've had to "correct edit jughead's" scripts (I don't even know where to start trying to correct and/or edit that) but was it your job to do so? On a script driven show? Then, thank you. Because we're all on the same team here.

2) And of course the majority of WGA writers working in animation freely admit they would love to be writing films or other projects. They are paid more. And get residuals. And a better pension. You gonna tell me an animator wouldn't step over the face of a basic cable executive to get a shot at a feature film? Of course he or she would.

most animations studios have more than a few artists whom are independent creators outside of their studio jobs and can write just as well, if not better than the jaded, tunnel visioned writers from the WGA.

I love the math here. "A few artists" who can write just as well than the entirety of the WGA. I'm sure there are. Emphasis on "few," just as I'm sure there are a few WGA writers who can draw better than some artists. Writing is art, just as drawing is art, just as timing is art, and editing is art, in its own way.

I'm sorry you can't respect anything that you can't or won't do, but that's your bag of cats, not ours. And finally:

Anonymous said...

Of course.


Anonymous said...

i'm not a Cal Arts grad. you excel at conjecture.

the vast majority of exceptional creators that carved out the landscape of great television animation(John K. Steve Hillenberg, Mike Judge, Jhonen Vasquez, Craig McKracken, Gendy Tartakovsky, Peter Chun, etc.) are all artists who created a show and reached success without any help from the WGA. they joined the WGA after the fact as a prerequisite to work in the industy. can you even come close to that list with your own of members of your union who created a vision on their own? no. so this begs the question: what is the record of success of WGA members in the animation industry? they write their scripts and hope to work at a gig in movies.... who needs them?

the facts diametrically oppose your view.

...and your union is looking better by the day.

Steve said...

Who knows if you're the same anonymous? I sure don't.

That being said - I will agree that every single name you've thrown out is a talented indivudal who did, in fact, make their own mark on things.

Can I come close to a list of writers who created animated cartoons? Of course not.

Can I list shows that I think thrive off the skills of writers and not animators? Simpsons. King of the Hill. Family Guy. Futurama. South Park. See? I can throw names around too.

The only difference is, I don't throw names around to take away glory from the names you throw around.

And regarding my union? I belong to both unions. When I say I want things better for animation writers - I mean both story board artists AND script writers - and I don't care if that happens through the WGA or through TAG.

Have a good night... whoever you are.

- Steve

P.S. That thread you point to? Seems pretty balanced pro and con...

Matt Wayne said...

Anonymous, which scripts are you correcting? I'm only asking because there's a lot of really bad shows out there, so it's pretty likely that you're not as good as you think and your save actually fucked something up. I'd like to be able to judge for myself.

Anonymous said...

i'm saying - and the point is nearly self evident - is that storyboard artists do as much if not more creating of a show as writers and see NONE of the residuals.

again, i am of the opinion that animation can do just fine without WGA writers. there are a lot of us who think so. its sunday now, but i wouldn't be surprised if this week there was a lot of agreement at my TAG post. story artists have been doctoring WGA writers scripts for too long. i can write a monomyth script with A & B storylines. most storyboard artists can. we have a very in depth understanding of constructing storylines for animation - because we work WITH scripts constantly. we revise WGA scripts so extensively that they don't even resemble the original dreck that was submitted by WGA writers, while the writer relinquishes all responsibility for their inferior effort, accepts all credit for story artists work, and collects their residuals. stry artists change scripts and made them work with extra hours because we HAVE to. to contest that we don't have the ability to construct a story would be to assert that your scripts somehow survived incompetent hands on all animated shows in hollywood. hogwash. storyboard artists are writers in and of themselves and they continually get the dirty end of the stick. i'd love to see WGA members no longer work in animation, or only writers who have served time as a storyboard artist get gigs in animation.

story artists do more for animation than writers do with no residuals. are you that freaking surprised that one is sounding off?

Matt, i'm stepping on toes. stepping on the toes of members of a union more powerful than mine. you want to discuss the merit of the argument, then have at it. but don't try to pull rank on me by wanting to know what shows i worked on. there have been many and i'd rather remain anonymous. lets put it this way: i've been in the industry long enough that i remember having to direct two seasons worth of episodes in one season's time at the NYC studio i worked at back in 2000. that was my first experience with the pain in the ass the writer's guild is. the quality of the show suffered for no good reason. am i bitter? of course. who wouldn't. my career gets compromised from your unions antics. i'd love to see you blocked from animation guild jobs.

JKP said...

The reality is animation will always employ writers from the WGA or TAG. Live with it or do something about it, but stop bitching. I suggest you create your own show. If you’re the genius you boast to be that shouldn’t be a problem.

Anonymous said...

i never said i was a genius. i simply pointed out that none of the real geniuses in animation are writers. they are all artists. so i'm not as willing to tow the writer's line.

Matt Wayne said...

That's childish.

Rich Pursel has story credit on some of the best Ren and Stimpy cartoons, and some of the best SpongeBob cartoons, but he isn't a real genius.

Otto Englander (classic Disney writer) isn't a real genius.

Michael Maltese isn't a real genius.

You can see how what you're saying would prompt the question, "who the heck are you?" Why do you think you're stepping on toes, or standing up to a union more powerful than yours, on anything remotely brave? You're lobbing turds from a hidey-hole.

Let me show you how easy it is:

Anonymous said...

New York animation directors are hacks. All of their work is sub-par.

Matt Wayne said...

That wasn't me.

Steve said...

Hacks are hacks, dude.

I don't know New York. But I do know that two of my favorite directors exist on the east coast. One in NY, one in Toronto.

I know you don't want to tell us who you are, but can you tell us SOMETHING about you?

You're involved in the debate, and I respect that. Your age? What company you've worked for? (Blur it for safety) It'd be a hell of a lot easier to speak in specifics if you gave us a few.

This is not a trap.

Miles said...

When will this artist jealousy of TAG writers end? They don't get residuals either. Maybe it would be wise to stop bitching about them and bitch to them if their writing sucks so bad.


PS. Am I the only one who had to look up what "monomyth" meant?

Anonymous said...

"who the heck are you?"

yes - of course. why would you contribute to a debate when you can try to duiscredit and insult the opther participant from the safety of the seat behind your keyboard.
here endeth the discussion... and unfortunately you lose.

you can't debate an issue without getting personal. how sad...

Anonymous said... more thing:

the WGA strike is proving to be more and more of a colossal failure as the days go by. many are predicting that it will break the guild by the end of it. way to go.

Julia Lousie Dreyfus? Jay Leno? Tina Fey?

yeah, we're all filled with sympathy for the millionaires marching in front of studios! America doesn't care and because of that, neither do the studios.

nice job. really. good luck with that...

Anonymous said...

this notion that there is some merit in revealing personal information in order to give 'weight' to an argument is really getting on my nerves. it happens in EVERY debate on this board and on the TAG board and it's completely idiotic.
a debate is about ideas. as long as someone's argument is backed up with facts their identity is entirely irrelevant. so shut up about it already.

Anonymous said...

This tired old argument would disappear forever if animation writers took some interest in the medium of animation and actually created scripts that worked. I've only been a storyboard artist for about 3 years and I would give my left nut to be handed a script that didn't need a major overhaul just to make any sense whatsoever or a script that wasn't packed with crowd scenes or musical numbers. Most of the writers on the show I board for are WGA members but none of them have any real educational background in scriptwriting. None of them went to film school. They're all stand up comics and joke writers. None of this would bother me if their scripts were any good but their horrible. I don't want to be a writer, I just want to storyboard. But the unworkable scripts FORCE me to be a story editor and I hate it. I'm not just talking about 'little fixes' or 'gag punch-ups' I'm talking about major repairs. And if I don't fix this stuff and just board it the way its written on the page I get yelled at. And now to add insult to injury I'm going to be unemployed because of these same writers. Can't you see how this breeds resentment?

Steve said...

I get it. But lets say you took a job on The Simpsons or Family Guy.

You knew what you were getting into when you got there.

Those are script-driven, network television cartoons. To think that they'll ever be anything but is madness.

Sorry you're about to be unemployed because of the writers strike. I truly mean that.

But if you don't want your career to be driven by writers, you really need to try to find a show that allows for the creative freedom you want.

Even if it pays less.

Anonymous said...

You missed my point. I don't want to work on what you call a board-driven show. I don't want to be the writer. I just want to storyboard but if a show is considered script-driven then forgive me for expecting the scripts that supposedly drive the show to actually make sense and work within the medium. There is a specific skill involved with scriptwriting. I admire good scriptwriters. But none of the people on our show seem to know anything about scriptwriting. If you were to compare and contrast a skillfully written script next to one from the show I work on you'd know what I mean.

Steve said...

I know you don't want to tell me what show you're on (although, to be fair, I think I can guess.)

But that being said - are you over thinking it? Are you fixing stuff that doesn't matter because it's more of a sitcom than a cartoon?

What would happen to you if you didn't fix and/or (as you say) "story edit" the cartoon. Who's job is it to make sure that tracks above you?

My point is - boarding is probably different on South Park than it is on King of the Hill than it is on Family Guy. But all three of those shows start at the script stage.

Are you working to hard, or caring about the wrong things?

(Trying to honestly discuss the issue without knowing your specifics.)

Anonymous said...

The show I'm on now doesnt matter. I've worked on two very different shows but the script problems were exactly the same. I'm fixing stuff that I'm expected to fix because otherwise the show makes no sense. I've tried just following the script without fixing the stuff that doesnt make sense and I get yelled at. But then when an episode comes out well the writer gets all the praise.

Anonymous said...

Okay, we get it. You're the only person in the world who can write. All actual writers are bad and got their jobs by mistake.

Anonymous said...

I never said I can write. I said the opposite. I dont want to write. But writers who cant tell a story correctly in the script force me to fix their mistakes and theres a LOT of them all the time. Storyboarding is stressful enough just by itself I dont want any added responsibility. I dont like complaining like this because I like our writers personally but I dont believe they are held to a high enough standard.

Anonymous said...

"But then when an episode comes out well the writer gets all the praise."


during one show i worked on i contibually COMPLETELY rewrote scripts from our WGA writer(filled with crowd scenes and musical numbers as well). i did this because i have the crazy notion that any job worth doing is worth doing well. i did this because i want my show to be funny, so i'll stay up late int he editing room and add hundreds of drawings to the animatic to replace the dead weight of our writer.

...and when the show comes out - he gets credited with all my work. he also gets residuals.

ergo, i don't really care about the WGA writers in our industry. as i stated above, we would do better without them.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm going to post anonymously for a while and see how I like it.

To the anonymous person who said they keep getting scripts with crowd scenes and musical numbers from these darned no-good writers, you're either a liar or a retard. I'm guessing retard. The DIRECTOR would have handed you that script, with the knowledge and approval of the STORY EDITOR and any number of PRODUCERS. Yet you blame the writer, who has very little say in how many musical numbers or crowd scenes are in a show... that's a function of the show's tone, commonly referred to as "show tone," and the purview of bosses. Are you sure you know how they make cartoons?

To the anonymous person who congratulated themselves on posting anonymously because they were relying on the strength of their ideas for credibility, what a load. You're anonymous because you're afraid to own your words, because you're not sure if they're stupid. At least Matt Wayne has the courage to sign his name to his halfwit nattering. You could say who you are, then omit anything else that might be indiscreet, but you'd rather pretend you're principled. Did I say retard? Cause you're more of an asswipe.

Also, one of you anonymous simpletons seems to think Matt Wayne is WGA and never went to film school. Matt Wayne is 839 and has a B.A. in Film.

Not that it matters to anonymous posters like me, and more to the point, to showrunners, who tend to hire writers based on their ability to write cartoons. My education hasn't been on my resume... I mean, Matt Wayne's resume... for years.

And another thing, calling somebody sad or pathetic on a web forum is basically the equivalent of saying "oh yeah?" or crying like... well, even girls don't anymore so I don't know what. But your point, that you don't need WGA writers, is well taken.

I'm kidding of course. You're a fucking chimp.

Matt Wayne said...

That wasn't me.

Anonymous said...

hey matt way to pass that buck! "its not the writers fault, its the story editor/producer/executives fault!"
talk about cowardly. just admit that the reason a writer falls back on crows scenes and musical numbers is to make their weak scripts seem "bigger" to their easily fooled producers. and even if they ARE "ordered by their bosses" to do that stuff a GOOD writer will find a way to do it without killing everyone else in the pipeline. its called "knowing how to work within the medium." and you should also get off your high horse and admit that the only reason you hate people posting anonymously no matter how good their arguments are is so you can trash on them personally because you clearly take all of this personally (which makes it obvious that you have a guilty complex about the whole thing). if the other anonymous people were posting and just saying "MATT SUCKS BALLS!" i would agree with you. but their arguments make sense and are backed up with real life facts. so accept the fact that being anonymous does not negate the marit of an opinion. actually i have no idea who you are or what you worked on so knowing that your name is matt gives your arguments no more or less validity than any of the anonymous posters.

not matt wayne said...

LOL! No kidding. "Matt Wayne" must think he's pretty important to think that attatching his name to his angry rants gives them any more validity than if he went by "Farty VonFartypants."

Better to stay anonymous. He'd probably find out where you live and egg your car.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Now it's getting fun! Lemme try: "Writers are cool and make more money! Artists are angry and bitter!" Whee!

Matt Wayne said...

You found me out. I sign my name to my posts because I think I'm important.

Anyway, by the time board artists see a script, producers and story editors have had their say at several stages and asked for lots of changes. I know for a fact that when artists complain it's easy for a producer to roll their eyes and go "writers... What can you do?" But the fact of the matter is most writers aren't in charge of what happens and who says what.

And I think I'm done.