You heard it right. The Sky is not falling.
Oh sure, there are layoffs at Disney. After the merger with the Lucas empire, it was more than inevitable that some folks would be shown the door. And the writing was on the wall for a while that things were going to change.
Yes, I understand the realities here. Folks who had jobs do not now. You name it and they are gone. Lucas Arts, Lucas Animation and now Disney Animation. The truth is, this happens in industry. Not just entertainment and certainly not just in animation. The days of a job for life anywhere are long gone. After working for one company for 26 years and “moving on to explore other career opportunities”, trust me. I get that.
Sure, people had mortgages, cars and college educations to pay for. Not to mention families to feed. Yet, life does go on. Maybe not as we anticipated, but the world does not stop spinning because someone above your pay grade decided in a change of direction. Really!
Reinventing yourself seems to be the way things are headed. It used to be what have you done. Now it seems to be what can you do. Nothing wrong with that. Just plan to enjoy that moment when things go the way you want. Because it may not last as long as you would like.
Remember above all, things change.
By the way, hand drawn animation is not dead. Ask anyone who uses a Wacom or other tablet. Hand still plays it’s role in the process. Maybe the days of drawing on paper as part of the animation process are passing, but at it’s core, some hand still moves the cursor from point A to point B. That talent and ability is not lost yet.
As things go, Disney is just moving from one era into another. And yes, right now, the suits running the place have their own ideas as to what the public wants to see in entertainment. We get to prove them right or wrong at the box office. Like many of you, I will be more than pleasantly surprised if Disney’s latest take on “The Lone Ranger” manages to do well. I won’t be surprised if it ends up being another “John Carter” and heads into the sunset quietly and quickly.
Funny thing, folks. The entertainment industry, again just other industries, runs on cycles. For example, the success of “Star Wars” bred a whole universe of similarity. Had it not been a success, Disney would not have invested in either “Tron” or “The Black Hole”. Paramount would not have gone ahead with “Star Trek”, nor Universal with “Battlestar Galactica”.
Right now, the trend towards computer generated imagery in film making is still upwards. Animated film or action blockbuster, they rely on the use of CGI as a tool. Given time, the pendulum will swing back the other way. All it will take is a good story that captures the audience, made with practical effects, cheaper than CGI, that wins hearts and minds at the box office. It’s out there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for the moment.
Once that threshold is crossed, others will follow. Only a matter of time.
Until then, how can you as a fan change things? Two ways come to mind immediately. First, if you don’t like the product, don’t purchase it. If box office and video sales drop off, studios get that point loud and clear. And if you do like something, your purchase of the product also sends a message.
Second? Friend Shelly Valladolid has a good idea. Invest. Become a shareholder and bring change from those quarters. Think that the company does not listen to shareholders? Think again. If enough of them express a position, the company that ignores them does so at its peril. Michael Eisner anyone??
If you can see this as opportunity instead of calamity, you get extra points. In my own experience, moving on was the right thing. I didn’t see it as such at the time, but certainly do now.
And that’s just how I hope it all works out here. Somewhere down the line, may we look back and see this as a beginning and not an end. A fork in the road, rather than a dead end.