Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is This The End?

No... no... I did not watch the movie 2012 one time too many.

Well... technically I did... since I saw it once... which in MY book was one time too many. ;)

But what I really mean is that...

It is the end of the Arthur TV series.

At least for now. ;)

"We" just finished working on Arthur Season 14 last Friday.

I am using "we" loosely here since not everyone is finished working on Arthur. The animation and post-production will got up to next November or something like that... but for a lot of people (scripts, designs, storyboards)...  Arthur 14 is behind us.

Every year for the past 5 years... more or less... whenever a season of Arthur was finished... the same question came back;

"Was this the LAST season of Arthur??"

For years now, it pretty much was expected that... yes... this was the LAST season of Arthur EVER. But year after year.... we are proven wrong. The demand for a new season of Arthur still remains strong, so more Arthur episodes are produced each year. So will this year be finally the LAST season of Arthur?? It is much too early to tell. We will have to wait and see.

So what does it mean for the people who just finished working on Arthur 14??

It's job hunting season for most of us. Although technically... it had been job hunting season for a while. When you are an artist - unless you plan to take a few months off after the project you are working on -  you must not wait until your current contract is up before starting to look for your next assignment.

Odds are that it might take a while before you get your next gig. So you must not wait... you must start looking as early as you can. As an artist... you are always looking for your next gig. You are always sending your resume or some submission, or working on some proposal to get your next gig.

It is part of being an artist. Although... not unlike working from home.... people have a tough time understanding that.

Even when you are not working on a project.... you ARE working. Looking for a gig can be a lot of work. Unlike most people.... you do not simply send your resume... you often need to send either a submission/proposal.... or need to make some art samples aimed at the studio where you are applying for work.

For example... applying for work as a penciller for Marvel... you would need to make a few penciled pages featuring some Marvel characters. Applying for work for Wizards of the Coast... you would need make at least a few fantasy drawings or paintings.

And even then you might be asked to make a test. Even if you are an experienced artist you might be asked to do such a test.

I remember seeing in a CON some beautiful Spawn samples that Angel Medina did as a test to work on Spawn. Although at the time... he did not get to work on Spawn... but he did get to work on Sam and Twitch thanks to his test.

Not long ago... as the end of Arthur was coming up... most people at the studio were busy making a layout test. Even people who were experienced layout artists.... heck some had even been layout supervisors in their career. But all were required to make the layout test.

But making art samples... either as a submission or as a test does take some time.

Imagine, you are competing against people like Brian Hitch, who can take 6 months to pencil 22 pages.  He can make some highly detailed pages thanks to all the extra time he can take.

Well if you want to compete against such established artist... you need to take some time to make the best pages you possibly can, because Hitch is in a position to do just that, to take the time he needs to make the best possible pages. So even when you are not under contract... even when you don`t have a paycheck coming in - you ARE working. And trying to make the best possible samples does take some time.

But people have a tough time understanding that.  That even if you are home all day...even if you have no current gig... you ARE working on your samples/submissions/tests in order to get you next gig.

Although as Jim mentioned last week... I just got a promotion... so I was one of the few who did not need to look for the next animation gig after Arthur... it's been already decided for some time now what I would do after Arthur.

Most of the people at the studio were intrigued how I... unlike most people in the studio... was not making the layout test.

But I already had my next gig... so no need for me to do a test at the time.

Normally, I would have waited to be already working on the project before even mentioning this... but the cat is already out of the bag (DAMN you!! Shelley!!!  ;) ).

Heck on a previous season of Arthur... I was told that I would be part of the layout & posing team... until months later I learned that the layout & posing and been done overseas after all.

It happens.

So I prefer to be cautious.

But don't worry... when I can... I will tell you guys more.

 More soon. ;)


Caine said...

I've always heard that the golden rule of thumb in kids cartoons is 52 episodes so I'm surprised that you've had as many seasons as you've had. Either you're only doing 10 eps a season or you've been given commitments far beyond the magic number of 52 which is enough to rerun consecutively forever basically?

Maybe I've been misinformed.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

No you are mostly correct.

I can't recall if 52 is the actual number... but essentially... some shows will aim to make just enough episodes for syndication.

But some shows will go beyond that for various reasons.

The Simpsons would be a perfect example of this.


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