The Corporate Downsizing Of An Animation Industry – Who doomed Roger Rabbit?
Is it who or is it what? The question needs to be answered. With so many employees suffering because of the recent drastic cuts at Dreamworks Animation it is time we reviewed the whole system. Common things that have been plaguing animation studios since the time of Disney are an unnecessary panel of bigwigs at the top and studio politics focusing on building an empire. Officialdom takes precedence sacrificing the basics of any creative organization – a clear channel of communication.
Let us take for example Disney animation which saw a huge surge in production in the 80s and the 90s. With it there was an expansion in its upper echelons and its associated departments; so much so that an artist had to go through too many channels just to communicate with the directors.
In recent times with Dreamworks announcing job cuts to counter the loss it made with its movie “Rise of the Guardians” it has been a chilling reminder that even giants collapse. One wonders is it just because of a loss making venture or is there something else behind the 350 odd cuts from its Glendale studios?
The fact remains that Dreamworks spends a huge amount of money on its feature films plus on other associated costs. So that when the cost of producing the feature film and marketing is combined the whole onus falls on making a huge profit to make it feasible. And we all know profits always don’t happen.
Thus there is an urgent need to change the business model by limiting the production budget, doing away with unnecessary bureaucracy with the leading mantra being to maximize profits at lesser costs.
It has been an important lesson learnt by the whole industry no doubt, but the price paid was unnecessary and high.
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