Dirty Secrets about Interning Revealed in a New Book

Interns

Despite our moderation efforts, the comments section on Cartoon Brew can occasionally feel like a free-for-all. However, we also recognize the value of providing this forum. Readers feel comfortable and safe to comment about the animation industry in ways that they don’t anywhere else on-line. I was reminded of this when I took a look at Ross Perlin’s timely expose Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy. There’s a paragraph in the book where he quotes extensively from readers who commented on this Brew post about illegal internships at animation studios.

Illegal internships are a major issue in the animation industry and I hope to address this topic in greater depth in the coming year. Too many employers abuse the concept of internships, and make interns perform demeaning tasks that don’t pertain to the industry, or use interns for extended periods of time to perform tasks that they would otherwise have to pay staffers to do. Entry-level animation artists in New York are worse off today than anytime in the past twenty years, not just due to internships, but also because of minimum-wage positions for artists that have pushed salaries down to 1980s levels. The current situation is untenable in the long term and needs to be addressed openly. Reading Perlin’s book looks to be a good first-step for any college student who is considering an internship and wants to protect themselves from being exploited by unscrupulous studios.


  • Bob Harper

    This is indeed a huge problem. What needs to come back is apprenticeships. Animators, directors, board guys whoever, get students to assist them with time consume tasks like scanning, copying, filling in black areas, labeling, organizing etc. while teaching them how to work as a professional in a studio environment.

    This allows more efficiency for all of those “overpaid” artists, which benefits the company, and a student actually learns how things are done.

    • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

      Yes, this is what I referred to in being trained in the “old studio system.”

  • Toonio

    The lack of regulations lead to this kind of awful situations that in a better world would be heavily fined.

    Unless you have a direct role in animation or production I heavily recommend you not to take any o those positions that will look “good in your resume” because at the end you’ll either be challenged or put up in a competition with other artists, and then you’ll realize how much time you have wasted.

    Internships without pay and with out mentoring will burn you out and will create resentments towards your career which you never should. Do what you love and do it with passion till the end of your life and you won’t have to “work” ever again.

    Slavers have no power if you don’t give them any.

  • Jake D

    The thought of even trying to intern at any already developed studio frightens me to death because so many animators in the world are graduating at such a rapid pace that my brain will explode into a gazillion pieces.

    Plus with all the social anxiety I somehow developed when entering my 20s, I’d rather sit at my mom’s house, eat cereal and animate cool stuff until someone notices me.

    • Bob Harper

      That would be the better plan. It worked for the Homestar Runner guys. Studios would be more impressed with work that you produced than an interning blip on your resume.

  • http://enigmation.de slowtiger

    This problem is big in Germany too, and not limited to animation. So big in fact that there were demonstrations on the streets in recent years. This didn’t change any laws, of course. Interns, freelancers, all have to care for themselves still. There was an attempt to raise awareness among animators, years ago, under the name “Don’t dump”, but since the german animation community isn’t concentrated at one central place it didn’t make an impact.

    We can only but educate the people. There’s no minimum wage in Germany, no official wages for animation jobs, and no animator’s union. Only a small part of us has a permanent position in a studio, most are freelancers, jobs are scarce, and go to the cheapest bidder. We try to spread the word about how much to ask for, mind the people to read http://shouldiworkforfree.com/ and similar sites, stay away of “contests”, and of jobs which will “look good in your CV” only.

    The animation job you got offered but didn’t get, only to find out some weeks later that the very same position was filled with an intern … it’s frustrating. The situation gets worse because of the european system of subcontracting: one studio starts a project, say a feature, then subcontracts the work to at least 3 different studios in dfferent countries, who will further subcontract to even smaller studios, who will hire freelancers to do the actual work. Guess who’s going to not be paid enough in this system.

    And it can get even worse. Recently I’ve heard from Freelancers who were pressed to sign contracts which demand them to “rent” a “workplace” in the studio – which is a table and a seat and a power outlet. But they have to bring their own computer AND their own software! In a project which employs 50 animators: how many of those will have a legit software license?

  • YOUR NEIGHBOUR

    things can even get worse , i’ ve heard that in France animation companies such as “normaal animation” sends entire animation production work to animation schools without paying the students. this should be by law totally forbidden and serverly punished.

  • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

    I hope he credited the commenters, poor references and standards checking is a major issue in the journalism industry.

  • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

    I can see both sides, personally. While yes, people deserve to be compensated for work (they have to be able to live) the truth is those same people probably just paid someone ELSE money to learn their art form. I see internships as a continuation of this process, except they no longer have to pay money. It’s almost like a free education (and one you often learn MUCH more from than any school). You’re essentially paying for it with your time, and the studio giving you the internship is being “paid” with the work you do while you’re learning (which often isn’t all that great anyway, since you’re new to the whole process).

    Yes, I would absolutely agree that getting an unpaid intern to wipe the door handles of your office all day is NOT what it’s about. However I think studios that really do train their unpaid interns, while at the same time getting a real benefit from their working, are not the vile travesties that they’re often lumped in with. After all, you just paid someone else to stand around and teach you stuff for 2-4 years! And all that work is essentially going in the trash pile, never to see the light of day in front of an audience.

  • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

    This was becoming an issue well over 20 years ago, and it had been brought up with the Animation Guild to no real effect. When I was at Nickelodeon, an Intern took my Exposure Sheets off my desk while I went to the restroom. When I caught him with them at the Xerox machine, I asked him what he was doing. He had no explanation. I took him to the Production Manager and reported this incident. I was then told that the Interns were not supposed to be doing any work. There was no direction for him to take my work in progress and copy it. It was quite obvious what he was trying to do.

    While many complain about the poor quality of contemporary product on several levels, I have continued to point out that it is the industry’s own fault for the lowered standards. The industry has allowed the takeover by amateurs compounded by executives who do not understand animation and actually hate it–except for the money that they manage to scrape off the top for themselves as the small remainder “trickles down.” Sounds very much like what happened when “Wall Street got drunk.”

    Animation professionals fought for many years to obtain a living wage. But the “newbies” anxious to “take over” added to the lowering of wages and working conditions by
    allowing themselves to be brainwashed into accepting low-balled salaries just to get into the business. In the process they agreed to substandard conditions which put out the message that such conditions were acceptable. Not smart because this created the situation we have today where studios continue to take advantage of the very people they need to make the product. This pushed many talented and experienced people out of the business. But most importantly, those in charge have no realization of who is qualified, and most of all have no concept of how to treat professional people.

    In the 1990s, we saw great improvements in production values due to a combination of higher art standards and
    overseas animation labor that allowed for more drawings per second than were considered “affordable” using all domestic talent. But the industry has reached a saturation point with this business model. And with new digital technology, combined with uncertain world conditions, the reining in of production makes much greater business sense now.

    If wage levels have regressed 30 years, the solution is to regress to animation techniques comparable to the wage level. The solution to rising animation costs was found over 50 years ago when television was developing. That was Limited Animation. But there are few in the current generation who know how to work in that technique, and those who do have either passed away, or have been thrown out of the business for having too much valuable experience. This is the “business model” that the industry operates on now.

    Main issue here is that the schools should not be allowed to have the students perform any production work for free. It is enough that they are paying for an education. You’d think that the students should be aware enough to recognize the potential for their being exploited. But no one was speaking up about it because ours is such a “glamorous” and attractive profession, that they are willing to do anything to get in. Not so fast!

    For many who trained in the old studio system, working in one was the education. I was of the last generation trained that way. As a result, we knew the entire process and could make an entire cartoon on our own. (I have many times.) We had no “Internship” programs. We were hired, and we had on-the-job training as employees, even at slightly above minimum wage with increases as we showed progress. What we have now is an MBA model that may work for systematic office management, but does not apply well to our industry. In my observation, it has not produced efficiency, but ruination. And the existence of unpaid Interns has contributed to that.

  • Albia

    Ray Pointer speaks the truth, uncomfortable though it may be to certain fraudulent executives running things. Some studios seem attracted lately to the concept of charging rent for office space to the people doing the work, as slowtiger mentioned above. Disney’s live action brain trust is taking it to a more lucrative level by evicting TV Animation from the FGW building (they are now moved to Sonora in Glendale) and renting their former Burbank lot digs to the highest bidders as sexy live action production company office space, as they’re also doing with the exalted Team Disney building, where lawyers once ruled the Disney empire. The Disney legal team, now holding forth in temporary space in a tower building, will return to a newly refurbished-for-them Roy E. Disney building sometime in 2012. Apparently some lot buildings just aren’t sexy enough to rent out to the likes of Shaun Cassidy, who now hangs his production company shingle on Walt’s old office suite. None of this is surprising. It was always about perception in Hollywood, long before Peter Guber tagged it reality.

  • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

    “But no one was speaking up about it because ours is such a “glamorous” and attractive profession, that they are willing to do anything to get in. Not so fast!”

    But at the same time, you have to accept that some folks don’t care about the money aspect as much. They ARE in it because it’s the profession they love and want to do until they keel over at their light table. If there are people willing to do whatever it takes to get the job they want, shouldn’t they be the ones who get the job? I’ve seen a lot of people slug through work just for the paycheck. That, to me, is worse that the flip side. There’s no passion in their work.

    • Dirge

      That’s all fine and good but after a good half decade anyone who is lowballing themselves willingly needs to step up and demand more. More pay & better working conditions.

      I see so many people who have 10+ years in this industry who still work shit pay & practically LIVE at the studio & complain non-stop about it.

    • The Gee

      I don’t mean to mis-interperate what you wrote but you seem to be subscribing to the Be Hungry mindset that facilitates people getting screwed over. It is that notion that somehow every opportunity is the Big Break someone needs so they will work for peanuts or less just because they have passion and desire. That really isn’t enough and people should be paid for having more than those two attributes. They should be paid what they are worth.

      To not pay them means, as human resources contributing to a company’s bottom line, they are not worth anything and the work they do is not worth anything. Whether or not that is true, not paying a worker drags down everyone else’s wages and their worth. That isn’t cool.

      We’ll probably never understand why some people think artists deserve to be screwed over or why some people think that artists are alright with being screwed over But, it doesn’t help matters when artists allow themselves to be screwed over by being asked for too much and being offered nothing or little in return.

    • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

      But many pros compromised on this very principle and still got shafted. So you simply cannot justify this practice because it is simply WRONG!

    • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

      “But at the same time, you have to accept that some folks don’t care about the money aspect as much. They ARE in it because it’s the profession they love and want to do until they keel over at their light table. If there are people willing to do whatever it takes to get the job they want, shouldn’t they be the ones who get the job? I’ve seen a lot of people slug through work just for the paycheck. That, to me, is worse that the flip side. There’s no passion in their work.”

      Well, that’s fine if you are a teenager still living with your parents. But in order to be a financially responsible adult–especially with the high cost of living in California and New York, you have to CARE about the money if you are going to be able to LIVE.
      That’s why they call it a “living.” But most of all, this is a PROFESSION. Accordingly, the people in it deserve to be treated as professionals. THAT is the core of the issue here.

      • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

        I never quite understood, then, why people PAY the high cost of living in CA and NY. It’s like, they’re CHOOSING to live there instead of someplace much less expensive, but then complain when the cost of living is, frankly, ridiculous. A million dollars for a studio apartment in NYC is insane, and goes right back to “You’re letting it happen by putting up with it” that folks are complaining about.

        It really ends up being the choice of the person doing whatever it is. If the cost of living is too high, you find somewhere else to live or you suck it up and have two jobs or something. Sometimes circumstances are extremely difficult to get out of (if for instance you have a sick family member who literally CAN’T move from where they are) but 99% of the time you have all the options in the world and decide to choose what you choose. There IS an animation industry outside of CA and NY. Is it as large? No. You have to decide if going to the big hot spots is worth the trade off, but don’t blame the hot spots when that’s the choice you make. You’re the one telling those places it’s okay to charge thousands upon thousands of dollars a month to rent a room that a reasonable person would deem a closet.

  • Dirge

    I worked for a startup studio in Vancouver who brought on ‘interns’ to work on ‘training scenes’ for free that ended up being scenes in the actual show.

  • http://www.itsthecat.com Mark Kausler

    Our industry dilemma will never be solved until the CONSUMERS of our animated product know the truth about the conditions under which it is made, WORLDWIDE. Viewers should know about the unpaid overtime, deplorable working conditions, underage workers and creative financing (such as paying by the film foot, but not telling a layout artist how many feet the scene will run until AFTER the layout drawings have been turned in).
    Dear viewers, BOYCOTT THE ADVERTISERS on animated shows like “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy”, write LETTERS to Fox and other networks, ask questions about how many workers were abused at overseas studios to get these shows on the air every week. Until the CONSUMERS give a damn, our cause is hopeless.

    • Dirge

      It’s fairly common knowledge that animated TV shows get sent overseas in sweatshops. It’s not something you can say to a non-animator and see a stunned reaction.

      Also getting consumers to see the crappy working conditions will change what, exactly? Do you think people will stop watching The Simpsons in protest?

      In my opinion the problem with the shitty working conditions in our industry is not the consumers, it’s not the overhead, but the fault mostly lies in our own hands. We take crappy jobs in fear of unemployment. We take low-ball salaries and long hours in hopes of climbing ladders that lead to more uncertainty. It’s US that can change circumstances, we’re not puppets. NOBODY likes to hear that, but it’s true.

    • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

      The “Consumers” are too far removed from our perspective and don’t care about it. They are so unhappy and desperate for entertainment that they simply take it for granted, which they are entitled to do. And it matters little whether the viewers buy the products advertised during the programs since the programs come free anyway–cable aside. And the last I noticed, most people don’t have a lot of money to buy those products anyway.

      I cannot be sure just how much of a conscience the public has about people who work in the Animation Industry since it is such a “nebulous” thing. Even creating a public awareness of our situation may not make much difference since it is so negative. A few years back, a woman volunteered to head up a “Publicity Committee” for the then ” Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839.” I lost my temper with her at a union meeting for her wanting to focus on “the rich and famous” high profile artists in our field who came under the corporate umbrella, while the rest of us average “factory worker types” went on largely unseen and unrecognized for what we do to make the industry what it is.

      After two months the “Publicity Committee” had nothing to report. I picked up on a remark the lady made to the extent that “you have to have something to say.” That set me off by saying that every meeting I’ve attended there had been plenty said that should be made public such as problems of the nature we are now discussing. But no one seemed willing to address it then, and I suspect I was thought of as some “loose cannon.” I felt so horrible for taking this lady to task and sincerely apologized to her for my harshness. She accepted my apology most gracefully. But to my knowledge, no publicity was ever generated, positive or negative, which was unfortunate.

      It was unfortunate because news item plants in the L.A. and N.Y. TIMES would have been the best way to create a public awareness of the ways that studios were starting to treat people then. But negative news items posted by the Animation Union would have been counterproductive, since this would have worked against maintaining and gaining signator studios. And for the good, or the bad of it, the existence of the union is what helped establish a wage standard, which unfortunately diminished in recent years, with the union giving in just to keep people working. This is a reality that you, Mark most of all know very well. The question here for everyone is though, when is “enough” ENOUGH?

    • Ryoku

      Boycott Family Guy and the Simpsons? With pleasure! I’ll boycott anything Fox is airing, or CN for that matter!

  • http://dtoons.com Failed Art Student

    Wow, and here I thought I was being unreasonable for wanting to get paid doing internships.

    I mean not getting paid would be fine, if not for the fact that I have to be working hard in the animation industry while having to get ANOTHER job to pay for high rent in LA/NY and paying off thousands of dollars in college loans.

    But hey, everyone else at art school was fine with that. We were just taught that that’s how things worked and everyone left it alone. I wasn’t fine with that and now doing exactly what Jake D is doing, and having fun doing it.

  • Mark Sonntag

    This practice is also taking away work from seasoned talent. I also blame the current working conditions on people who say ‘yes’to low pay and bad conditions. So many smaller studios are undrecutting talent now because they know someone will do it for less just to get in . . . look at some of the product, it shows.

  • Ouch

    Man, it’s comments like the ones above me that make me rethink about wanting to break into the industry.

  • http://wingingitstudios.deviantart.com/ Alissa

    Suddenly my decision to learn animation at home between school and work instead of trying to wriggle into the industry seems to be a pretty sound one. I might learn at a slow-as-molasses pace, but at least I’m learning

  • http://www.animationresouces.org Stephen Worth

    You don’t have to intern if you have the skills to sit down and do a productive job on an entry level position out of the gate. The problem is that many students who come out of animation schools are woefully unprepared to do anything but the most menial tasks. They spend their days interning learning nothing, making nothing tending a xerox machine because they didn’t learn how to draw at a functional level in school.

    To enter the job market, you need the basic skills to do a job. No employer will wait for a prospective employee to learn how to draw. A lot of people who waste their time in dead end internships just aren’t qualified to do anything else.

  • JMatte

    I’ve seen interns not helping with the actual art production of a show but more at the coordination level. I guess it is good to learn that level of the process, but find it sad they are not furthering their art skills.
    I’ve also seen many interns using their time at the studio well: making contacts with artists, showing them their work and asking for feedback, also taking the time to talk and get to learn about the experience of the pros.
    Not as good as getting paid, but it can (hopefully) lead to some doors opening if the interns are proactive.
    I can’t offer any solutions to the way studios do their business. Everyone is trying to save money. But, if there is a way to work within the system…
    I must admit being slightly shocked at some european studios asking for artists to rent their workspace. How close are we to a studio being just one tiny office (small rent) with all the artists working from home and dumping their work in an online database? Maybe some are doing it right now!

  • zac.

    I had an unpaid internship that I had to take for school credits but I’ve never done it since graduation. Even when it comes to pricing a job, I’m careful not to work for too much less than the work is worth, even if I really need the money. Where I’m working now, they want me to move over to a salary position, and I know the only reason they want me there is so that if I work over 40 hours, they don’t have to pay me the overtime. I had a teacher in school that would advise against giving your work away for free, or for too cheap, because although you may be desperate for the work, or you’re afraid to lose your job or whatever, it inevitably hurts the whole industry.

    There’s a local studio here that has a habit of taking on three to four students for unpaid internships every school quarter. It’s a great deal for the studio and the students get some good experience out of it, but for those who are in the market and looking for a job, you know you’ll never get hired on there because they have this pool of free work coming in from the school every few months.

  • Marty

    Terribly depressing reading the comments here. The state of the industry is shocking, from a newbie’s point of view. I think that the unions should push for greater regulation of internships at the government level. I believe there is already a law that sets up conditions for internships, but there’s no one enforcing it, apparently.

    You can’t possibly rely on those of us at the bottom to turn down jobs, even at low wages and poor conditions. I myself took a short unpaid internship to get some experience on my resume. I didn’t like it but I didn’t feel I had any choice at all. Fortunately, it has resulted in paid freelance work, but unfortunately, at pitifully low rates. I won’t be able to turn down the work until I have a better offer somewhere else. It all comes down to supply/demand, for better or worse.

    • The Gee

      Don’t quote me on this but I think it is regulated from state to state. Unpaid internships aren’t allowed everywhere but…I guess a web search would yield an answer.

      labor laws have been gutted for decades now, on a federal level. It is way too easy to point the finger as to why they are not what they used to be. But, unless their are white collar sweat shops, politicians don’t care and federal level policy makers who might care may not be able to do much about tightening labor laws.

      In the animation industry…like a lot of the entertainment industry…there seems to be rapid and widespread adoption of What Works and unfortunately the lowest level workers, like Production Assistants in TV/film, get screwed.

    • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

      Dear Marty,

      By your actions, and those others like so dearly wanting to “break into the biz” have done is play into the hands of the very people who have ruined the profession. And in the process you have cut your own throat as well as the throats of all others in the business. By agreeing to these terms you have contributed to the lowered wages and work conditions for yourself and all others who are more experienced and qualified than you. And I believe that your concept, or expectations of “supply and demand” may be a bit naive, if not vague.

      While there is the fear of not working with this “take it or leave it” policy foisted on animation workers, let us remember that there is strength in numbers against these “bullies.” You can stand up for yourself and refuse these conditions. While the scare tactic is that the work will be taken elsewhere, you might want to consider what you are already allowing yourself to accept for fear that this work will be outsourced. So much of it already is. So what are you gaining? By continually accepting less and less, and lower and lower standards, you will no longer be able to afford to work. That is the reality for many already.

      There is such a thing as “self worth.” No matter how much you are attracted to this business, if it does not seem to be stable or viable enough to make a living, then it is not what you should be doing.

      While times are tough with jobs hard to come by, you might want to consider other forms of employment if and when it can be found. When I went through “dry spells” I did other things to remain employed because I have knowledge and skills beyond just the Animation field. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket or you’ll end up (with them) broke.

      • The Gee

        Ray Pointer knows more than I ever will so I can only say, remember what he wrote.

        It isn’t just people in animation or who want to break into animation who have to make tough choices, it is common, especially nowadays. Many people are underemployed, at best working part-time or with more than one job.

        To springboard off of something mentioned, on the supply and demand aspect:

        On at least one occasion I had someone tell me it is “a buyer’s market” and that justified him lowballing and changing the project in midstream. If the producer/client/whomever wants to pay less, the project/production is probably messed up in the first place. Consider someone not willing to pay fair market wages as waving a big red flag.

        There’s a very good chance that the project is not planned properly, that those involved might be winging it and don’t have the right or best experiences in the field and that the production isn’t as great as they say it is.

        Disappointments happen. As cliched as it is, if you are serious and talented then it pays to remain driven and determined to improve yourself during downtimes and to keep persevering and to try and find good options to apply what you know and can do well.

        In short, don’t give up and don’t settle on the notion that you are Good and others just don’t realize it.

  • Marty

    And so…my alternative is to work in retail for 8 hours a day and come home and work on my art for another 4 until I can claw my way into a studio to suffer even worse conditions. Some choice. I say it’s up to the established professionals to raise the standards and conditions of work in this industry. If a 10-year professional can’t command better wages and conditions how can you expect it from someone with zero experience?

    • Bob Harper

      Those aren’t your only choices. If you have skills and software knowledge (which you can pick up) then you can do design, illustration etc. for Advertising, Publishing, Product Development, Gaming, as well as editorial illustration. That’s what I did until I got into the studio system, and I still do, just in case.

    • http://www.inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

      In all due respect, most people with experience from the last 10 years may not be that experienced and “seasoned.” Interestingly, most qualifications are now two to five years’ experience. That’s not much either. But what you say seems viable in theory. Why indeed don’t the pros demand better? Many have and their demands were ignored in favor of the cheap inexperienced artists that could be hired for close to nothing in spite of the problems that result. I should know because I was called in to clean up messes created by situations like this on several occasions.

      Adding to the insult is asking seasoned professionals to take tests, and many times in the vary studios they had been working in as I was subjected to. The ridiculous thing about this is:

      1) the people conducting the tests do not have much depth of animation production knowledge, and do not know what they are looking at in a finished product or on exposure sheets done by the candidate.

      2) The tests do not properly evaluate the candidate’s depth of knowledge because the people administering the test do not have that knowledge.

      Many reasons for administering tests were due to situations similar to the one I described about the Intern copying my Exposure Sheets that showed my Animation Direction. His motive was to try to pass off my work as his own in order to get a job doing the same thing I was doing. But what he failed to realize was that I was hired on the strength of my passing a test based on experience as a film maker and Animator. Add to that the fact that I worked at Nickelodeon for three years on some 100 cartoons. That should have been proof that I was competent. Not necessarily so.

      When another unit was starting up there, my portfolio came to the attention of the producer, who remarked that his reason for calling me in was because my Exposure Sheets were legible. Nothing about the content showing how I was directing the scenes. I was offered a “test” after having worked in that same studio all this time. I laughed and told him that what I’d turn in on his “test” could be put into production with no problem. I took his silly little routine test. Then they hired a Storyboard Artist as the Director without even giving him that test. I ran into this fellow in the store who told me that the test was “a joke.” That was a waste of my time and a dirty trick to play when I was sincere about doing the test in hopes of being hired. I hope they got a good laugh out of it. But as we used to say when I was a kid in Detroit, “That was so funny I forgot to laugh.”

      Many seasoned pros even more qualified than me experienced the same thing and protested. The last time I was given a test, the studio sent me another after I took it the first time. After waiting three weeks I followed up to find out what had happened, and I was told that the “Directors” ” didn’t exactly say to hire this guy” in reference to me. Indeed! No meeting with the directors, no communication, then after taking the test the first time, they can’t make a hiring decision and send me the same test again. It seems they lost it, and weren’t decent enough to say so. In the meantime, the “Directors” were always tied up in meetings about retakes. Gee, I wonder why they were having so many retakes! Maybe because they couldn’t decide who was qualified to be hired as an Animation Director? I never experienced so much trouble about retakes with my work, and what I did went into production and came back fine. That has been my experience. So I finally said, “I’m sorry, but I took your test once. My taking it again will be the same result. The day you decide to treat a professional person properly, please call me.”

      While that may have seemed like burning a bridge, it was frankly a bridge to nowhere anyway. I did not deserve that sort of treatment and has to say that for my own satisfaction. Many of the pros faced with similar situations have spoken up in this manner simply because it was apparent that credentials and experience are meaningless to the people running the studios now. If not for anything else, those of us who have paid our dues owe it to ourselves for that psychological satisfaction to tell these people off. It’s apparent they have no respect for professionals, and the only way to deal with ignorant people is to educate them, especially in the way that we should be treated.

      While this has digressed from the basic topic, it is still relevant to the discussion. And so long as “newbies” wishing to “get in at all cost” submit to these tricks, the standards will continue to lower. It’s not a matter of cultivating arrogant “prima donna” attitudes, it’s simply a matter of courtesy that we speaking of here. No one should be treated in this manner. But it’s reached a point where many people simply cannot afford to work in this industry with this sort of business plan. And no one should.