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Why The Disney/Lucasfilm Merger Hurts Artists and Creativity

Veteran animation artist Mark Mayerson has some of the most consistently enlightening perspectives on the business of animation, and his commentary on the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm is a must-read.

First, Mark explains why this purchase hurts animation artists in the Bay Area:

If you happen to be somebody working in computer animation in the San Francisco Bay Area, there is now one less employer in the market. Pixar and ILM have been charged with collusion, cooperating to make sure that they didn’t hire employees from each other. Now they’re the same company and they can do what they like with hiring policies and pay scales.

If you’re unaware of the collusion charges, read about the case HERE.

Second, Mark explains how Disney CEO Robert Iger is shortchanging the company’s future by focusing too much on rehashes of tired properties insteading of creating original work:

Robert Iger is clearly looking backwards more than forwards. But don’t forget that the Muppets started out as a small troop of puppeteers on local television, Marvel started out as a handful of creators working out of their homes, and George Lucas got turned down by everyone until Alan Ladd, Jr. took a chance (but didn’t realize the value of sequel or merchandising rights or he would have kept them). What Robert Iger doesn’t see is that great creations don’t come from large companies, they come from people committed to their own ideas who work out of basements, garages, warehouses and other out of the way places. Sort of the way Walt Disney started. Remember him? Which means that while Iger is busy grinding out Muppets, Marvels and Star Wars, the great creations of the 21st century will be happening elsewhere.