Rough Draft Studios has reached an agreement with the Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE for its artists to receive union benefits. The Glendale, California-based studio that produced Futurama and was one of the studios behind The Simpsons Movie, has signed a term contract that covers animated features and television series.

“Our talks with Rough Draft were smooth and productive,” said Steve Hulett, the business representative of The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE, “and there were no major issues that slowed down our bargaining. I can tell you that we’re very pleased to come together on a deal. Rough Draft has been one of the premiere animation houses in Los Angeles for years, and reaching agreement on the studio’s future productions means a lot to the Guild and its members.”

Founding in 1991, Rough Draft has also animated series like Star Wars: Clone Wars, Drawn Together, and The Maxx and has created animation for various projects related to SpongeBob SquarePants, Beavis and Butt-head, and Looney Tunes, among other major properties. Rough Draft’s Korean sister studio is the overseas production facility for The Simpsons and creates work for all the major studios, including Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney TV Animation, and Warner Bros. (As far as we know, the union deal doesn’t reach the South Korean arm of the company, and only applies to artists working at the Los Angeles branch.)

The last time Rough Draft had a union agreement was during the production of The Simpsons Movie, which expired after the release of the film in 2007. Artists had made previous attempts to organize the company, most recently in 2010, but none of those efforts had been successful.

The Animation Guild in Los Angeles currently represents over 3,000 members. To put that into perspective, that’s nearly twice as many members as the Guild represented in 2005. The supercharged growth of animation around the globe has also proven to be very good business for artists in Los Angeles.

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