How much work are you getting these days?

Hi gang. I know for many or most in our industry, this year has not been exactly stellar (after a down year from the strikes, after weird years related to the pandemic, etc.). I have seen some low-level bubbling of some productions starting back up, at least in LA a bit.

But I’m curious how folks are experiencing things from all parts. How much work have you been getting this year and in recent weeks and months, compared to “normal”? What sector of the industry (TVC’s, features, episodic, etc.)? But again, we haven’t had consistent “normalcy” in some years, so it’s a bit hard to quantify.

Anyway, would love to hear how people are getting along, and what if any signs you see for short- to mid-term progress.

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Well the threat of the IATSE strike seems to be settling down, but the teamsters are still there, and they have power.

My brother stopped producing 10 years ago, but he said back then, the teamsters were some of the highest paid crew members after penalties and OT.

Anyway, thankfully our Trailer division has been busy, not jamming, but busy. Up in VFX we’ve been slowish, but not dead. Was kind of nice to have a break. We are a week or so into a Netflix project that had already been started and stopped 2x due to strikes.

The ad business is moving along a bit slower than usual, but it is always up and down. I was slammed for a few months, I’m catching my breath now, but I have another wave coming soon. I wouldn’t say the commercial end of the industry is immune to the sorts of issues facing so many of you, and it has its own set of problems, but it tends to soldier on. Agencies are freaking out over AI. The rest of us, not so much, but still keeping an eye on it.

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Being a tiny studio in a small advertising market was um, challenging for 2023. I see things picking up in 2024 for the most part. One thing I am trying to suss out is the mega-agency world buying up post houses to incorporate into their own operations. This had me considering a switch to freelance/WFH, ironically, after the pandemic.

The good news is that small agencies are keeping busy, and a lot of my clients have moved into those agencies. Keeping up these relationships has helped. I have stayed fairly busy this year, but I still treat every job as it could be my first and my last. Which, in a lot of ways, is how it’s always been.

Feeling lucky to be able to do what I do, but always looking around to see where it’s all going.

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Seems like a mixed bag. Through early May it was an average year with a solid but not crazy schedule for us. Since then a lot of indecisiveness has set in with projects pushed, cancelled, and what-not.

Seems like a combination of a lot of factors - unease about the economy (Is it good or is it bad? Technical metrics say inflation is much better, but consumers still have sticker shock and pull back spending). Interest rates locking people into houses and not buying cars. Job market overall is very unstable (overall rate is low, but many high-income groups like tech workers and executive levels have seen major layoffs with few prospects - I stopped counting people I know in transition), AI jitters galore, distracted by cyber incidents (don’t talk to any car dealer for the next month), Geo political risk left and right, coming up on a very unpredictable election, everyone still having some post-Covid PTSD.

Generally everyone is afraid to make a decision or commit budget, so they’re all just sleep walking dazed through the desert, hoping that 2025 will be better. One thing I hear in executive circles a lot - it’s all about demand gen. No interest in strategy work, if they can’t fix demand gen strategy won’t matter. That has downhill effect on creative. Businesses definitely feel pressured across multiple industries.

I know several people in my circle who have said it’s been the worst year in their career. But I also know people who are crazy busy. Hard to pin down. One of my big accounts went out of business.

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PTSD should be the new default file format for all things Adobe…

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Slow. At least slower than I prefer. My brother who works on episodics, has been pretty pessimistic.
It’s all cyclical, but the old days will always be “the good old days”

As of this past Friday, GM has pulled almost all of its work from Detroit agencies and will be shifting to agencies on both coasts.

Chevy - gone
Cadillac - gone
Buick - gone
GMC - gone

Hold on tight!

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Sorry to hear this, Steve. I know that Renee had a good article on her LinkedIn about it and the huge amount of chaos it was going to wreak on the local markets. I hope that you and Renee and Brooks aren’t hugely impacted.

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I can definitely relate to “chaos behind the curtains.” It’s not just cars.

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That’s bananas. On the flip side though there needed to be a change—their work was always bedlam. Chaos is being kind.

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It’s all moving to non-union signatory agencies as well.

They’re gonna save SO MUCH time and money.

On the idea of animators going on strike, …comparing to 1941 to today, where worldwide remote working is a norm, with probably a million animators around the world today, when in 41 there were probably maybe only hundreds in Hollywood and no internet, what do you think would happen if they decided to strike today?