Because of COVID-19, Hollywood productions have come to a halt, and it’s not clear when they will start again. Some studios have had hundreds, if not thousands of workers laid off or furloughed. But, there is one entertainment area that is still at work and that even hires: animation.
Douglas Einar Olsen, who produces the “Rick and Morty” series — which is now in development — said animators didn’t have to change too much when they moved from home to working.
“Typically, once we get our marching orders, we ‘re just sort of retreating into our little workspaces, hunkering down and getting the work done over the next week or two,” he said. And cartoons need not worry about filming scenes where characters are coming up close and personal.
Working remotely has certain drawbacks.
Animation Dominates the current scene
“You know, if you have a question, like there is something that doesn’t make sense in the script, I would normally be able to walk down the hall and pop my head in,” Olsen said. These days troubleshooting can take somewhat longer.
But the ability of the animators to continue working from home attracted even live-action shows. Next month, Pop TV‘s “One Day at a Time” will get an animated episode.
Lately, Olsen’s gotten offers from brands to encourage commercials and musicians wanting music videos. There are so many here, he’s not sure he can take all of them.
He isn’t isolated.
“We ‘re more busy than ever, which is a strange thing to say, and I feel a bit strange about it,” said Titmouse ‘s president Chris Prynoski, an animation studio. Titmouse created the recent Netflix show “The Midnight Gospel,” a trippy cartoon about an alien podcaster who travels the universe using his computer.
Prynoski said he’s gotten requests from advertisers and musicians too, so he’s trying to hire more than two dozen editors, producers and story artists.
One of the biggest hurdles, though, is voice-overs.
“I mean, that’s really the concern,” Prynoksi said. “At the end of the day. Will it sound like all these characters sound like they’re in the same environment? When they are talking to each other? Will they sound like one’s in an opera hall and one’s in a closet?”