I had luncheon with my dear friend Ms Matisse yesterday, and we had a cosy few hours chewing the fat. Of course we got onto a favourite old chestnut, bagging out the animation and film industry in general.
She revealed to me a long-forgotten anecdote about an Oscar-nominated animator, who, when she applied for work told her in no uncertain terms that she ‘had no talent’ (Ms Matisse’s graduating films screened at loads of international festivals including the Palm Springs one, which is certainly more than you can say for lots of filmmakers).
But that is of course, bye the bye.
Shocked, she just stared at said Oscar-nominated animator, who continued on with ‘well keep in touch because there may be some work coming up soon’.
We then joyfully moved onto the topic of Industry Pricks We have Known, and she mentioned a former employer known as The Scabster. She bumped into him at a screening, and mentioned that she still keeps in touch with me, his former employee. He sneered, and said, ‘Oh SHE never worked for me. She just did work experience for a while.’
I can attest that I worked for this retard, back-to-back in a tiny study in his house for the sum total of six months!! I took this piece of information and turned it over last night. Trying to drum up some ill-feeling I looked at it from all angles and found that the comment did not surprise me in the slightest. Could I have sprouted forgiveness in my old age? Surely not. Using my grey brain-shaped pencil, I totted up a tally:
-He only hired women assistants, one presumes to feel superior.
-He spent much of his time telling me stories about past employees and how crappy and untalented they were.
-His life drawings (women only) were ALL HEADLESS.
-He had an identical twin brother with whom he hadn’t spoken in about 15 years.
-His favourite pastime was to insult you at the same time giggling and laughing.
-He enjoyed himself finding things out about me, my family and friends then using them against me later.
-All animators have 12-inch drawing discs, except for the ones at Disney who use 16-inch. The reason for that is that there’s no time or money in the commercial world to draw large scale. The Scabster’s disc was 16-inch, and he had special paper cut for the purpose, and a special paper punch. He also animated on ones instead of twos, again to prove his superiority over other mortals.
-He had pretensions to being a gentle, softly-spoken Buddhist. When I killed the ants in his kitchen he told me off with ‘that could have been your grandmother, you know!’
-I was reluctantly permitted to animate a tiny, out of focus stalk of wheat in the foreground of a bread commercial. I slaved over it for hours, but when I came to work the next day he’d redone it anyway. The same thing would happen with storyboards, clean-up and other tasks – why was I employed there I ask you.
-To be honest, he was indeed an outrageously talented animator.
-Unfortunately I was only about 22 at the time, very unworldly and had not the vocabulary nor the guts to tell him to take a running jump at himself. Hence the length of time I spent working for this creep.
-Despite all this, he would take his employees out once a week for lunch, just to show what a great boss he was.
Shit, that feels better.
By jingo I feel another short story coming on…
Postscript: I just checked out his website – at least five of the ads I worked on all those years ago are mentioned or featured in some way!