7/4/2010: Current Work
Written by Cindy Yamauchi   

PachisloThe overall number of projects out there have decreased significantly, but fortunately I secured enough work at Madhouse to keep me busy until the summer of next year. Well, provided the projects don't stall in mid-production, of course. I just finished up doing key animation work for a feature film, and am now moving on to designing characters for a pachislo (pachinko-slot) game. I've been avoiding working on content for pachinko-related projects as they are nothing more than mindless entertainment running on gambling machines, but work is work.  If I'm not mistaken, the pachinko-slot companies are the only ones with an abundance of cash right now, and they are willing to sponsor anime shows in return for getting animation done for their machines.

I'll also be working as character designer/chief animation director for a television show. This project came out of nowhere, and even though I'm sincerely happy that I was given this opportunity, getting too much work at the same time from the same studio is not a very welcome situation, because my contract rate won't change. No matter how much I do for that company, the income is the same. It's like working a double shift without a raise. Double-booking of character designs rarely happened in the past; I can sense that the ways of project management are changing as the whole industry struggles to stay afloat.

To top it all off, I had to take on another small videogame character design project on the side. The title is well-known, and even someone like me--who has very little interest in videogames--recognized its name. Naturally, I was very, very surprised to hear how low the rate was. It was so low that it almost makes you wonder why the TV animators are complaining about not being paid enough; those poor game designers have it far worse than we do. Seriously, the amount I was offered was missing a digit, but I took it anyway to help out an old friend of mine. It would've been great if the money was there, but it wasn't that important in this case. Anyway, I learned that I should stay away from that industry altogether. Despite all that, many of my colleagues are out of work, so I'm very thankful that I have enough jobs to even blog about.