Monday, January 25, 2021

REPORT: ANIMATION STUDIOS ILLEGALLY DREW LINE ON SALARIES

July 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In an apparent effort to keep a lid on the costs of high-tech personnel, three leading animation companies, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and DreamWorks Animation, entered into agreements not to poach employees from one another by offering them higher salaries, according to documents filed in a recently settled class-action lawsuit (the judge in the case has not approved the settlement) and disclosed by Pando.com contributor Mark Ames. In one 2004 email, Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull wrote to Steve Jobs complaining about efforts by Sony to attract top Pixar producers by offering them higher pay. "We don’t have a no-raid arrangement with Sony," he wrote. We have set up one with ILM and DreamWorks which has worked quite well." Another message from Catmull to Disney Chairman Dick Cook in 2007 complained about Robert Zemeckis’s animation company ImageMovers hiring staff away from DreamWorks Animation by offering them salary increases. While Catmull said in the message that he understands that Zemeckis will not target Pixar "people will hear about [the higher wage offers] and leave." At a deposition, Catmull attempted to justify the no-poaching agreements with other studios by remarking, "If the pay goes way up in an industry where the margins are practically nonexistent, it will have a negative effect."