Thread regarding DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. layoffs

Bloated middle management, refusal to streamline (department heads)...

I was at DreamWorks for 4 years. I started as Dragons was released and left when Me and My Shadow was cancelled. It was painfully obvious to most employees that DreamWorks had been carrying a lot of long time department heads for no obvious reason. A lot of the streamlining that had taken place at other struggling facilities, combining departments with common interests, reducing department heads to the absolute bare minimum regardless of tenure, were never even discussed amongst the complicit. Departments that would see major gains in efficiency by common supervisors never materialized because everyone was protecting their owen personal best interests. I don't blame individual managers for failing to throw themselves on the funeral pyre but it was clear the mangers manager had know clue as to the real problems with the structure. No one had the courage to admit the obvious, that major change (and the inevitable reduction of senior long time staff) was either going to happen willfully, or by mandate (what we are seeing now). I was a middle manager at a major VFX facility and fell victim to this around 2009. It sucked but the company is still around, albeit in Vancouver now. I was very bitter but I understood it was a business decision.

DreamWorks is not doomed but they are on the path to extinction if they do not massively reorganize ALL management. The rank and file artists at DreamWorks are world class and the story department is actually really brilliant, they all just have tragically flawed people making the top-level executive decisions. First drafts are usually really excellent, then the creative heads mangle the story with their misguided attempts to appease JK, destroying any character arcs as well as the entire third act. Then the story team has to create an entirely new ending to fit the new found vision of the execs. Sometime it works (Madagascar 3), sometime it don't (Guardians).

I am glad I had the opportunity to work at DreamWorks, lots of really excellent folks. Just wish the senior management was more focused on making great films rather that expanding the brand at ANY cost. (greed)

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| 1177 views | | 4 replies (last January 31, 2015)
Post ID: @OP+zIrx4bA

4 replies (most recent on top)

I worked there 7 years. Excellent description of the problem

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Post ID: @7krY+zIrx4bA

Accurate and excellent post. Read this JK, and then read it again.

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Post ID: @1gP7+zIrx4bA

This should be required reading for everyone left at DWA. The problem is, management is so shameless and selfish, no good would come of it.

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Post ID: @sik+zIrx4bA

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