February 26th, 2007


Shin Chan Doesn't Live Here Anymore

I was planning on posting about the NYCC, but, well, let's get the bad news out of the way first. Two weeks after our Adult Swim pilot was shelved, Sarah and I found out we've been dropped from the Shin Chan show by Funimation. Which, well, really sucks. 

What also kind of sucks is how we found out. Walking onto the convention floor Friday morning, we found ourselves face to face with someone in a Shin Chan suit, followed by two ladies handing us Funimation/Shin Chan promo items. Then a Funimation employee started to sell us on the show, informing us that Shin Chan was not for kids (Emily was with us), but for "us" (adults). I told her we were familiar with the show, because we worked on it. Which led to this and that, which led to her saying, "Oh -- are you Evan?" And I said, yes, and we all laughed, and she introduced herself (I forget her position at the company), and we talked a bit about the show, and eventually we asked her if she knew why we hadn't heard back from our contact at Funimation in over a month and a half, and why no one had been responding to our e-mails. She apologized, she thought perhaps it was the approval process on the episodes that was holding things up, and she told us she'd remind our contact at Funimation to get in touch with us when she got back to the office. On Sunday Sarah spoke to her for a few minutes, she said she was sorry she didn't know we were going to be at the convention because she would have liked for us to have appeared on the Shin Chan panel. Perhaps next time, she said.

So, we were feeling a bit more positive about our situation, which some of you might recall I was pretty worried about. Something about producers not returning e-mails, I dunno, sort of gives you a case of the shivering doubts about your job. Communication with Funimation had been spotty before, so we didn't know what to think. We weren't banking on anything, but talking to someone at Funimation gave us some hope. We didn't "sound" dumped, y'know?

Well, today we received an e-mail from Funimation letting us know that they weren't going to use us anymore. The Adult Swim/CN had accelerated the process and they were going to keep the scripting in-house. So, there goes two Adult Swim projects in one month. Ouch. Although I guess Funimation actually dropped us a month and a half ago. Or two months ago. We're having some luck lately. 

So what happened? I dunno. When the show got picked up for a full run of episodes we were sent an e-mail thanking us very nicely for what they said was our role in getting Shin Chan picked up by the Swim. Maybe we took too long on the last scripts and they need more work done faster like they indicated (things have been chaotic here, especially since our family loss in November, and we turned in our last two late. Although no one ever wrote us asking where the scripts were, so we weren't aware of how we might have been affecting production). Maybe they thought we stopped being funny. Maybe they're trying to save money. maybe they fell they simply don't need us anymore. Well, obviously the latter is true.

People get dropped all the time, that's life, that's entertainment, that's freelancing. It was a good gig while it lasted and we were excited to be working on the show, and I'll admit, we thought we were doing good work and that we did have a positive impact on the Adult Swim pick-up. We've been assuming we had no further work for some time now and we don't count on things, so while the loss of work and income hurts, it isn't killing us. All I'm really upset about is that I think they could have at least let us know they were done with us when they were actually done with us. We shouldn't have had to chase them to find out the bad news. If nothing else, we gave them  "Action Bastard".  And, y'know, it's kind of common courtesy to let someone know they need to go and find other work.

Yeah, now I'm starting to vent, so I'll stop. I'm not angry or anything, really, just depressed. We're getting a lot of bad news as of late, Some good news, but the bad news has been really bad. I was joking that we were due for another "bad news Friday", maybe this was supposed to happen last Friday for the depresso trifecta. Oh, well. Our animation careers have been dead before, they'll be dead again. Or they'll just stay dead. We have some other work. I hope Shin Chan does well. I don't know if I ever mentioned this but Sarah's the one who first brought Crayon Shin-Chan to the Cartoon Network's attention many years ago. It's a sort of long, not really fascinating story, but in the end the fact that a decade or so later we ended up working on ten episodes of the import is pretty darned cool. Nothing lasts forever, and there's a reason I'm a pessimist by nature.

I guess this means we won't get to judge the 'ass dance" contest at next year's NYCC. Shin Chan panel.