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Re: Clarification of scope of paleoart market and other items
This entire discussion is curiously reminiscent of a similar situation
here in Oz where professional puppeteers attempted to organize within
the actors union for realistic pay rates and credit recognition.
Collective action with a group of creatives is not dissimilar to
herding cats. Awkward. Tricky. Prone to emotional flare-up. With the
increase in animatronic and remote control puppetry, the traditional
position of puppeteer as performer was being superceded by the notion
of puppeteer as technician. Consequently, the participation in royalty
points (in movie and TV roles) and subsequent future income was
eroded. Without collective action, the role of puppeteer would have
been downgraded to the point where producers would be able to use
anybody (as they would often like to do) with no experience or
understanding of puppetry performance.
The proposed call for a clear statement of professional standards and
goals, financial and scientific, doesn't seem so outrageous.
In practice, some producers are prepared to pay for hard-earned
experience, others could care less. In many cases, inexperienced
people will under-quote, do a below par-job and drive expectations
down. No surprises there.
We employ puppeteers attempting to create the illusion of life within
puppet dinosaurs. We favour experienced performers who expect a higher
rate than the novice. We are inspired by the work of numerous
paleo-artists, Mr Paul amongst them. Our work is scientifically
accurate to a point but it's not a museum presentation. It works
within a broader entertainment marketplace.
And it provides long term work for numerous artists who are more
accustomed to the piecemeal, freelance struggle of the independent
A broader industry understanding of the value (including the dollar
value) of the skills being employed is important. Some form of
codification is useful, even when the fear is of a minimum level being
interpreted as a maximum.
Many people outside the arts' industries' are misinformed as to the
nature of the work. That doesn't make them bad or stupid people. I
believe it's our job as artists to engage and inspire and provoke
them. And entertain as well in our case.
Head of Sculptural Fabrication
The Creature Technology Company (makers of Walking With Dinosaurs- the