ANIMATION PRODUCTION CHARGES AHEAD AS PANDEMIC HALTS THE REST OF ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

Animation has not suffered the same levels of employment losses that have hit live-action production over the past few months.

Courtesy of Dreamworks

Up until March, writer-director Jorge Gutiérrez was “someone who basically used to live at the office.” Since shifting to a work-from-home setup amid the pandemic, he has been able to have lunch with his wife and 10-year-old son every day, all the while continuing to work on his animated Netflix project “Maya and the Three,” a Mesoamerican epic that he likes to call “‘Lord of the Rings’ with brown people.”

“It’s weird — it’s almost like we’ve been training for this for years, and our time has finally come,” says Gutierrez. “We’re so used to working with studios all over the world, and a lot of times we work with artists all over the world. It’s a remote business and there are no sets — everybody’s drawing, and it all comes together on the computer. So we’re kind of set up for this.”

The animation industry is a rare sunny spot in an otherwise dreary-looking entertainment landscape, one now littered with abandoned live-action television and film sets as the town figures out how to restart production without putting workers at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

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