We’re wrapping the last couple episodes here on the show I’m currently working on (“George of the Jungle”). It’s been a lot of fun, but all good things must come to a close – and with the last few episodes almost in the can (save the remaining few that are being done overseas) our crew has been shrinking almost on a daily basis.
I can’t believe it’s been a year and a half; the show it airing twice a day on Teletoon (weekdays at 8am and 4:30pm, Saturday at 11am!) and seems to be doing well. I’ve been so damned busy for the past… year, I guess, that I haven’t even had a chance to take some photos. Hell, the one shot I have with the crew was taken with a cellphone camera – it’s when the gang surprised me on my birthday, and gave me a lovely cake (and a nice bottle of scotch). Here’s a shot of me getting ready to blow out the candles at “the Tiki Bar”, which is where we have impromptu meetings (I bought it from Target and it sits in the animation area). How the hell can this be the only photo I have of the team? Embarrassing, for sure.
Bad photo aside, they’re a good gang of peeps, for sure. And when one of them finishes their last shot, or pens their last design, or finishes off their bit of coloring, they’re done; their contract is complete and they are wrapped. And then they take off for a well deserved break until we meet again on the next project (such is the migratory nature of the TV business).
So to make each person’s exit special and memorable, I do this silly thing where I stand in the middle of the animation room, sometimes on a chair, and clap, and yell out “Hey, so and so just got their last shot approved, they’re wrapped!” or “Hey everyone, it’s so and so’s last today today – nice work, so and so! Way to go!”. I find it terribly amusing, but the other Producers who’s offices flank my team’s work area, I think, are more than a little tired of it.
Well, we’ve taken it a bit further now; when it’s time to say goodbye to someone (which is almost every day now) one of the four animation directors on the show cranks up the stereo, blasts out this little ditty, and announces to everyone who’s left that one more of our family is leaving us. Everyone stands, and applauds, and the artist who is migrating away from our herd takes a well deserved bow, and with a smile and a jaunty wave, they wander off until such time as we meet again.
It’s silly, it’s cheezy, it’s absolutely idiotic; and it’s one of the reasons why I fucking love what I do. Forget the gold watch and the handshake, or the company t-shirt and a dumb “three cheers for Jim!”. The artists I work with get more out of a kick out of showy theatrics and goofball antics, which is fine by me.