Boring stuff under the cut.
It went pretty well I think. We talked about my weaknesses, my strengths, my interests, my contributions to the company...true, I have been using Maya for almost 3 years now and still have a hard time with the extremely technical aspects. I don't like rigging.
I AM good at writing though as well as concept, drawing, storyboarding I was in a design meeting yesterday where the art director was telling us about a game concept. While he talked I sat there and doodled a lot of scenes and concepts and designs and handed it to him over at the end. He was flabbergasted...and in the review today kept talking about how impressed he was with it.
"Uh," I said, "You DID know I could draw, right?"
"Well yeah," he said and then went on to explain he didn't realize how good and how FAST! So...from here on out it looks like I will be sitting in design meetings to basically doodle what they're talking about...which, hey, is one of my strengths. Ask anyone who sits by me in a boring meeting!
We talked about the Peanuts FMVs...how incredibly frustrating they were...how I felt like for months I had been pushing a boulder uphill...and then around the end I felt like I had been given the runaround with everyone going to the other animator.
I talked about how for months I worked alone with no support and I felt like it was all going to be for naught. It's hard to be happy about your job when you feel like everything you're doing is just going to be meaningless.
We talked about the frustations between Nathan and I...how he IS more technical than I am...and how I am more creative than him...and we need to basically trust each other. I pointed out that several times people will just go to Nathan for things that I am fully capable of doing.
There are times I have to lean over, ask him what all is on his plate and what can I take off of it. It's really irritating and also makes one paranoid about their job!
The producer agreed with several of my points...made several of his own (which were all fair and justified) and acknowledged his cupability with what had happened with Peanuts. Nathan had been very much a "go to" guy for Pac-Man...and everyone automatically carried that over with Peanuts.
They did acknowledge it was my story and writing with Peanuts early on that put us in such good graces with Creative Associates and United Media. No third party has ever worked so well with the Peanuts people and I certainly had a little to do with that.
Sadly, Snoopy vs the Red Baron isn't doing as well as we have hoped. It's not going to get us retired at anyrate.
We talked about current projects. I do appreciate the creative environment I'm in...that I've been able to work on my Maya skills, do tutorials, work on game IPs, concepts.
As it was winding to a close my producer started talking somewhat cryptically about how the budgets for Pac-Man and Peanuts really didn't give us $ for bonuses etc and with only one project being financed things were tight etc...
He sounded very formal and diplomatic and I laughed.
"So, Jamis," I said, "What you're saying is...I'm not getting a raise."
He laughed at his own formality and said that's what he was getting at.
I can't remember exactly what Rodney said but it prompted me to explain that while I understood we were only officially working on one title right now, industry standard for someone with my experience and skill set was "X."
"You're at "y" right now?"
"No, I'm at "a". " I said.
"Where do you think you should be?" he asked.
"I should be at least making "r"" I said. "Sure, I hear `cost of living in Utah is lower than the rest of the country but it's catching up! I mean, housing isn't getting any cheaper here!"
He looked thoughtful and made a note on my review paper. We'll see if I get a raise but I think it helps that I threw out that I KNEW what other animators were making and where I SHOULD be at.
We'll see what happens.