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Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Sausage Party cost the studio only $20 million, mainly because the R-rated route seemed risky. This modest budget comes at a price – according to the anonymous stories directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon demanded people work overtime for free.
During an interview with the directors on the Cartoon Brew website, the comments section was filled with allegations of forcing staff to work for free with threats of blacklisting.
That’t what one of the animators had to say: “Working with Greg and the Nitrogen production was a nightmare for any artist, we believed in that project and stayed despite that fact.”
And another one:
They fired the CG Supervisor mid production (one of many supervisors who got fired during the show) because he would say ‘we can’t do this in budget’ to Greg and Conrad’s ideas.
Which by the way both were the worst directors I worked with and had zero direction or vision.
Their idea of directing was ‘lets throw shit at a wall until one sticks’ so you would waste a ton of work until it gets approved and sometimes that would get unapproved in the future because they were in a bad mood.
According to these stories, if employees weren’t okay with working overtime for free their work would be assigned to someone else who would. Some of the animators were threatened with termination if they weren’t able to hit set deadlines.
The original story states that over 30 animators quit during production due to unrealistic demands and stress.
And one other thing: almost 50% of the animators weren’t credited, with 83 animators named on Sausage Party’s IMDB, but just 47 mentioned in the movie’s credits.