I felt so good yesterday when all the drama was going on, and I was like "Beh, it doesn't affect me. Lame, but doesn't affect me."
I made the mistake of going to the brand-spankin-new US official site.
I'm feeling affected -_-;;
Someone posted in a comm who they think would be a good dub cast. And they had some good ideas. Unfortunately, all of their good ideas are union-folk, and FUNi doesn't use union. Hence the CRAPTASTIC quality of most of their work.
For those who don't know, here's a little inside info regarding actor's unions.
Without special circumstances, union gigs do not hire non-union actors. It's one of the perks of joining the union - you can audition for union gigs. Union gigs, like, say, a Steven Spielberg movie.
As far as dub companies in the Northeast go, they are not union gigs, but they can hire union and non-union actors. They end up with the best NYC talent because they don't have as many special circumstances. Actually, the one thing that keeps the talent pool kinda low is the pay scale. They're not paying for dubbing anime the same as they would pay for, say, an Invader Zim episode. So don't expect Richard Horvitz to jump into the dub scene.
In order to hire union actors for a non-union gig, the non-union company must acquire waivers for those particular actors. According to the people I know who are in SAG, this is not a very difficult process.
Texas is what they call a right-to-work state. This means that no one is required to join a union in order to work in a particular location. This is why unions have almost no power in Texas. Also, recently, the SAG office in Texas was eliminated and all Texas SAG folk now report/pay to an office in Florida. This is because companies in Texas are not willing to acquire the waivers to hire SAG actors. Not all of them, but one of the perks of having a production company in Texas is not having to hire union actors. Union actors receive pay based on a scale, and it is non-negotiable. Just so you know, it's not very much. I believe for an on-screen extra, for one day of work, they receive like $100 or something. For an on-screen extra with a speaking part, that would be about $400 or something. For a 16 hour avg day. I used to know the union scale for voice-over work, but I don't recall it now. I do know that it's hourly based on time in the studio, and I also know that it's higher than what FUNi likes to pay.
So, we get the people who don't mind the low pay scale and aren't union. (It's not THAT low pay, but considering they don't work 40 hour weeks, it could be a little tight.)
I will admit right now that I don't know whether all of this still holds true today. I've heard they did a good job with the Fruits Basket anime, but quite frankly, I'm not about to watch a show called Fruits Basket just to see if the dub job sucks.
I had the displeasure of seeing a FUNi-dubbed tv-movie of Lupin III recently. I almost cried. It was that bad. Especially after seeing the amazing dub job that Pioneer had done. And don't get me started on how crappy they did YuYu Hakusho.
ANYWAY, back to the matter at hand. I do feel like funi is going to ruin my favorite show. See, I'm going to have to avoid it like the plague, because I can't bear to see what they do. It really *doesn't* affect me, until CN airs it, because I'm buying the Japanese DVDs. So really I'm just being a terrible doom-sayer. I'm being a big baby. I might as well just sit in the corner of the fandom room and pout.