'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' Producer Responds to Allegations of Harsh Working Conditions
Sony Pictures Animation

While voicing his support for the Hollywood strikes, Phil Lord addresses claim by artists working on the animated movie that roughly 100 creatives left the project due to harsh working conditions.

AceShowbiz - A "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" producer has spoken out on the allegations of poor working conditions. Sitting down with Variety, Phil Lord was given a chance to address the criticism while also giving his two cents on the ongoing Hollywood strikes.

"I've always been optimistic about this labor movement, because these deals seem incredibly makeable, and the main problem is that only one party wants to negotiate," the co-creator of "The Afterparty" said.

Remaining optimistic, the filmmaker added, "But as long as both parties will come to negotiate in good faith and address the very real problems, like writers' pay - which is down 25% and is a concrete issue that can be addressed - and make the business healthy so people can do this job and pay their rent, we're going to be in great shape. I'm frustrated, but I think this is an imminently solvable problem."

Lord then specifically talked about the alleged poor working conditions for "Spider-Verse". He began to explain, "In terms of 'Spider-Verse', that was a really hard movie to make." The producer/writer admitted, "We're really proud of how hard everybody worked, and it was very demanding. But we're just really proud of the crew, and everything they put into it."

The "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" sequel recently came under fire following a Vulture article that details the alleged harsh working conditions. Four artists speaking with the outlet claimed that approximately 100 creatives left the project due to the poor working conditions.

They mainly blamed it on Lord, whom they said wasn't able to "conceptualize 3-D animation during the early planning stages." Lord also preferred to edit fully rendered material, making turnaround times impossible to manage.

"It's common for executives on a production to have a big say, but usually, they're not as heavily involved as Phil was. As a producer, Phil overrides all the directors," said one crew member. "They are obviously in charge of directing, but if Phil has a note that contradicts their note, his note takes precedence."

The artist further elaborated, "They have to do what Phil says. So there were constant changes and cuts. With Phil Lord, nothing is ever final or approved. Nothing was really set in stone. Nothing was ever done. Everything was just endlessly moving beneath our feet because they wanted it to be the best that it could be."

The majority of the crew who stayed until the end "were sitting idle for half a year because Lord was holding up sequences in layout," the artist said. "They were sitting there getting paid to do nothing," but "then at a certain point, we ran out of time. The dam broke, water came flooding in, and all the departments were swamped, doing overtime." He went summing up the experience, "This production has been death by a thousand paper cuts."

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