# Working Conditions and Management Challenges in the Making of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
**In the years-long buildup to the release of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” Sony proudly announced that it had hired over 1,000 animators to bring this artistically ambitious project to life. However, according to a recent report from Vulture, the working conditions during the film’s production were unsustainable, erratic, and largely influenced by producer Phil Lord.**
## Challenging Working Conditions for Animators
Four animators who worked on “Across the Spider-Verse” described the project as a grueling professional crucible. They revealed that around 100 of their colleagues left before the film’s completion due to the demanding nature of the work. Animators were reportedly pushed to work more than 11 hours a day, seven days a week at certain points. The excessive workload and constant revisions to already-completed shots took a toll on their well-being.
## Producer Phil Lord’s Role in the Production
The animators claimed that most of the challenges they faced were a direct result of Phil Lord’s management style. Despite being a co-writer and producer of “Across the Spider-Verse,” Lord frequently overrode the decisions of the film’s three directors, leading to last-minute changes. Lord had final approval on all shots, while his co-writer and fellow producer, Chris Miller, was mostly absent from day-to-day operations. This power dynamic created a constant state of flux in the production process, making it difficult for the animators to have a sense of finality and completion.
## Constant Changes and Delays
Lord’s struggle with visualizing 3D animation in its early stages, combined with his penchant for making granular changes, led to multiple rounds of edits on work that was already well into the late-stage rendering phase. This inefficiency resulted in a three-month halt in production at Sony Picture Imageworks’ Vancouver offices. This break left employees with nothing to do but wait, knowing that a significant amount of work awaited them in the future.
## The Impact on the Artists
The animators felt demoralized by the constant changes and revisions, with final renders being revised up to five times in a row. They emphasized the toll this took on their mental well-being and artistic creativity. They expressed frustration at being hired and then being told to do nothing, as idle weeks meant increased pressure to deliver exceptional work in less and less time.
## Sony’s Response
In response to these claims, Sony Pictures Imageworks CEO Michelle Grady and “Across the Spider-Verse” producer Amy Pascal acknowledged the challenges faced during the movie’s production. However, they denied that Lord should be seen as the primary cause of the delays, stating that animation allows for continuous refinement until the story is right.
## Projected Delay for the Sequel
Interestingly, Sony did not refute the claims about the sequel, “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse,” not meeting its planned premiere date of March 29th, 2024. This suggests that lessons from the challenges faced during the production of the first film may impact the timeline of its follow-up.
*Note: This article is based on information from Vulture magazine and does not include any content from The Verge, which was excluded as a source.*