The Prophecy of Bart Simpson: “No More Guest Animators.”

May 22 2015

BARDELVILLE’S TOWN HALL ROCKED. The Bardel family, 650 staff, gathered together under one roof and plugged into the same socket. I can’t remember when I last belly laughed so hard at a work related event. A secret held in common floated in the air. As I sat there in the IMAX auditorium at Science World among my new community, it occurred to me: with the collective genius at our disposal, we could take over the world!!! (I mean…impact it in a positive way). Some 25 years earlier, Delna Bhesania and Barry Ward sat at a small desk in their spare room, pencil in hand doodling, as dreams rose off scraps of paper. Did even they dare anticipate this day?

A Few Highlights

The Town Hall was an eye-opening junket spanning across Bardel history. Director of Production Finance Greg De Winter gave us an initial peek behind the curtain with Bardel’s hair-raising growth charts dating back to 2009. I looked out at the room full of lively Bardelians. If Bardel, only a few short years ago, had a handful of employees working out of a shoebox on a shoestring budget, imagine the possibilities now.

Tony_Vivek

CHECKOUT SPOTLIGHT: TONY POWER (ABOVE RIGHT)

The Monty Pythonesque mash-up of taped presentations compiled by the production teams directed by Tini Wider and edited by Nina Hirten were genius. Senior Coordinator Tony Power and Assistant Director Chris Wood led the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles team in ridiculousness in their brilliant off-the-wall-all-over-the-floor video. Equally comical, Supervising Animation Director 3D Eric “Puss” Prebende and Production peeps, Stephen and Deacon, duked it out, in a live action Puss in Boots style, display of impeccable feline technique.

I’m certain Bardel should open a casting division.

President Barry Ward presented the newly released Simpson’s couch gag where Rick and Morty infiltrate the Simpsons ensuring the only possible outcome; general mayhem in Springfield. After time travel, cloning and bungled scientific experiments, Rick and Morty’s mutated version of the Simpsons leads to a surprising punch line of great note for Bardelians. In the immortal words of Frankenstein Bart, “No more guest animators”. Following Bart’s lead, Vice President of Creative Development Danny Antonucci emphasized the beginning of Bardel’s own in-house production development. Danny strongly encourages all Bardelians to submit original show ideas.

Side note: I learned one of my favourite Steven Spielberg animated feature films; Fievel Goes West, was a Bardelian project. Even twenty-four years ago, Bardel characters were shaping a generation of children (in the Yukon). Pretty cool.

Hurdles

Delna addressed several key issues facing our organization. Not always an easy subject. In recognizing the tremendous commitment and hard work people put in, she reiterated the company’s dedication to meeting employee’s needs such as bringing food in at work, planning social events and recognizing individual and team achievement. Delna also illustrated some corporate challenges such as maintaining our competitive business model while building industry relationships across the border.

The Bardel Buzz

Michael Wormald and Brent Friedman introduced our new Intranet “The Bardel Buzz” – a social platform central to Bardel’s community development. The Bardel Buzz is the place where Bardelians connect. Is it your first day orientation? Do you need highly technical advice on an ongoing project? Do you just want to hangout with some creative genius? Do you want to attend a lecture at Bardel University? Do you want to download the PDF blueprint to Bardel’s world domination plans?

The answer to all of those questions is The Bardel Buzz.

The Buzz is a commons area open to our community at large. Thank-you to the 50 selected Buzz Beta Testers! Your response was overwhelming. Let’s have some fun and find out how the Buzz will make life better in Bardelville.

Last But Foremost

Finally, if you attended Bardelville’s 2015 Town Hall meeting at Science World, you learned that last Friday was Community Manager Laura Lee Schultz’s last day of work. As a farewell to her Bardelian peeps, she played a song from the movie The Jerk on her Ukulele. There were teary eyes during a standing ovation for our fearless mentor and pep rally coach. Her monumental efforts defining the evolving role of community manager circumscribed a footprint I now leap into. One of the most frequent comments (or were they warnings?) I’ve heard in the past week is: “You have big shoes to fill.” It is a challenge I look forward to.

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Author

Ashley Evans

Community & Communications Manager

Ashley is the Community & Communications Manager at Bardel, and she is also an actress who has been artistically murdered in many short films, including being drowned in a toilet by a baby.