Working at George Davison Studios | Glassdoor

George Davison Studios Overview

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Pittsburgh, PA
1 to 50 employees
Unknown
Company - Private
Motion Picture Production & Distribution
Unknown / Non-Applicable per year
Unknown

George Davison Studios Reviews

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  • "Avoid at all costs."

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Artist in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Lead Artist in Pittsburgh, PA

    Pros

    Four day work week if you don't mind being in the office from 6am to 5pm.

    Some departments have very easy standards. Between the lack of experience with projects coupled with the endless tinkering, one can easily spend a week reading sports articles or making tons of revisions and mock ups to the same result.

    Depending where you are, it can be quite low stress and an easy post-retirement job or a frantic mess of accumulated tasks left over from unfilled positions under constant scrutiny by management.

    Cons

    Injudicious, family-owned upper management with more interests in holding their financial and social status, than actually turning a profit or investing in the future of their company. All is made for the glory of the Davison brand, in whatever incarnation it takes form, rather then actually providing a quality service and good reviews from clients.
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    Client work in all departments is rushed and second-rate, with the very specific and oft-mentioned goal of reducing the hours spent per $10k client fee as much as possible. Thus, personal fulfillment in creating something worthwhile is rare if ever experienced. For people who want to take pride in their work, or perfectionists at their craft, months of second-rate production can become depressing.
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    Expect constant project shifts, cancellations and reworking designs for several months. Months are spent on internal projects that are only made to promote the CEO and his image, rather than the company and it's services. Advertising is non-existent, reducing client work and income generated by the business to a trickle. Some departments are tasked with non-work related projects from management ranging from moving the CEO's furniture or designing golfing team shirts. Other departments may have nothing to do for days.
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    Management paranoia is oddly rampant, given how little known the company is, country-wide. New cameras, new restrictions and new mandates are not uncommon despite the lack of external threats or employee malfeasance. Expect to be severely spoken to about trifling things, like talking to the IT department or not wearing a company shirt.
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    No employee reviews, no bonuses, no raises; ever. Instead, from January 2013 - August 2015, all employees were docked between 5-10% of their pay due to 'financial strain'. Employees are paid the very minimum needed to populate necessary positions and bullied into accepting a complete lack of upward mobility. The CEO is both domineering when he puts his hands into his 'project of the month' and the remarkably absent in his interest in the employees themselves. Compliments, though not uncommon, are never backed with fiscal incentives or rewards. If your department happens to be involved with the new 'idea' or direction from the CEO, expect to be scrutinized by the minute, other departments can go months without input or direction.
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    A skeleton crew of haggard, despondent employees are your only source of camaraderie during those long sunless days in Inventionland. The despair and abyssal morale is virulent and can easily bring down the cheeriest of new faces. The palatable sense of emptiness and desperation is a very real factor in the day to day activities and can overwhelm the sensitive.
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    Ukulele and whistling stock music is played over loudspeakers across the office for children tours. The sanity of employees not taken into consideration.
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    Child tours are a regular trial of endurance as most offices are open to the walkways where classes of anywhere from 10 - 30 children are herded through building. This happens more regularly as the office becomes more of a 'kids museum' than a company. Employees are expected to walk around aimlessly to imply a larger workforce and are asked to 'play a role' in the grand illusion that Inventionland is an 'idea creator' rather than a hollow land of self-promotion. Don't be surprised if you're told to stand in a place and act like you're working, be it for a tour or a publicity photo. Additionally, due to the need to maintain appearances, Inventionland shirts (provided) are required wear.
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    The 'water' moat that surrounds the 'castle set' is dyed with food coloring and not chlorinated. This results in occasional bouts of a rancid 'Styrofoam fishing container' smell in the summer months. Rain and patching tar find their way through the roof and the cement outerwalls lining the southern end have clear gaps in which mid-February hoarfrost finds its way through. Summer rain produces periodic power outages from less than a minute to a couple hours. The CEO has been known to yell at employees standing around in emergency lighting because they're 'not working'.

    Advice to Management

    The middle management, who are long-term employees, are sensible people to work with. However, they have no decision making power outside day-to-day tasks. All direction comes from the Davison lineage, to occasionally baffling results.

    To those middle managers, know that you have my deepest respect and sympathy.

    The upper management however, is indefensibly inarticulate and obtuse. Born into wealth, this company is but a play thing for their personal and social goals, rather than a living breathing team dedicated to succeed and profit from a good service. No advice can be given, other than to remove themselves from the company operations and let qualified people, who actually have stake in the success of the company, take control.

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