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  • If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney

  • Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter

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  • I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. -Howard Zinn

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  • And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus

  • A man should never neglect his family for business. -Walt Disney

  • What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi

  • Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about. -Chuck Jones

  • Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. -Buddhist Proverb

Labor or Content? The Future of Animation

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Labor or Content? The Future of Animation

Postby Charles » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:01 am

I try to stay on top of what's happening in the animation labor scene of course since it's necessary and important for AN.

I also stay on top of what's happening with this new era we're entering into. One where content is increasingly king. As if there was a time when it wasn't? Indeed that's always been the case in entertainment, but never before have we been in an epoch where so much content is being created for a market that continues to expand into every little nook and cranny imaginable.

This in turn is creating a whole new industry within an industry whereby anyone with a decent idea or concept can raise a little and in many cases huge amounts of capital through crowdfunding. Sometimes more cash than they would see in years in a comparable amount of time working in the animation labor force.

More artists are raising large sums of money independently and potentially becoming better off than their counterparts in the animation studio labor force who are at the mercy of their employer and perhaps a volatile and unstable market for labor.

More artists are building their franchise in very real ways. As time goes by you'll see more artists doing better in this area than punching the clock working for studios that aren't run by artists.

On the one hand, you've got activity in the animation labor market where there's a constant battle to keep the floor from dropping out.

On the other hand, you've got brave new worlds coming into being through the advantages of crowdfunding and everything that goes along with it.

If you think of your art and skill set as labor and the only path you walk is the labor market for service, you're walking down a broad avenue that will eventually become so narrow you'll be squeezed out.

If you build your brand, build your franchise, develop your content, make it quality, develop your community, work at it, be patient and productive and stick with it, whether it's you or a group you might organize, you'll have crowdfunding behind you to help keep that boulevard fluid and free flowing.

There's never been a time in animation where large numbers of independent content creators become as successful or even more successful than their studio counterparts who work for hire.

Of course, we'll see what the future holds for animation artists. One thing is for certain. There's a new way of doing things and it's proving itself consistently and resoundingly, and it's not in the labor sector of the biz. ;)

If content is king then it goes without saying that crowdfunding is queen. When you're in labor and you're tired of being a pawn, now there's another game artists can play.

Checkmate! 8-)

No matter which side of the coin you choose call there's still the prime directive...

Keep Creating! :D
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