If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter
Let's make some funny pictures. -Tex Avery
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. -Howard Zinn
When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. -Chuck Jones
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
Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.
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I had a fascinating conversation two days ago. I got a call from a former student who is doing well at one of the major studios in an area where he's involved with cutting edge technology. Very talented individual doing amazing work.
In the course of our chat he mentioned another great artist who is very well accomplished but can't find work. I mentioned Kickstarter and crowdfunding a project and to my astonishment...
He had no idea what I was talking about!
And he's by no means the first. It's really a shock as to how many artists in the studio scene are not aware of what's happening with crowdfunding and how successful others are becoming thanks to this new system of raising capital. At least from what I'm experiencing in my encounters with artists who are immersed in that area of the biz.
Add to that a profound misunderstanding of what Kickstarter and crowdfunding is about among some of those who are aware and you get a picture of a creative community that is positioned to be left behind and fated to spend their years going from door to door in search of work for hire employment when they could be developing an independent aspect to their careers based upon content they own.
Do you think it's a far fetched notion that someday in the future we could see two classes of artists in animation? One that is dependent and entrenched only in the gotta get a studio job mentality and those that have successfully aspired to independence to some degree. One that is locked into the old way of doing things and another that is so successful they look at their studio employment as a hobby. Something they choose to do in addition to their independent careers as opposed to something they have to do to stay alive and maintain.
Are you a working professional in animation and not aware of sites like Kickstarter and what crowdfunding is doing for artists and creative groups and organizations all over the world?
The sun is shining and it's a new day in our field!
Educate yourselves studios artists! Don't fall for the studio propaganda! There's a hugely positive thing happening now and it could translate into something great for you like it is for many others!
There's a new way of doing things and it's here for YOU and ALL OF US!
I have a different problem with crowdfunding... I've got several ideas for 3d shorts, even a full feature (or more realistically, a graphic novel), but have no idea how to budget any of them. Crew size, overall cost, production time... No clue at all. Then there's the question of whether I'd have to set up an actual studio, if only on paper...
The Skullgirls campaign was fascinating, because it was the first I'd seen where the costs were broken down for each task/role. It's clearly not their first rodeo.
One approach might be along the lines of The Goon, or a number of others - doing things in phases. In phase 1, everything gets built and possibly rigged. Phase 2, animation. Phase 3, post-production... Smaller, easier-to-estimate goals.
Anyway, I'm sure there are a lot of artists like me - knowing that crowdfunding is an option, but not knowing the right numbers to get started.
Jared, start talking to people who you need to fill in production gaps. Writers, story boards, these will break down the time frame of each production... character and background designs. Use the boards to break down props and misc additional elements and characters. Color designers. Animators, both key frames and inbetweeners. Voice over actors, music..Break down everything into categories and length of each production and then contact artists and get quotes. This will be a start for you..Use these other campaigns who break it down and copy and paste for your basic outline. There's more and more people out there sharing their business models. You don't always need to set up shop, people can work remotely and you have to corral them all in. Many people do it that way.
Don't let that stop you! Plenty of people out there that will share information. Especially when you ask the right questions and it starts with taking that first step.
I personally am going to do it in tiers. Print work first, then art books then story books then production so the audience can see how their participation evolves my business.
It's a lot easier to learn how to budget a project than it is to actually make the project. Start playing with numbers and categories and see what you come up with. Nature of project, pay rates, duration, overhead such as rent and utilities, supplies, technology, communication, etc. Pretty soon you'll get an idea of what's involved and you can start honing the numbers depending on what you're trying to achieve.
Look at Kickstarter campaigns and see how they break down their reward levels. Think about what you'd like to offer as incentives.
Knowing something of Kickstarter and crowdfunding puts you at an advantage. Case in point my friend's situation. He's involved in product development at the studio he's at. It's a natural for him to take his ideas for characters into this direction on his own. Before our conversation he thought the only thing available to him was his job and creating content for his employer. Now he sees how he can do the same thing on his own and come up with better stuff cuz he doesn't have corporate looming over him.
Position yourself for Kickstarter and crowdfunding. This is where it's going for artists. At some point you'll want to cash in on your career and your projects.
Now you guys are getting me jazzed up!
In hindsight, I can only wonder what I might've accomplished by now if I already had everything figured out. Until recently, I'd had no work since late October. If I'd known I'd have that much time off, I could've started a campaign and might have a short well into production by now. My current contract should last until September, so this time I should plan ahead for the next lull...
One of the biggest factors is having an audience, fan base, network, or community to show your crowdfunding venture to. If you don't have a crowd - it is difficult to crowdfund.
This is why I'm finishing up an ebook on what crowdfunding is and how to run a campaign.
People are still confused.
I just did a critique for one of my buddies who is a whiz at just about everything. He writes and produces his own web series, got in contact with all the top studios where he pitches projects and more. Has his own studio, staff, and he's only around 25 years old. He's been in top videos, tv shows but made a few mistakes on his crowdfunding campaign.
He posted media that detracted from his project, plastered pics of himself and friends, and generally missed what he was supposed to pitch.
Pitch the project. Plain and simple. Don't go into detail about how poor you are or how you ran out of funding before or any of that nonsense. Show people the relevant info, the subject matter, the medium, and do your rewards section right.
His rewards section was the best I've ever seen so he can keep that there. I've asked him and his staff to come to AN and study up. I think now he'll have a killer campaign for all his projects.
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