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Long Term Planning

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:32 pm

"Man, if the future was what I set my eyes on then I'd be somewhere else"
What you focus on, and what you set your eyes on are two different things. Your focus is what occupies the greatest majority of your wakeful moments.

"Sometimes preparation is better then planning. And they are different."
My understanding is that the two combined are the most effective... I'm all for preparation... when opportunity knocks, one can only blame oneself if they can't open the door.

"Sometimes being too rigid in your vision can keep you from seeing."
You can say that again... ;)
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:48 pm

"Coincidentally, it just so happens shorter simple content is what is popular."
Is chasing a current popular trend.. a wise strategy?

"shorter smaller projects provide you with a larger library of content. This will make it easier to build an audience."
Is a larger library of content a good thing? Is it better to have say, one video with 15 billion views or 100 videos of 2 million views?... Can one not build a wide audience with 1 well crafted thing?

"Sometimes i find that in the internet model quantity wins over quality."
That also holds true for the tv and film model as well as how people choose their food...

"But having both quality and quantity and maintaining consistency is the ideal and i think your fans will respect that more. "

This sounds exactly like the studio strategies in place now...
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:14 pm

OK, well if my future was what I set my focus on I would be somewhere else...either way, I'd be somewhere else.

And... sometimes being too rigid in your vision can keep you from seeing....I guess you needed to hear it again.;)
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby sorryguyz » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:34 pm

Is chasing a current popular trend.. a wise strategy?


who said anything about chasing?? It's about taking advantage of opportunities. Also i think it is more than just a trend, it is the way entertainment is headed. Most people watch things on smaller devices and they consume shorter more varied content throughout their day. I see this as a good thing because it means a larger venn diagram of overlapping audiences. Whereas before an audience might have spent an hour with one show now they can spend an hour spread out among a bunch of content providers


A larger library of content is superior to just one thing. If the beatles just put out one album would they have the reputation they are known for today? One hit wonders do not survive the long haul. If you release a video and it blows up..great, but if you don't release more for your audience shortly after they will forget about you and move on to the next thing. So it takes you 4 years to complete a bad*ss 15 minute animated short film... it does well. then what? are you gonna make your audience wait another 4 years for your next installment. That's poor "planning"



Last i checked the studios don't care about quality. Maybe on the feature level, but that's only because the bar has been set high and fancy visuals are the norm now. In the tv world the quality of art and animation is subpar and at times atrocious. They care about pumping out advertisement filler. So i'm not really sure how you can consider that is what the studios are doing. Maybe what Walt was doing in the 50's, but definitely not what is happening now.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:59 pm

"Also i think it is more than just a trend, it is the way entertainment is headed."
I disagree. To me it's an amateur and a student strategy. It's the internet, it's mostly where time is wasted. To assume that that is entertainment.. would be eroneous.... to me. I wish you the best of luck though with it. It's not my cup of tea. As we've discussed before, I expect pro's to do things amateurs and students can't, or have difficulty doing... lowering the bar.. seems like self sabotage in the long run.

"A larger library of content is superior to just one thing."
This is pure opinion. They both have pros, and they both have cons. Would YOU rather have the success of one quickly created, less than your best video, or the success of gangnam style(not that that is a representation of quality to me, it is a representation of the power of one)?

" So it takes you 4 years to complete a bad*ss 15 minute animated short film... it does well. then what?"
This is why we need producers. If it takes you 4 years to complete a bad ass 15 minute short, time management would be a thing to look into.

"are you gonna make your audience wait another 4 years for your next installment. That's poor "planning""
Good thinking, better feed them rubbish that's pushed out fast instead. There's no way that's disrespectful to them.

"Last i checked the studios don't care about quality"
Apparently neither do some artists.

"In the tv world the quality of art and animation is subpar and at times atrocious."
As is the quality of the work you are pitching to me is acceptable as pro-level created content.

"They care about pumping out advertisement filler."
You care about pumping out library content.

"So i'm not really sure how you can consider that is what the studios are doing."
I'm saying what you are pitching seems VERY much to me to sound like what they are doing...

Basically, I'm in disagreement with most of what you're saying. My work ethic system is based on trying one's BEST, not FASTEST. You've said pretty much NOTHING that I haven't heard from impatient executives and impatient artists for a few years now... so my resistance isn't aimed at you. I've seen close up where your line of reasoning leads. That said, I really do hope it works for you. I'd love to be wrong, and I'd love for you to prove me wrong...
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby Charles » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:25 pm

I've known sorryguyz for a long time and have seen his evolution. He's a very successful artist who works at the highest levels of the business. He's in big demand for his talents and his professionalism is at a very high standard. I place a high regard on what he says cuz he's experiencing it from the belly of the beast. The good and the bad. He's extremely knowledgeable about what's happening behind the curtain.

Hitching to the standard studio model of needing a producer or needing an executive or someone else to manage artists because we supposedly cannot manage ourselves is simply not the way that things are evolving. From my experience and from what comes to me from friends who work in this system these people create more problems than they solve.

If artists think they need producers and executives to lord over them they will find themselves in a state of perpetual dependence. The animation industry did not emerge and evolve because of executives and managers. This is a fairly recent phenomenon that's entrenched itself in our systems and in out thinking because of corporatism. Walt Disney, Joe Barbera, Walter Lantz, all the great pioneers of our industry were creative individuals who became executives and producers in their own right oversaw other producers and managers. John Lasseter is Chief Creative Officer at the Disney Company. He's doing fine without anyone telling him what to do, how to do it, and when to go on hiatus or when he'll be laid off.

The Internet and what's happening with it is every bit as powerful as what sorryguyz is describing. It's the status quo studio system that's struggling with maintaining things which is why so many artists are being let go while alternative Web based animation and entertainment is growing.

Artists really need to get over this mentality that we somehow need these people to oversee us. We can do a better job managing animation than most of the producers out there. I've heard many stories of how inept these guys are. Plus I've seen it for myself over the course of many years. Artists should be telling them what to do and how to do it. There would be far greater stability in the studio system if that were the case to say nothing of how positively creative content would be affected.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:44 pm

"I've known sorryguyz for a long time and have seen his evolution. He's a very successful artist who works at the highest levels of the business. He's in big demand for his talents and his professionalism is at a very high standard. I place a high regard on what he says cuz he's experiencing it from the belly of the beast. The good and the bad. He's extremely knowledgeable about what's happening behind the curtain. "

I'm happy to hear that. I don't know the human. What I know is he takes money from an employer, bad mouths the employer to the point of insulting them, and then spiels about imitating the standards of that same employer. I can happily respect his talent, but that kind of ethic doesn't sit well with me. Like I said, none of what I heard was new or helpful. It's all a broken record track that comes from being in a broken record system. I'm sorry if I offended, but I REALLY have a hard time not reacting to ANYONE that publicly attacks something they PRIVATELY profit from, history with someone else or not. Again my apologies, but that is just me in my reactive state.

"Hitching to the standard studio model of needing a producer or needing an executive or someone else to manage artists because we supposedly cannot manage ourselves is simply not the way that things are evolving."
If an artist needs 4 years to create a 15 minute animated peace, that does not seem like a PROFESSIONALLY acceptable timetable. I'd again say, THAT artist on THAT production table, DOES need production help.

"If artists think they need producers and executives to lord over them they will find themselves in a state of perpetual dependence."

And if artists continually think that they don't need anyone else to do anything, they will find themselves in a state of perpetual stagnation.

"The Internet and what's happening with it is every bit as powerful as what sorryguyz is describing."
I'm not anti the internet. I'm anti professional artists shitting out work telling me that that is art... It's not. There's NO time spent on story, concept, or pretty much anything at that point. Talent is not the same thing as art.

"Artists really need to get over this mentality that we somehow need these people. We can do a better job managing animation than most of the producers out there."
True that. But again, not if it takes you 4 years to do 15 minutes. That person can not.

"Artists should be telling them what to do and how to do it."
I disagree. The creator and the Director should be calling the shots. Whether they are artists or not. Artists in the production circuit are supposed to be extensions of those peoples decisions. Most artists only see one aspect of the production. They can't be expected to tell anyone with a greater overview what to do.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:47 pm

I don't read much on this board about artists not needing anyone else to produce. Most of us have way to much experience to say that.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby Charles » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:52 pm

sorryguyz can bad mouth his employer to their face and they'll still hire him! :lol: ;)

He's got himself together to a level that few artists working in the biz can achieve. He's as professional as the day is long and his work makes a mediocre executive produced/managed project much better. Which is why he's in demand!

On top of that he's got the courage to stand up for his colleagues when the studio is abusing them and he gets resolution for the entire crew. Not just for himself but for everyone!

How many studio artists stand up for their peers at the workplace? Not many by any stretch of the imagination.

I hope that sorryguyz runs for union office someday. He'd make a great representative for artists everywhere.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:53 pm

I'd pump my fist for that!
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby sorryguyz » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:03 pm

It's the internet, it's mostly where time is wasted. To assume that that is entertainment.. would be eroneous.


So netflix, hulu, amazon etc. are where time is wasted? As well as kickstarter? Last i checked they are part of the internet and they are new content distribution channels. As is youtube. Last i checked Charles had just posted an article "bye bye tv" where it was mentioned that there were more people watching netflix than cable tv. Apparently a lot of people disagree with your statement and think that the internet is a valuable source of entertainment. and gee, netflix is really lowering the bar by getting a-list actors(kevin spacey etc.) in their shows and reinvigorating old cult shows (arrested development)


How long did it take richard williams to finish thief and the cobbler? Oh wait, that's right he didn't even finish it. It took him years and he was hiring other animators to help him along the way. Sure it might be visually spectacular, but where did it get him? At the same hand look at the amount of work he did on smaller projects like commercials etc. And guess what..they are the same high quality Richard Williams animation except those he actually finished. Mark kausler spent 7 years on his "it's the cat" short film. Masterfully animated, but it took him 7 years because he wanted to do it traditionally and paint on cels.


You are immediately assuming that shorter content= "rubbish" All i was saying that is that making shorter content is more of a realistic approach for an animator doing a project solo. Look at the number of student films that Charles posts on the regular. A lot of them are as good if not better than this "pro" level you speak of. Also they are all around 5 minutes long. Tell me how many one man crews have finished disney style feature films by themselves?




Lastly Marius, in another post you mentioned that you are animating on cyanide and happiness. You make a big deal about undermining "student" and "amateur" quality work yet you are employed by the creators of webcomic with an albiet "amateur" style, based on stick figures. I've actually met one of the creators and he's a nice dood. I know that their success does not rely on spectacular draftsmanship but rather clever writing. Are you not getting paid and then indirectly badmouthing their success. They just raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. They turned down network deals and are now producing their own....10 minute web shorts. This is exactly everything that i have been saying, and guess what, they are employing you.


Anyway. I'm not trying to make this personal. And I will respectfully agree to disagree. I am making no attacks against you I am only pointing out what i see falls in line with a lot that has already been mentioned.

I am excited for guys like cyanide and happiness, i'm excited for my friend who has a pilot with amazon, i am excited for any and every artist whether "amateur" or "pro" who is successful outside of the studio system. I have been mistreated as have tons of other artists by the studio system. Go over to Cartoon brew and read some articles from simpsons executives telling people how to "manipulate" artists. OR why don't i tell you the term writers and executives on futurama would call artists... "wrists" "how many 'wrists' you got working on that show?"

Yes studios pay me, but they also don't pay me. I also do lots of free overtime. am i not allowed to call it like it is? It's not talking sh*t it's talking truth. It's all going back to what Charles has been talking about. The broken union, the broken studio system. Now is the time for all artists to take advantage of this!!! freedom. I can only imagine what it must feel like for guys like Snakebite, Charles and others older than me who were around when there didn't seem like there was any light at the end of the tunnel. When working at a studio was the only path. That is not the case. Whatever path you choose i respect, I was just offering my thoughts on the subject through my experience, my research and the experience of my friends going down the same path. I apologize if it offended you. Not my intention.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:13 pm

I'm sorry sorryguys. I reacted to what you said, and that was wrong of me. I don't know you, and really do have nothing personal against you. I get what you're saying. I get what you're all saying and wish you all the best.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:29 pm

...for the record. I always saw the light in the tunnel...if was coming from the holes I punched with my reactionary fists of furry...
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby SNAKEBITE » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:31 pm

AND...for the record...I'm not that much older..shut up....
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby sorryguyz » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:57 am

I know you were always ahead of the curve. Both you and Charles. AN was at the forefront of what is going on right now years before it coalesced. And it still is the only website dedicated to bringing up these oft-neglected issues.

So we all might not agree on the everything but at least we can all agree on the same long term plan.. which is keep creating 8-)
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:38 am

"So netflix, hulu, amazon etc. are where time is wasted? As well as kickstarter? "

That's not what I meant by time waste.

"Sometimes i find that in the internet model quantity wins over quality. It's almost the same reason why people visit sites (cough cartoon brew) with low quality, if only because it is something they can look at everyday regardless of whether it is good."

That's what I was talking about. Those RUBBISH shorts that take no time to make and only count as "content". THat's NOT the content of netflix and all that other jazz. MOST the content on all that other stuff you talk about, was NOT made for the internet.

"How long did it take richard williams to finish thief and the cobbler? Oh wait, that's right he didn't even finish it. "

PRODUCING a thing is an art in itself. Richard wIlliams is a BRILLIANT artist but just a human. He did an ATROCIOUS job producing it. To me that smacks of indecision, and faulty human execution. It does NOT make it an industry standard to use as an example.

"Masterfully animated, but it took him 7 years because he wanted to do it traditionally and paint on cels. "

That sounds like ego decision, again not a pro decision...

"you are immediately assuming that shorter content= "rubbish""

No assumption. I watch short, fast made content FLOOD the internet, and I can honestly say I've OVERHEARD MANY call it much worse than rubbish. I assume not a thing. I BELIEVE shorter content can be great, IF THE ARTIST puts the same care and thought and planning into it as they would LARGER content. It takes incubation of an idea though, not instant gratification release. You ASSUME I assume that shorter content is rubbish.

"All i was saying that is that making shorter content is more of a realistic approach for an animator doing a project solo. Look at the number of student films that Charles posts on the regular. A lot of them are as good if not better than this "pro" level you speak of. Also they are all around 5 minutes long. Tell me how many one man crews have finished disney style feature films by themselves?"

All I'm saying is it's not the SHORTNESS of the content I have the problem with, it's the SHORTNESS of the execution artists use to make the content... fast and sloppy. The things charles posts are beautiful, and exceptionally well done, and COMPLETELY what I'd expect from a pro. Disney feature quality is not the definition of pro, just a style.

"Lastly Marius, in another post you mentioned that you are animating on cyanide and happiness. You make a big deal about undermining "student" and "amateur" quality work yet you are employed by the creators of webcomic with an albiet "amateur" style, based on stick figures."

Yus, this is all true.

"I've actually met one of the creators and he's a nice dood. I know that their success does not rely on spectacular draftsmanship but rather clever writing."

This too is true.

"Are you not getting paid and then indirectly badmouthing their success."
COMPLETELY not. I admire those guys IMMENSELY. THey are organized, professional, and OPENLY accept that they don't have the "professional" experience and they are open to discussions, ideas, and thoughts. THey stay true to themselves and their fanbase. They are focussed and have a plan. I would NEVER bad mouth them, because they are doing and trying the BEST they can to do the BEST job they can. Why or HOW could I badmouth them? THEY aren't hypocritical in their stances.

"They just raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. They turned down network deals and are now producing their own....10 minute web shorts. This is exactly everything that i have been saying, and guess what, they are employing you."
THis is NOT what you've been saying. Tell me, what else is in their library of content, besides C and H? Or did they STICK to the ONE thing with patience and persistence? I think MANY pro's have a LOT of lessons to learn form the "amateurs", and instead of mimicking their "STYLE", they should mimic their behaviour instead.

"Anyway. I'm not trying to make this personal. And I will respectfully agree to disagree. "

I'm not either and I too will respectfully agree to disagree.

"I am excited for guys like cyanide and happiness, i'm excited for my friend who has a pilot with amazon, i am excited for any and every artist whether "amateur" or "pro" who is successful outside of the studio system."

We're in agreement here.

"I have been mistreated as have tons of other artists by the studio system."

I have too. I'll and that myself and tons of others have been mistreated by artists as well. It happens, whenever the top of a thing has a selfish inclination.

" Go over to Cartoon brew and read some articles from simpsons executives telling people how to "manipulate" artists. OR why don't i tell you the term writers and executives on futurama would call artists... "wrists""

That just sounds like douchey people, not a broken system.

"Yes studios pay me, but they also don't pay me. I also do lots of free overtime. am i not allowed to call it like it is?"

Call it however you want. You choose whether you do or don't do the overtime. You choose to MAKE money for a thing you don't like, respect, or want around. You choose to empower it and place yourself in a compromising situation by doing so. Don't do the overtime. Quit, get fired, or keep working. Work fairly and honestly and as hard as you can, but draw your lines for yourself before attacking something else for your not having lines drawn. If you take a job you do it to the best you can always, and respect and honor towards an employer is ALWAYS a good thing, even if it's not returned.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby SNAKEBITE » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:25 pm

Hey marius, I love your passionate responses but there is a rule on AN not to do line by line responses. :)

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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:08 pm

seems like an inefficient rule. I say be responsible for every line or opinion one has. Otherwise we're talking in generals.
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby marius » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:12 pm

but if that's the wishes of the centralized system organizing this converasation, I'll happily oblige. I GUARANTEE you my responses will make a lot less sense, with just spaces in between them. The quoting, gives the context of the statement...
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Re: Long Term Planning

Postby SNAKEBITE » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:18 pm

Real conversations don't happen by dissecting them line by line in order to remember context. If you can't respond without doing so maybe you need a union to help you organize your ideas more efficiently. As of right now your responses don't make as much sense as you think.

and BTW I can be a bigger punk ass then you so lets not go there. Lets keep it respectful.
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