LETS' GET REAL ABOUT ANIMATION COSTS


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Posted by BRIAN MITCHELL on May 29, 1999 at 14:26:39:

What I really want to know is this. I hope you are all paying close attention. If total animation production costs an average of $ 3000.00. for a foot of finished 35mm film, (that's a very cost effective price of $ 21,600,000 for an 80 minute fully animated feature film), why did a recent movie cost $25,000,000 to make, given that the movie was almost entirely animated overseas?

If you paid animators $ 350.00 a foot, assistant animators $ 250.00 a foot, Ink and Paint $ 225.00 a foot, effects animators $ 350 a foot, and their assistants $ 225. a foot (this is providing you had effects in every scene) plus checkers, cgi animators, production assistants, actors, musicians, story people, producers, directors and overhead plus a budget for 10% revisions in story and animation, you would still have a surplus in your budget.

Given the fact that this movie was animated overseas for price little more than it's T.V. show, (my guess is that it cost a staggering $907,200 to produce the 80 minutes of quality animation), and maybe another $ 3,000,000 was spent here writing, storyboarding, recording, and laying it out, I'd like to know what the other $21,092,800 was spent on? Donuts?

It really does baffle me. When I first entered the business, I animated on a feature film that budgeted its' key animation at $ 60.00 a foot. All the assistant work, ink and paint, backgrounds and camera work was done overseas and it still only cost the studio $ 1,900,000 for the animation production costs. The reported budget on the movie at the time was $ 12,500,000 and there were no big name actors. So I have to wonder about the remainder of that budget.

It's not hard to do the math and there are lots of overseas animation reps. who will talk turkey to you about producing animation cheap.

Most executives in this or any other business are concerned about one thing and one thing only,....

How much money will we make?

If these guys could produce an animated feature film based on a cycle of a quacking duck (bit of an in joke here) you'd see the quacking duck movie

in theatres everywhere! It's nothing personal. It's just good business. Make low, sell high.

Here's an old quote by Walt Disney, 'You have to Lick 'em with product'.

You ask, WHAT THE HECK DO YOU MEAN???

Just this.

1) Develop your own ideas on your own time

2) Set up a small part time animation business

3) Network with everyone

4) Find investors

5) partner with a good business person

6) Be innovative, be different because you want to

7) Produce something great that you love and

others applaud and blow your horn about it

8) Don't give up, even if you feel you got nothing left to give.




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