LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR


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Posted by Brian Mitchell on June 08, 1999 at 18:57:45:

In Reply to: Re: your ball, bruce posted by Bruce Woodside on June 08, 1999 at 10:53:21:

In regards to Bruce Woodsides' recent comments, $3000 a foot is a generous number for full cel animation. That's just under $300,000 a minute!

It wasn't a number pulled out of a hat. It was a number that referred to an average animated movie, with some special effects, and good character animation. But, let me tell you, that I could do an animated feature here in the U.S. for almost half that price. I was using this number in reference to a movie that was animated overseas and still managed to come in over the above figures. Of course there are features that come in well over that number, Quest averaged approx. $1,500,000. a minute and the quality sure showed huh? Price has nothing to do with making a great movie. Talent makes great movies. I believe that Iron Giant will show that with a tighter budget, you use your creativity and talent in more efficient ways. The days of producing a classically animated picture for under $10,000,000 are indeed gone (Secret Of HIMH in 1982 came in under $ 7,000,000). Seventeen years later, the budget of an average animated movie is six times that number, at $40,000,000! Does this make sense to you? If there was an 8% increase for each year beginning in 1982 at $ 7,000,000., in 1999, it should only cost just over $ 25,000,000 for an average animated film. Do the math. Now I understand that there's still lots of bells and whistles today, but digital ink and paint costs

are far below the costs for traditional ink and paint (paints, brushes, cels and labor).

Oh, and I understand the costs of ink and paint work stations too, but there's still a savings. Fewer people doing ink and paint saves dollars.

If a film is well prepared, there shouldn't be excessive redos (in story or animation), production should move efficiently from one scene to the next. But in most studios, this doesn't happen. Do you know why? It's the magic question.

Answer - Indecision! From the director, from the producer, from the executives in charge of production. They're not sure about the direction of the feature. Maybe it should be funnier! Maybe it should be cuter for the kids! Maybe it needs more music to sell CDs! They don't like the characters! Re-design them and redo 45 minutes of animation! Hey, you name it. Sound familiar? Think about it! A certain producer asked me to redo an entire storyboard from a different screen direction only to be over ridden three weeks later by another executive who decided

that it was correct as originally boarded. My cartoon went into numerous cost overruns due to one producer!

Look, I know the deal. I know the costs. If you have $ 15,000,000 to produce a classical animated feature, you make sure it happens. If you got some more money, even better. You work within your budget. The trick here is to be able to produce a movie with a competent director, one who has a clear picture of the direction of his/her movie, and has an understanding with the higher ups, that he/she needs to do this movie with a single vision, and without the HELP of executive ideas.




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