The Movement

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Posted by Charles on June 17, 1999 at 03:01:04:

There's momentum building in L.A. Dave Brewster said it best in his comments to Colleen about a new beginning. Many animation artists are feeling it and there are several signs of it's activity.

On the one hand, animation executives continue to drop the ball. Disney is getting out of TV production and handing it over to DIC. Warner executives messed up so badly, they almost destroyed their TV animation division. Now they're turning to Warner Features to get some help in the form of "Osmosis Jones". There are smaller shops that have messed up a good thing that animation artists built. For others, the writing is on the wall.

I'd like to take this opportunity to bid them a happy retirement, career change, whatever the case may be. The more that time passes by, the less they're going to matter. Why? Because they simply don't know what they're doing. They have no idea what in the world is happening. Artistic or otherwise. They've proven themselves time after time. They're creating their own undoing while we animation artists are getting ready for the future.

Thanks, guys. You're swell. We couldn't have done it without ya. By the way, don't let the door slam your scrawny pin striped asses on the way out. Nothing personal. Just business.

You didn't think that animation artists were going to sit there and wait for you to come by with your magic wand, did you? Hey, don't blame us. It's not our fault that you can't make it in our world. We gave you every opportunity. Think of it as an evolutionary process. Not so much survival of the fittest. It's just that you're a breed that daily loses a little more of its reason for existence.

Animation artists are on their way. People are turning to animation artists and artist friendly producers more and more.

A friend of mine told me today that he saw a statistic which stated that nearly 60% of all television commercials contain some form of animation. A few years ago, that figure was 51%. Judging by what I see on TV, I have no reason to doubt those numbers.

The market for animation continues to grow and the more it does, the less of a reason for executives. All the more reason why animation artists should become aware of this trend and prepare.

Animation is not going to go away. It's here and it's here to stay. Animation executives don't make animation. We do. If they want to survive in the new world, they need to learn how to draw because we're going to do what they do only better and smarter. Animation buyers aren't interested in them. They're not turning to them like they used to. They're actively seeking new things, new ideas, new product, new people, new problem solvers.

Now's as good a time as you're ever going to see for starting that project you've been putting off or have been discouraged from pursuing. Production systems are inexpensive and powerful. It doesn't cost a lot of money to get up and running if you really want to start producing your own stuff. The biggest investment you'll likely make is the committment to do the work to get it done.

The industry is looking for new creative horizons, not the same old themes. They're looking for unusual animated shorts that embody a unique creative approach. In some cases, the shorter the better. Keep in mind that "The Simpsons" started out as a 20 second spot.

They're looking for the next generation of animation filmmakers so get busy if that's your calling. If not, wish the ones who've decided to go for it well.

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