For Charles

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Posted by Jon on September 16, 1999 at 09:29:48:

In Reply to: For Startoons posted by Charles on September 16, 1999 at 00:40:57:

: Jon - what was the length of the pilots you produced? How much animation? How long did it take you? Did you do it all in house or did you farm any of the work out?

Charles, "Fat Cats" was 9 minutes long, and we did it totally in-house. It cost us about $110,000 in labor. We inked & painted it (and all other projects) on the USAnimation system, which I still believe is the only animator-friendly I&P system. When Cartoon Network saw it, they loved it (whatever) but had a 6 miute, 40 second formula that had to be adhered to. So we probably spend another 5 grand finding two and a half minutes we could cut, and then re-editing it. We spent another 15 grand on music (full, live orchestra) & sound FX.

For "Tuna Sammich", the numbers aren't in yet, but the two minutes we polished for a demo reel has cost us about $40,000 so far.

We are also doing a unique little World War II piece called "Defiant" but I haven't got any numbers for you.

Other properties generally have required around $5,000 (of Chicago, non-union animators' labor) to get to a presentable "Pitch" stage. However, none of those have ever worked. We have closets full of old foam-core boards, standing cut-outs, folders, "leave-behinds", and stale bagels that have never gotten us anywhere. We've done that with eight properties.

All of this was always done in-house, "taking advantage of down-time" (=pissing away profits). I've said it before, and I'll say it again: using the USAnimation Digital Ink&Paint system, we really CAN match or beat Asian prices on xeroxed & painted, filmed limited animation. if this sounds like a commercial for them, I'm not getting any money for it. The key is, it was developed for us, with the idea that we wouldn't need to hire a team of geeks to administrate and operate the ink & paint system. In can be done by bored artists (who want to take a break from their light-boxes) OR entry level students.

For big (work-for-hire, more than half an hour) projects, we don't currently have the capacity to get these done on time. So we end up relying on Asian studios for most assisting and all processes after that.

Why, you got any ideas, my friend?

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