Re: Just playing with worse case sinerio... (sic)

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Posted by Brian Reynolds on April 05, 2000 at 23:35:12:

In Reply to: Re: Just playing with worse case sinerio... (sic) posted by Jon on April 05, 2000 at 19:09:49:

> Look, here's the deal. I don't distrust Snakebite or cartoonluvr or any of the other
> hipsters (?), but I'm an animator, not a promoter. I want to sell my services to
> somebody - you got a story you want told thru cartoons? I'm your man. But it will cost
> money. That's how I make a living.

Hi there Jon. I was hoping you'd respond to this, although I'm surprised at the tack you've taken. If you'll allow me a moment I'll elaborate on what I'd spoken about earlier.

> Dancing babies, joefish, hamsterdance ... gosh, what? Did you think I never heard of
> those? Thanks for opening my eyes!

Well, actually yes, I do think you've heard of these before. I was counting on it. That was essentially my entire reason for writing that post in the first place. And so that I don't belabor it any further I'll reiterate what I was trying to say: there's very little need to promote your internet entertainment site since there's throngs of people already online looking for something to entertain them. Obviously this works best to your advantage when your site is filled with content that you created, rather than a site filled with someone else's content that you merely executed. But evenso, so much the better as then you become the star of your own efforts.

> There's this understanding that people can fill their entertainment cups with a
> webpage line with 4-GIF animated cycles or flat-color
> "click-when-you're-ready-to-throw-another-hand-grenade" pieces with simulated lip
> sync. But that is essentially a slap in the face to my skill and experience (do I have to
> say it - to ALL animators?).

> Level the playing field by putting me in the ring with some nerd with too much time
> on his hands? If that's what animators want, I guess I'm not an animator. I want to be
> able to time an action - or a pause, cut to a meaningful close-up, set up a gag, make
> you laugh, make you cry ... tell a story.

Yes. It's rather sad, isn't it? Do you know that they're actually selling Dancing Baby merchandise now? I read a short blurb from one of the tyke's Brand Managers (!) stating (paraphrased) "We recognize the value and importance of the Dancing Baby line and will do our best to insure that Dancing Baby only appears on quality, approved merchandise that reflects positively on the franchise." Did you know that Dancing Baby is a set of predesigned animated movements plugged into a baby model? Did you know that Dancing Baby was originally nothing more than a demonstration of a new type of 3D animation technology, and not even a particularly impressive piece at that? Forgive me if you do, -it helps my response to clarify that.

Yes, I agree it's a slap in the face to any animator that Dancing Baby and Hamster Dance (yes, they're selling merchandise too!) are earning money. I mean here we are, animation industry professionals, renowned creative fountains, and something as simplistic as a technology demonstration and a copyright violating animated gif page is attracting more nationwide television attention than anything rightfully should. If there's any justice in this world then at least JoeCartoon and Radiskull & Devil Doll will achieve a level of success beyond what Hamster Dance and Dancing Baby can achieve. After all, despite their relative crudity they at least exhibit a measure of creative originality beyond what the latter are offering.

But still, maybe you missed the notice that Victor Navone (of got hired at Pixar? Surely the fact that Pixar knew about him through the animated short of his that was circulating the email chains helped him out in obtaining that position. Heck even Gloria Gayner ( enjoyed it. The funny thing is that his site doesn't even make use of internet friendly perks such as Flash, Shockwave, JAVA, or any of that techno stuff. He's got some really impressive artwork on display to be sure, but the pièce de résistance of this site are the animations, which at 3 - 5 megs in size definitely require an investment of time for the average web browser to view. And yet people do. Quite alot of people. Which really brings me back to what I said in the first place, -that your audience will find *you*. All that's required of you is to give people something to look forward to seeing.

> Do I sound arrogant? Forgive me. I need a paycheck every week, and the Internet is
> due to discover itself in, what, 2-5 years? When that happens, I'll be ready to jump
> on board.

You don't sound arrogant to me. Just passionate about what you love doing, as well as practical.

Motion picture entertainment is on the cusp of becoming a destination on the internet in and of itself rather than a song and dance commercial for the latest videocassette, television, and movie production coming out. Macromedia Flash is going a long ways to furthering this trend. The ability to generate substantial income from web based entertainment is still being hammered out, but all it takes is a casual look through any internet porn site to know that money IS being made from purely interent sources. The question then becomes one of how high the quality level is of the animated entertainment you're producing. High enough that people will pay a monthly subscription fee in order to have access to your site? High enough to attract the interest of a corporate sponser or advertising firm? Maybe high enough that you can sell copies of your animated material on compact disc / DVD / videocassette? Maybe the quality / originality of your work is so high that a producer will come along with several million dollars capable of funding an expansion of your ideas into a full blown movie.

This all gets back to one thing though, -your audience wants to be entertained. If Hamster Dance and Dancing Baby can generate merchandising opportunities then so can you. If Radiskull & Devil Doll and JoeCartoon can garner corporate sponsorship and Victor Navone can get noticed by Pixar, then nothing can stop an experienced animation professional from doing the same.

All this requires is a desire to court the internet audience. And you can do that simply by creating something which entertains yourself.

> But the reason the technical stocks crashed yesterday is because everybody has figured > out that none of them are making REAL money yet. It's all pretend money. Monopoly > money. The stocks were full of air, instead of gold.

Being a pioneer means risking the chance of breaking down out in Dodge City. Sometimes your ventures succeed, sometimes they flounder. But the biggest success will come from those who *were* the pioneers and not those riding the coat tails of a proven method. After seeing and experiencing the shoddy employment record of the current animation industry I'm left to wonder how much worse it would be to become a full time interent entertainment pioneer.

> But have happy thoughts, people! Animation - REAL animation - isn't dead yet. We
> can and should be proud of our skills.

Absolutely! I'll go one further and say that the time has never been better to remind the world just what real animation can be. And it sure as Hell isn't some jitty-bopp'n infant or spinning rodent. I'm looking forward to celebrating a future which embraces the past.


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