Models of Success


We are a very fortunate artistic generation to be living at this moment in time and space. There are so many powerful resources available to us to create that it staggers the mind.

I broke into the animation industry when production methods and the distribution system were far different than what we know today. It was a foreign world in comparison to our contemporary age. The creative technology we take for granted could not even be conceived at the time of my early years in the industry.

Today you can carry an animation studio in your back pocket as well as a television and movie theater all in one device. The advancement of animation production technology in comparison to what I knew within my lifetime is an awesome thing. And it is available to all. Not just those with capital but to everyone.

We think of animation in terms of the big Hollywood studios. Especially if one is a union artist. Many are not aware of the independent projects that have achieved great success outside of the Hollywood scene. Projects that utilize the advantages offered today through our advanced creative technology.

Some of today's biggest hits in animation have nothing to do with the major studios. Many in the studios have never heard of these shows. The biggest hit in animation today is "The Amazing Digital Circus" on YouTube with 325 million views in 7 months. This project was created independently with animation software that's available for free. The creators use the internet for content distribution and marketing. The second episode was released a month ago and has 88 million views as of this writing.

There's the great example of "Lackadaisy" which was created by an independent artist as an online comic. Today the property has a vast fan following that funds the animation production into the millions of dollars. Another recent success in the independent scene is "Ramshackle" which had its beginnings as an online comic as well. They've recently released the pilot episode that was funded by fans and has 5.6 million views in one month's time.

What do the creators of these and other independent projects have in common? They are authoring their own properties.

Today's successes in animation have nothing to do with Hollywood and are becoming as popular as anything the major studios can come up with. Even more so. These are great models for our community and deserve as much attention as studio generated content. They're working remotely and in teams. They're doing their own voice overs. They're creating original music. They're marketing their own characters. They're doing everything that a studio would do only more efficiently and with more creative freedom.

They're taking full advantage of the power that technology is giving them. They put in the work to make it happen.

Let's not be enslaved by the failing Hollywood model. Let's create a new way of doing things on both an individual and group level.

There's nothing hindering us anymore. Make the most of the new opportunities available to us today. Get creating and keep creating!

Respectfully submitted.

Charles Z
June 6 2024