Monday, June 03, 2013

ANIMATION: Why it costs so much, why it takes so long. Why "work with a possibility of payment if it sells" is a hard sell.

"Blanket? For free you say?  Well, nothing bad can come of that!"

I received many offers to work on projects that offer payment if the project sells.
While it is nice to be thought of as part of these projects it's not enough in terms of time / reward.
Here's why:  animation is hard work.  Imagine drawing the best possible drawing you can.  Try it right now, what ever skill level.  How long did that one drawing take?  It will surprise you.  So then multiply that over and over.  Ever single move, every single blink and word spoken.   

                                               "Hmmm, I think the penis should go here...."
For example, working on my hand drawn cartoon Turducken I worked 3 hours a day plus weekends. It took me 8 months in total to finish. It was 3:45 minutes long.  I would consider this TV adequate animation

Doing a 3-5 minute Smodimation that is very limited animation and "poppy" takes a month.
To work on something animated one must truely love what the project is in order to invest that much time in it.

Speaking for myself, I 'd much rather work on one of my own ideas in my Free time.  The ideas that are burning inside and can't wait to get out (much like that Taco Bell I had yesterday)

"Oh gawd....It's almost Taco time!"

Paid time is completely different.  For that much work an animator is going to want a reward for their work. 

The average salary for an animator  is $3000 a month.  

For example, the studio I worked at that produced cartoons for TV had 1 director, 2 editors, 1 producer, 4 production co-ordinators, 2 supervisors, 15 or so animators, 15 or so layout, 2 backgrounds, 3 character builds, 3 character/prop designers, 2 storyboard, 2 storyboard revisionists and a partridge in a pear tree. 

 Each one of these people is at 3000 a month or higher.  

They would kick out a 30 minute episode in about a month with the beautiful full animation you see on TV.

Possibilities for you to get your idea off the ground? Kickstarter and indie gogo seem like a great place to find the funding for the project you are so passionate about.  Find an animator, see if they're interested, ask their price & kickstart that badboy.  Everybody wins!

Good luck on all your dreams and projects,

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