How can animation be even remotely similar to opening a restaurant? One is extremely risky, is enormously susceptible to changing tastes, is faced with intense competition and….well, I suppose they’re not so different after all, are they? So if you’re producing animated content, what lessons can you learn from a restaurant and can you use them to drive success?
It took long enough, but animation is just about everywhere you, and (among younger generations at least), is immensely popular. Many have long looked with envy at Japan with its ubiquitous anime and pined for a similar scenario in western markets. Their prayers may have been answered, but the reality is far from expectations. Animation has become a commodity, and with that it has lost its special place in the minds of consumers and fans alike. The question is, what happens now, and where does the industry go from here?
Seems like ages ago that everyone was gushing over Pixar’s latest hit, doesn’t it?
Now Minions is the movie on everyone’s lips. The hit of the land! A tremendous opening weekend! Almost $400,000,000 grossed worldwide!!! Illumination/Universal does it yet again! Can nothing stop them???
Wait, what’s that you say?
They’re working on a Wreck-It-Ralph sequel!?*
Well if they don’t call it Super Wreck-It-Ralph someone should be fired.†
† As quipped by Redditor /u/lpjunior999
Frozen contributed to my disillusionment with animation last year.
Inside Out is the catalyst this time around.
The cranial dynamo ran out of steam, and it’s no easy task to get it spinning again.
Ideally you shouldn’t have to start rebuilding a passion from scratch, and yet here we are.
With that in mind, the focus now is on creating something new, and in order to do that, you can’t focus on the old.
This week saw the announcement of not one, but three reboots to popular old shows. The Powerpuff Girls are being trotted out again, ReBoot gets well, rebooted, and even the Three Stooges refuse to die with a new animated show in the works. It’s all too much for me to bear!
If the thirteen episodes mentioned in the title seems a bit short, just imagine how the Simpsons would be viewed today if the original order was all that was made. Would it still be viewed as a classic, or be relegated to a footnote of television history? Regardless of what would have happened 25 years ago, the future is pointing inexorably towards series runs of a predetermined length and story structure.
Everyone can create, but should everyone create? Plenty of great ideas never get off the drawing board, and seemingly terrible ones manage to make it all the way…
Yesterday, I was treated to a screening of an independent animated feature film called The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead and Roundhead. Written, directed and animated almost single-handedly by Australian Elliot Cowan, it’s a film that I’m still mulling over in my head the next day; a good sign if ever there was one. I’m not going to comment on the film itself just jet, however, the entire project has prompted some questions of my own on independent animated films in general and especially those done by one man bands or very small studios.
Over on the Society for Animation Studies blog, Lauren Carr writes about what she perceives as a crisis in animation studies stemming mainly from a desire by students to simply learn the software tools rather than the technique and theory behind animation. If that’s true, then we are heading for an impending apocalypse in the field from which it will be very difficult to recover.
In a brief, but all too painful and to-the-point post over on Tumblr, Keith Lango lays out what it means to create animation for mass consumption. It’s an…