This week sees the highly anticipated Sailor Moon Crystal series begin broadcast. Besides being an entirely new version of the original manga (and not a remake of the original anime), it’s also notable for eschewing traditional licensing-based release models, but interestingly, is not embracing the ‘all you can eat’ type that has defined web-based media. Why might that actually be a good thing, and could it be a model for others to follow?
Animation and comics have always been somewhat related. The latter is, after all, a more polished version of the storyboard for the former. Using one as the inspiration for the other is a long-standing practise dating all the way back to the Fleischer Superman shorts of the 1940s. Tie-ins are nothing new either, being around at least as long as shorts but only really hitting their stride with the advent of television. So how do things stand today? Well, the relationship has become ever closer and could even be considered a full-on marriage.
No really, hear me out. I’ve waxed lyrical about Kickstarter projects before. I think it’s a great tool for the independent animator/producer who’s project is perhaps a bit too risky for a serious investor. Some great projects have found backing through it while others have stuttered to a halt despite 6-figures in backing; not naming any names. Yet Kickstarter could actually result in less animation being made. That sounds mad, right?
Although the recent Cartoon Network upfront presentation (they still have those?) didn’t reveal any major surprises as far as programming goes. Two new concepts and surfaced. The first is that the network is now ‘Always On’ but given the previous iteration of the idea, my money is that you have to be a cable or satellite subscriber to access. Boo. The second is a bit more interesting and is another attempt by an established network to figure out the teen mindset.
The Secret of Kells is a fantastic film and easily one of the best made in recent times. It’s highly original, dripping with beautiful animation and stands up to countless rewatching. On the surface, it appears to be the perfect animate feature, so why has it been so hard for it to find the same kind of commercial success that say, Frozen can (outside of the obvious reason of throwing hundreds of millions at it)? I call it the Kells Conundrum and it’s a concept we’re going to discuss today.
It seems that the world and his dog is jumping into animation right now and while some are floundering, others are making a decent go of it. One of those with a surprise hit on their hands is the group behind The Nut Job. Despite mostly negative reviews, audiences seemed to like it and a sequel has already been announced. Whether the feature animation bubble will survive until its release is unknown right now, but that’s a discussion for another day.
You’ve probably already seen at least one of their videos, you know the kind. If something gets the ‘crazy Taiwanese animation treatment’ it’s guaranteed that Next Media Animation (NMA) are the ones behind it. So the animation itself isn’t going to win any awards, but what does the company get so right that they might?
Kickstarter is a service that continues to enjoy a lot of popularity among filmmakers and entertainers. One of the main reasons that people turn to Kickstarter is to help fun the actual content. That carries a certain amount of risk though, so it’s always good to see someone using Kickstarter to fund something other than the animation, like what WAKFU is aiming to achieve.
Software seems like a funny thing to compare animation to, doesn’t it? After all, one is mostly recreational and the other is, well, mostly utilitarian. Yet there are many common traits between the two, especially now that both are expected to be given away for free. Thankfully, someone has already figured out a way to make money from software.
One of the perennial problems with starting from scratch is simply getting your creation in front of actual eyeballs. Sure there is the internet and YouTube, but anyone will tell you that just because anyone can see your work doesn’t mean that anyone will see your work. Communication software maker Viber has created a character called Violet and today, we’re going to look at how she does get in front of real eyeballs and how it’s possible to build an audience for animated content from that.
Independent animation has undergone a real transformation over the last decade or so as the drop in the cost of technology was mirrored by the rise of the internet as an entertainment platform. Online video distribution is nothing new at this point, and has become the default method by which creators get their stuff in front of viewers. Irish animator Terry Reilly recently got in touch and his Pegs series of shorts provided a great opportunity to see the game of creating content from the independent’s perspective. Continue reading “Creating Content From the Indepdent’s Perspective”