Dreamworks Want Us To Be Producers

Over at Daily Disruption is an interesting interview with DreamWorks’ head of enterprise technology, Kate Swanborg, in which she discusses the role of technology within the company and how it affects their relationship with consumers. All in all an interesting read but what is truly worth taking away from it is a quote from right at the very end:

I think that one of the most exciting things that we’re seeing is the idea that, as a consumer, I can actually create. I can go and start creating characters and imagery. Now, of course, at DreamWorks Animation we go and identify the best artists and engineers on the planet, and that talent is still critically important. But mobile technologies are really allowing the consumers to take those wonderful assets that are created and bring them into their whole lives and actually become producers in their own right.

Now that got the cogs in my head turning. Does she mean that the advances in technology mean that consumers will soon be creating content on a par with the studio, or as I believe, she wants us to use their characters in our own creations?

The reason I’m guessing the latter is because she talks about the narrowing gap between content producers and consumers. The idea is a novel one, but it does completely ignore one aspect of content: copyright! Of course plenty of people simply ignore copyright and gleefully create content independent of DW, but it’s hard to take the effort on their end seriously when studios and networks continually go after fans.

Such collaboration will come about in the end, as studios stand to gain too much from being intricately involved with the fans who provide them with revenue.

Nichola Kehoe’s Showreel Takes All The Right Steps

For animators, the standard showcase of your work is often the showreel, which is perhaps even more important in this modern, digital age. The advent of YouTube, etc. has made it stupidly easy for to create and upload a showreel of your experience and creativity and with good cause too. The ability to be able to broadcast yourself worldwide for free should never be underestimated.

So without further adieu, here’s Nichola Kehoe’s showreel for 2011:


Nichola by the way, is a young Irish animator who clearly has a fine career ahead of her.

What’s so good about the showreel? Well it adheres to a few gold standards:

  • It’s not too long, clocking in at just under a minute. This isn’t iron-clad, but no 15 minute compositions please.
  • The music isn’t distracting (no Swedish goth metal to clamour for your attention)
  • It displays a variety of styles, which proves she’s not just a one-trick pony
  • It’s new. It displays recent stuff, not stuff from 5 years ago or from college that may no longer be relevant to your abilities or even the kind of work you’re looking for.

For comparison, also check out the showreel of my good compadre and Australia’s other favourite son, Elliot Cowan. It plays by a slightly different set of rules than Nichola’s, but it still adheres to the basic ones; not too long, a variety of styles (including personal stuff) and relatively recent in age.