Why are you making Kamikaze a webcomic? Are you giving up on animation?
The TV industry is largely structured around telling new creators “No.” When Kim Possible was being vetted for Disney, executives took the creators on a three time nationwide screening because they weren’t confident the series would do well. They were looking for an excuse to say no, and this was with incredibly talented and established creators in the animation field. The creators of Kim Possible had to go through that roller coaster in 2001. Since then, it’s only gotten worse.
We don’t think it’s fair for you, our audience, or us as creators to wait around for someone to give us permission to tell the story.
Does that mean we haven’t pitched the series? No.
So the executives didn’t like the idea? Absolutely not. Just about every executive we pitched to adored the story, characters and world. No one turned us away and many were shocked we didn’t enter the pitch competition.
The problem we kept running into was that Kamikaze isn’t for kids, and more importantly we didn’t have an established audience (aka fanbase). Executives knew their corporations wouldn’t go for such a ‘risky’ idea.
Does that mean we’re giving up on animation? Nope! The goal is still to get Kamikaze made into an animated series. Our hope is that through the webcomic we can build an army of people as passionate about Kamikaze as we are. This is only the beginning.
Running An Independent Animation Studio
Operating a studio is just like any other business. There’s a lot of moving parts that all compete for your attention. From Legal issues to Production problems, you’ll often find yourself handling more phone calls and emails than you do actually animating.
Here’s just some of the things I do as the owner of the studio:
- Writing copy, articles, and press releases for our productions and blog
- Tweeting events, promotions and activities of the studio
- Maintaining our Facebook Page and sharing as much content as we can with our fans
- Finding ways to continue to further our audience reach
- Attending PR events such as speaking engagements, college portfolio reviews and answering interviews
- Community building - creating events within the local community to promote the arts and animation and build brand awareness
- Preparing packages for film festivals
- Designing and coding our website (from scratch)
- Searching for new business for the studio
- Reaching back to past clients to continue building relationships
- Looking over quarterly budgets and expenses to make sure the studio is continuing to stay healthy and profitable
- Reviewing accounts receivables and payables with our accountant to make sure everyone and everything is where they should be
- Creating budget proposals for new business and/or studio projects
- Reading through submitted scripts or storyboards from possible clients
- Filling in Tax Credit forms for productions
- Scheduling meetings and calls
- Always looking to improve the over all way the studio operates and ensuring that everyone is comfortable and happy
- Looking at other studios to see what our “competition” is up too
- Reading up on management systems and ideas
- Negotiating with vendors
- Handling HR duties
- Finding ways for the studio to create more revenue
- Creating incentive programs for the studio
- Traveling to LA, NYC, Boston and Canada to meet with new and old clients
- Maintaining client happiness
- Following up on leads
- Maintaining growth
- Reviewing submitted work from artists and animators
- Developing new productions to produce in-house
- Storyboarding and designing characters for new client projects
- Mentoring interns and the crew
- Reviewing submitted portfolios and demo reels from applicants
- Animating a shot or two
- Doing revisions on our short film
- Post Production Duties
- Maintaining our server archives
- Creating production plans, schedules and deliverables
- Collecting and sending out invoices
- Fixing furniture and workstations
- Paying bills and rent
- Watering the plants
- Washing dishes, taking out the trash, sweeping and mopping the floors, cleaning up desks and making sure we have a comfy and clean place to work in
Even with help, sometimes the amount of work that you do on the day-to-day, can seem mountainous.
I’m up at 6am daily. Hit the gym to relieve that stress and start the process all over again.
Back to work.
Written by Esteban
Our good buddy Esteban over at Echo Bridge Productions gives a great run down of just how much work animation involves! Running a business in animation is no joke. When you’re starting out there is no janitor either, YOU are the janitor.