Where is the Market?

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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 30 Dec 2011, 11:36

Gochris1 wrote: Here's news you can use: if you are interested in making a film and offering it up on your own site as a pay-per-view download, check out this article:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/tedhope/onli ... amo_player#" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Skimming through the article it seems to me that the middle man is relentless and wiggling its way into the middleman-less world to once more fill a virtual void (there is no void but a good middle man can make any space look like a void). These characters will be following us like the shady types they have always been; bottom eaters feeding on the natural fears of every self-made person, with the persistent siren's song: You can't do it alone! You can't do it alone! You need me!

I disagree that animators have to be like stand-up comedians which is to say we need a fan base. The way I am going about this is reversing the thought: I need to make my work attractive to a preexisting interest group. Interest groups are like tribes which stay together by sharing all the news that is interesting to all of them, no matter where in the world they happen to live. Essentially, one needs to learn the trick of the middle man: position yourself into the midst of a preexisting group.
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masterchief
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by masterchief » 31 Dec 2011, 00:55

Gochris1 wrote: Here's news you can use: if you are interested in making a film and offering it up on your own site as a pay-per-view download, check out this article:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/tedhope/onli ... amo_player#" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Dynamo Player .. are you kidding me?

JW Player is my online player of choice.
http://www.longtailvideo.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Gochris1
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by Gochris1 » 31 Dec 2011, 03:25

Great to see the JW Player too. Yes, there will be many programmers who will create products to allow artists to make money. I did not mean to say that Dynamo player was the only product out there. It's just one, and may be the right product for anyone reading this board.

Paul, making a film for a particular market is a proven way to get the film seen. Often times, a community will use a viewing of the film as entertainment
for fundraisers or other gatherings. Lots of documentary film makers have used this approach with great success. Here's an article about one such film:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/ ... other.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So if I may, I'd like to amend my earlier comment and say that animators can build up a fan base like stand up comics or rock bands or even certain movie directors, like Kevin Smith. But it's certainly not the only way to make money from your animated films.

I happen to think that people will pay for content, as long as the content is excellent. What is excellent content? That's a never ending thread...

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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by User767 » 31 Dec 2011, 07:47

Now is probably the time to take advantage of the internet self-marketed possibilities. I'd bet in a few years, big money interests will make it a lot harder for the 'little guy'. The theater/TV/radio system was quick to limit access and 'broadcasting voice' to the select few with the relatively large 'entry fee'. Recent legislation in the US is already moving in that direction. (under the guise of copyright protection right now). The ease and sophistication of censorship on the internet is amazing.

This summer, I was able to visit some web sites in California, but in Louisiana trying to visit the same places I got a 'Cox Cable' page telling me I couldn't go there. At least they let me know. I'd bet it's more insidious at times. I have no idea why Cox didn't want me to visit these places. They were pretty bland, from my viewpoint. But they were definitely blocked.

I noticed that Louis CK's thing wasn't particularly cheap, and it looks like a number of people were involved. Certainly not a one man production. Your results may vary, right?

Obama's campaign and fundraising were put together by SS+K. A big player in 'whitewashing' nasty corporations- to make you feel 'good' about them. They did PR for Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Citibank, Delta Airlines, and others ('nice' places too, I don't think SS+K is intrinsically evil). All that 'grass roots' stuff was well thought out, as corporate as anything else out there, and put together by hi-end pros. Didn't that campaign cost a billion dollars? Not that it matters. They did a good job, and it worked. It's just advertising anyway. But it wasn't what the 'ordinary citizen' might think it was. They figured out their target audience, and took advantage of it.

So how to deal with the 'target audience'? Where is the market? Guess it's different for every bit of media, isn't it? I know of a few failures at internet marketed media. Hard to say if it's because of marketing or content-though both seemed appropriate for the audience and well done. Maybe it was the wrong audience? Mainstream is where the money is. Isn't that why most of the successful media is targeted at the lowest common denominator? I often think back (many years ago) to being told Baywatch was the biggest TV show on the planet. That still boggles my mind. I found that show unwatchable, and inane. But it's an important thing to remember when you're creating something for public consumption. The public is well trained to consume a certain variety of pulp. It's harder when you're not making that kind of pulp.
>formerly User 767: "It seems your login has been deleted. Your login being a little strange, maybe you have written a strange post and we thought your were a bot."
Heaven forbid that an animator might be 'strange'

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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 31 Dec 2011, 09:45

But U767, I don't want to sound naive, but money isn't by far my only motivation to move onto the Net; it's the joy of working entirely for myself without the interference of middle men and producers and funders and festival owners and agents and bloggers and even politicians.

This seems to be a factor missing in this thread. This is my first opportunity ever to work independently and that after being classified as an independent my entire life. For those who have never tried I urge you to go for it because it's heaven to be able to sit down every day to the work I love more than any other and and not have to read a single piece of e-mail from an intrusive producer who stuffs my inbox with articles of truisms and rules and lies about what works and what won't.

I don't want to get all the money I can get -- just enough to be satisfied and to keep me happy and for that I really don't need to have everything and all of it.
Paul
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by User767 » 31 Dec 2011, 14:58

Paul Fierlinger wrote:I don't want to get all the money I can get -- just enough to be satisfied and to keep me happy and for that I really don't need to have everything and all of it.
Doing something because you enjoy doing it is great. If there's profit involved in it, that's nice too. But, what if you lose money in the process? One friend's production ended up in a lost house, and barely getting by now. If you can afford to do something you love, get it out there, and not have to worry about profitability, then that's fine. But, there are a number of us who have to pay bills via our income, via our labors. Do you suppose we would have heard about Louis CK if he had lost money on his venture? Probably, since he's part of the 'machine'. Hearing about his loss would have probably turned it into a gain anyway.

I wonder if Terrence appreciates the direction this thread took? Does it help any? Hope so. So, where is the market? I think that 'spot' is moving rapidly, every day. I don't know where it is. Interesting to find out.
>formerly User 767: "It seems your login has been deleted. Your login being a little strange, maybe you have written a strange post and we thought your were a bot."
Heaven forbid that an animator might be 'strange'

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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 31 Dec 2011, 15:37

I worked all my life to pay bills and now I take on the occasional commercial or even a documentary, I collect social security, I taught classes up until this fall (never again) and while doing all that I worked on Slocum, which is to say, this is what most animators can do as well unless they haven't enough experience yet. If I can do it I don't see why someone else can't do it.

What if you loose you ask? Why even consider such a possibility? You can never loose because the hours you put into such a job only makes you a better animator, which makes you start over again with a better idea and animated better. But then why even do anything; even become an animator... what if I won't like it? Fly across the ocean... what if there'll be a baby screaming behind me the whole trip? Now there's something to prevent you from doing anything but cry; if you have a screaming baby around all your life -- that I can understand, then you are a looser.
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by artfx » 01 Jan 2012, 03:47

I most definitely like the direction this thread has taken. I didn't expect a definitive answer. There may not be one. The information which is being put forth here, though, is invaluable to all of us as creators. I don't think building up a fan base is so difficult, even for a project that takes a long time to produce. The Argentine animator Jesus Orellana, who did the 3D animated short film Rosa spent a year to make that short of about ten minutes. Yes, it certainly appeals to very mainstream sensibilities, being in a similar vein to The Matrix and other science fiction themed films, but I believe is the quality that gained him his millions of eyes on his product. On top of that, he did it will cheap or even free, off-the-shelf software and character models.

I just got a fan mail a couple of days ago from someone asking if I would continue my World of Hartz series, which was published as a global manga by TOKYOPOP. That book only sold a few thousand copies. In the internet world, that's all you need if you are connecting directly with your audience without middlemen taking a huge cut. The independent doesn't need millions of eyes like Hollywood, because the independent isn't spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make a film. If you spend that much, and want to get any of it back, you have to make a product that appeals to as many millions, globally now, as possible. Imagine, though, if you had only a few thousand loyal fans who follow your work and are willing to pay for just about anything you put out. Usually the independent's greatest cost is time.
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by User767 » 01 Jan 2012, 07:52

Paul Fierlinger wrote:I worked all my life to pay bills and now I take on the occasional commercial or even a documentary, I collect social security, I taught classes up until this fall (never again) and while doing all that I worked on Slocum, which is to say, this is what most animators can do as well unless they haven't enough experience yet. If I can do it I don't see why someone else can't do it.
So there you go. Art for Art's sake? If you bring in some extra cash, so much the better. As long as we have our 'day jobs', the after hours work doesn't need to be financially viable, does it? That financial viability matters more to people who don't have an established cash flow.
>formerly User 767: "It seems your login has been deleted. Your login being a little strange, maybe you have written a strange post and we thought your were a bot."
Heaven forbid that an animator might be 'strange'

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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 01 Jan 2012, 12:59

Not quite Art for Art's sake; my associations with that slogan are negative. I would hate to be thought of as having become that sort of artist. It is still important for me to be useful and I hope it stays that way and the best way to find out how useful I am to others is to see some cash flow coming in, no matter how small the amounts may be, as long as they arrive at a steady pace and into our pockets.

It is of little solace to see the money flow into the pockets of thieves even if anyone could argue that I should be satisfied with that because it proves that our work has become useful to others. So no, I do want to make a decent living after already having received the satisfaction of the process of creation. Doesn't this just prove that there is a little bit of God in all of us?
Paul
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by D.T. Nethery » 03 Jan 2012, 01:01

This piece which was on Cartoon Brew may be of interest , regarding fund-raising for independent film making .

How To Run a Successful KickStarter Campaign:
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commen ... paign.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"A few months ago, Colorado-based filmmaker Corrie Francis Parks raised nearly $12,000 through Kickstarter to create her first professional animated short. Afterward she wrote a detailed blog post explaining how she did it"
http://corriefrancis.blogspot.com/2011/ ... nture.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

,

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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by masterchief » 04 Jan 2012, 21:36

:D
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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by D.T. Nethery » 10 Feb 2012, 21:50

Another bit of exciting KickStarter news:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/667 ... -adventure" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Tim Schaefer of Double Fine Games wanted to make an old-school Adventure Game , but game industry publishers are not interested in funding that sort of game (insert obvious parallels to hand-drawn animation films here) .

Double Fine decided to see if there were enough adventure game fans out there to crowd-fund the project. Their goal on KickStarter was to raise $400,000 . They raised $1,423,541 , in about 24 hours , from 39,562 backers on KickStarter.

Read about it here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/667 ... -adventure" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

They will be documenting the entire project , showing the production process on their website .

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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by artfx » 12 Feb 2012, 12:34

This is truly amazing news! I used to play these old style adventure games long ago and never believed for a second that their viability in the marketplace was usurped by the typical first person shooter popular today. I guess the beauty of crowd sourcing is that one can easily realize that there are enough people out there that really want to see, or play, something regardless of what publishers or distributors might tell them about the market. I hope to see more successes like this in future, even more so with a TVPaint independent animation project!!
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Re: Where is the Market?

Post by Gochris1 » 25 Jun 2013, 21:39

I am not sure of whether to keep this thread going or start a new page - I may try both.

After many years of practice, and I am in production on my first short. It's a five minute long comedy short.

I plan to enter the film in festivals and have a plan to eventually build up a catalog of films. I want to market my work on the internet and sell DVDs and other merchandise from my own site.

I only know of four independent animators that make a living doing this - Makoto Shinkai, Bill Plympton, Don Hertzfeld, and Paul Fierlinger. Since three are Americans, it occurs to me that there may be animators in other countries that are independent and making a living at it.

Does anyone know of any other independent animators out there who are making a living at it? I would assume there are more, especially in France and Italy and perhaps Eastern Europe. If there are more animators out there who fit this description, I want to know about them so I can learn how they make a living.

My goals are to keep my day job but eventually make a lower middle class living FROM MY OWN ORIGINAL FILMS. I also want to be able to pay for health insurance. A middle class living would be even better, of course, but I am realistic. I am researching moving to an area of the USA where it is cheaper to live. I have worked freelance before and I know the money is sporadic.

Does anyone know of any other independent animators out there who are making a living at it?

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