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Where is the Market?

Posted: 19 Oct 2011, 03:23
by artfx
I was talking to the creator of the most famous animation here in China, the other day, and he said that if you are creating animation, you must know, "Who is your customer?" and "What are you selling?" This got me thinking. If one considers the type of animation they want to create, do they know where they will put it? Do they know who is looking for it? Thus I began to really look at the marker worldwide.

We can see easily that the market today is worldwide. Apple recently reported record revenues and I thought it interesting to note that over 60% of it was from international sales. The majority of Hollywood movies today generate far more revenue from overseas sales than from the domestic market. It also worth noting that the local industries in many developing nations are becoming quite large and, from the standpoint of major Hollywood entities wanting to enter into them, quite lucrative.

The question then turns to the type of animation one wishes to make, particularly if the artist is an independent creating something markedly different from the Disney/Pixar (and assorted clones) style of the west, or mainstream anime of the east. In my own view of the market, I see three places where such an independent might find a hungry audience. These would be Japan, France and Denmark.

Japan is, of course, full of seemingly monotonous mainstream anime content dominating the television and cinema. Yet, it is still the only market in the world, that I know of, where an independent can create a single 24 minute short film, put it on DVD and sell it for over $50 a pop. France seems to host the most variety. When I think about the fact that films like Kirikou and the Sorceress
got made at all, I can clearly see it is a ver different world than Hollywood. I know very little of Danish animation, actually, with the exception of the film Princess, but I have noticed that a lot of my own customers seem to come from Denmark.

There are probably other places of which I am as yet unaware, and I hope to discover them as I continue to study the market and these trends. What do you think? Have I missed some great, last bastion of hope for those who desire to create something different?

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 19 Oct 2011, 09:06
by slowtiger
Very good food for thought.

I just stumbled over this myself this monday, when I was presenting my showreel to a design agency (one which hunts for jobs and gives them to freelancers). While showing my work I noticed that I made the wrong reel - I made one which appeals to animators, but not necessarily to any agency. If I want to get jobs from them, I need to change the whole thing, be more slick and streamlined and have some examples of stuff which fits in contemporary streams of taste and style. (Which is not a bad thing, and nothing I couldn't do.)

As for potential markets for "free" work, be it short or long, I tend to see it less regionally structured, but more culturally. This may rise a little problem in reality because distribution is still organised by regions. But it's helpful in finding your target audience, which is a thing I recommend all the time: who is supposed to see and enjoy it? (This is a part I enjoyt when working with clients: who is going to see the film, and who is going to buy their product? These can be two totally different groups, and I need to find the right style for each group and the product.)

The US market and, in some respect, the european one, could roughly be divided into "Mainstream" and "Arthouse". Mainstream is Blockbuster country, with an entrance fee of several millions - so it's not for us. Arthouse is a term meant as an insult by some (producers), but I tend to see this as the elite of movie lovers: intelligent educated people with an interest for rare and special stuff. This includes festival audience and DVD collectors.

Attributes of my prospective audience would be:
- do not frown upon animation. This is a must.
- fairly sophisticated. Mostly this means having a taste for things outside mainstream, understanding memes, knowing a bit more than just what's on TV. Nowadays this means "Internet access and regular use of it".
- somewhere between 15 and 40 yrs.
- more urban than rural.

So where would I find them? Nearly everywhere ... in the 1st world, that is. In all bigger cities of America (north and south!), Europe, Asia, Australia. Even in some places in Africa and Arabia. Every place with a university or some higher education would be OK.

Maybe we have to abandon the idea of "places" completely. Paul is right in his embracing of the internet, but still that is just a small part of real economy.

(I deliberately left out any monetarian aspect, because I can't say where it will pay to show your film.)

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 19 Oct 2011, 10:38
by Paul Fierlinger
Maybe we have to abandon the idea of "places" completely. Paul is right in his embracing of the Internet, but still that is just a small part of real economy.

(I deliberately left out any monetary aspect, because I can't say where it will pay to show your film.)
That's the key to the search; there are lucrative pockets of individuals, so thinly spread across the world that to think of markets as territories is too 19th century. In my opinion the question to be asked is how to find and reach these individuals? The answer might be in the phenomenon of Face Book where lost individuals find a commonality and cling to each other over the Internet for dear life.

And the second important point you bring up is where to show your film. In my thinking you don't; you have to let it happen like some tipping point. I doubt there will ever be clearly defined How To rules like the primitives in Hollywood still go by and they can make rules because they have enough money to cater to the primitive masses and force-feed their dumplings down the throats of these geese.

As Duke Ellington said, good music is music that sounds good. The hunger on the Internet is for good animation and good animation is animation that looks and sounds good. There is also the example of president Obama's fund raising strategy when he was running for office and when he said that he doesn't need to serve the lobbyists but keep his message close to the people which he was very good at -- it was a good message because it sounded good and he began to collect half a million dollars every day in donations under 20 dollars. So the Internet is not the small part of the economy -- for us it's the only economy.

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 13 Dec 2011, 22:50
by Kathleen
Because I am the newbie at animation, looking for feedback and information before I invest my hard, cold, tiny lump of lucre on software and hardware - I have been wondering if I follow my bliss and just jump, hoping my work will find followers, or do I make the decision to wait -but for what? For the market to show its face? To create a market? YouTube? Facebook? Yes, I think. Create and disseminate.
I believe in this:
Happy does not follow money. but money Often will follow happy.
In the words of Joseph Campbell: Follow your Bliss. Seems to have worked for Steve Jobs! and on and on -

We all know creative energy is a special force, delicate though strong. Disappears if too forced out of hiding. Mixed with courage and some degree of risk can be a light and a fire.
My two cents. I hope I am right. Please tell what you think, I love these forums for this feedback.
Kathleen
Clone of Solstice 1.jpg

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 13 Dec 2011, 22:58
by ZigOtto
Kathleen wrote:... We all know creative energy is a special force, delicate though strong. Disappears if too forced out of hiding. Mixed with courage and some degree of risk can be a light and a fire.
I like your "two cents" ! :wink:

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 13 Dec 2011, 23:01
by Paul Fierlinger
The cost of software and hardware is the least of it. You won't be ready to take anything to market for several years, the rule of thumb being 10 years or 10,000 hours of animating. In your position it'll be a hard investment of time, and by the time you will be ready the technology and the market will have changed in leaps and bounds into directions nobody can even start guessing today.

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 01:59
by Kathleen
ZigOtto wrote:
Kathleen wrote:... We all know creative energy is a special force, delicate though strong. Disappears if too forced out of hiding. Mixed with courage and some degree of risk can be a light and a fire.
I like your "two cents" ! :wink:
Well, thanks, I think the journey is worth the effort, and the wait. 8)

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 02:23
by Kathleen
Paul Fierlinger wrote:The cost of software and hardware is the least of it. You won't be ready to take anything to market for several years, the rule of thumb being 10 years or 10,000 hours of animating. In your position it'll be a hard investment of time, and by the time you will be ready the technology and the market will have changed in leaps and bounds into directions nobody can even start guessing today.
Guess i better get crackin'! You helped me get started with the frames information, thanks for that - so now I feel 10 years is nuthin'! in ten years I will be ten years older whether I learn to animate or not :wink: You know what they say: the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. And I do appreciate the reality check -rather sobering thoughts, though not completely daunting :)
Hope I don't look like this guy in year 9!
IMG_8788.JPG
the bone's the thing.

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 03:01
by Paul Fierlinger
So what have you animated today and how many hours have you spent on it? Remember, you must animate for 10.00 hours. If you animate 12 hours a day you can pass 10.000 hrs in a little over 2 years.

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 03:16
by Kathleen
Paul Fierlinger wrote:So what have you animated today and how many hours have you spent on it? Remember, you must animate for 10.00 hours. If you animate 12 hours a day you can pass 10.000 hrs in a little over 2 years.
Ok, honestly, about an hour today, fiddling around in TVP and DigiCel - I know what you are saying, and I need a maid/peon/whatever :!: to do all the other life-stuff -or live in abject squalor, peanut butter only diet, etc., But seriously, I know what you are saying. My courses are over,tomorrow, AAS Graphic Design degree won, and my time is my own, unless someone actually hires me to freelance illustrate.... :roll:
G'night!

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 03:30
by idragosani
Kathleen wrote:Ok, honestly, about an hour today, fiddling around in TVP and DigiCel - I know what you are saying, and I need a maid/peon/whatever :!: to do all the other life-stuff -or live in abject squalor, peanut butter only diet, etc., But seriously, I know what you are saying. My courses are over,tomorrow, AAS Graphic Design degree won, and my time is my own, unless someone actually hires me to freelance illustrate.... :roll:
G'night!
Yeah, it would be feasible if it weren't for this goldanged day job!

Congrats on your degree, BTW!

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 08:13
by artfx
That is another important part of it. If you're not doing it full time, you have to balance your creative endeavors with the "day job" or "real life" or whatever term one wishes to apply to all the things that are not working on their dream animation project. Makes sense, then, to spend a bit more time to polish your skills and/or project to be certain then when you do launch, you make something memorable to launch with.

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 14:04
by Kathleen
artfx wrote:That is another important part of it. If you're not doing it full time, you have to balance your creative endeavors with the "day job" or "real life" or whatever term one wishes to apply to all the things that are not working on their dream animation project. Makes sense, then, to spend a bit more time to polish your skills and/or project to be certain then when you do launch, you make something memorable to launch with.
Yes, absolutely. and I must - the balance, since I have gone BACK, to college for this GD degree, has tipped in favor of the creativity. My priorities have become what some in the past have called "selfish" - and now I see that selfish is necessary. I don't like the word, though - rather bad connotations. I'll try to come up with a better one...
But I do agree with you - this has to be where I spend my time, pay my dues, earn my chops. This and all the TVPaint forums are very helpful to me in many ways... not the least is these words of wisdom from all of you in the field, and the feedback and the help!
Thanks, and keep up the strong work, I like it here!

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 14:10
by Kathleen
idragosani wrote:
Kathleen wrote:Ok, honestly, about an hour today, fiddling around in TVP and DigiCel - I know what you are saying, and I need a maid/peon/whatever :!: to do all the other life-stuff -or live in abject squalor, peanut butter only diet, etc., But seriously, I know what you are saying. My courses are over,tomorrow, AAS Graphic Design degree won, and my time is my own, unless someone actually hires me to freelance illustrate.... :roll:
G'night!
Yeah, it would be feasible if it weren't for this goldanged day job!

Congrats on your degree, BTW!
Thank you - I have loved almost every minute of it! This is my third degree (! :roll: ) and it is about time to settle down, don't you think? gads.
I think probably today today today I should make the big decision, today (!), and actually BUY the program.... gads, again, and gulp. :shock:

Re: Where is the Market?

Posted: 14 Dec 2011, 14:19
by Kathleen
Paul Fierlinger wrote:So what have you animated today and how many hours have you spent on it? Remember, you must animate for 10.00 hours. If you animate 12 hours a day you can pass 10.000 hrs in a little over 2 years.
BTW I love the artwork in Tulip....