Questions about hiring animators

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Questions about hiring animators

Post by HappyAnimator » 21 May 2014, 03:47

Hi, I have some questions about hiring animators for an independent project I'm working as I don't know where to begin and thought I could get some feedback here to get started.

Ive been working on a 2d animated short for the past two years and am contemplating hiring someone to help for a couple of shots so I can hit my self imposed deadline of being done by the end of the year. The style of anim is similar to plympton, mostly 4's , 6's with a lot of holds. Looking for roughs that I'll probably clean up and color on my own.

My questions are:

1. What do people typically get paid if they are decently skilled (or is there a site to research this better).
2. Is it wiser to pay hourly or per shot?
3. How much footage do you expect of someone if they are a trained 2d artist? (i.e. if i pay for a week , do you expect 30 seconds for mostly single character half body shots?)
4. Besides the board here where have people fond the best success finding people?

Thank you!

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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Questions about hiring animators

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 21 May 2014, 09:10

My answer might not be what you want to hear, but it is more important to first find a person with whom you can get along with than how much you should expect it to cost you. I've been paid top prices (and soon quit) by people with whom I could not get along with, and I've been paid next to nothing to help out someone for whom I found much empathy. It is like searching for a lifetime partner and asking, 'Where do I go to find a person I can fall in love with?"

My suggestion is that you first take some personal risks by telling the world of animators who you are, showing samples of your work and describe what your goals are for your film once finished. A good start to explore the world of 2D animators should be right here, on a forum of the best software for 2D animation.

BTW, the price range for a skilled animator for hire is anywhere from $1,000 per second to next to nothing. Think about it this way: a skilled animator who gets along with many people very easily probably does not have too much trouble finding work and will expect a decent living wage, plus some to hold them over till they find the next gig. Someone too eager to take up on your offer probably won't be the most experienced animal in the woods and will come with hopes of gaining some experiences for him/herself.

And one last BTW: to spend two years animating in 4s and 6s on a short and still not be finished is indeed slow, slow, slow. To rough out 30 seconds in a week of that type of animation requires about 100 sketches or less. A skilled animator should be able to do that in a day or two, depending on the complexity of the character. So it's not the animator's time you are paying for but the skills acquired by spending 10,000 hours doing nothing else but animating.
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Re: Questions about hiring animators

Post by HappyAnimator » 21 May 2014, 11:26

thanks for the advice Paul. Yes its indeed moving at a snails pace right now, mainly because I only get to work on it maybe 5-8 hours a week between a full time CG animating gig and family, not to mention never drawing much before this =) Definetly why Id rather pay for someone skilled who can churn out quickly. Thanks again!

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Re: Questions about hiring animators

Post by slowtiger » 21 May 2014, 19:43

My advice is to pay enough to make a living. If you hire me for a month, then I expect to get the money to cover my expenses (rent, food, tax, electricity etc) of that month. It's up to you how well you communicate (storyboard, script, additional material) so you could get the most of your animator. And do't forget he/she must be able to replicate your style.
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Re: Questions about hiring animators

Post by Animark » 22 May 2014, 06:17

Hallo Happy Animator,

I am with Paul's ideas about finding the right partner for your project, but it could be hard to manage this, specially when you're not a member of your local animation pack. For asking in forums etc I think it is a good idea to have:
- some picture of look and feel
- some end product infos
- storyline (or something else)
- some words about yout marketing strategies ot whatever you like to do with the finnished project
- some links to other films you made before
- some links to films as examples for the style you are aiming at

Normally I get payed on a daily rate between 200,- and 500,- Euro, depending on the power and the kind of the client (independent, big company, ...). In Germany it is also usual to pay the animators based on their output of animated seconds getting into the final product. Completely independent from directors decisions about new perspectives, changing characters and so on. For a lot of animators (only in germany?) it is normal, to animate a scene three times but get payed only for one time. For me, that is a no go, but maybe this information helps you when calculating your project ;-).
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