Who is Char?

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We moved to Michigan in 2014 and fell in love with the scenery and the people. In 2016, we attended a Keuring event, which is a judging venue of Friesian foals, mares, and stallions. We were awestruck. We had only admired the horses in movies and were overwhelmed by their beauty up close. As spectators, we had tons of questions about the horses and the event and found the community willing to educate us. While talking to owners we soon learned that there was a need to support them and others in the equine industry with digital marketing and video support, so we’ve made that our mission.

We both love horses, we love road trips and we’d been looking for a way to work together. Seemed like a match made in heaven. SO, here we are, pooling our talents and passion, along with friends in the creative and tech industries, ready to support those in the Equine industry, starting with our Friesian friends.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Studio Kinate: "Field of Dreams" Part I

Part I: "If you build it, they will come."
I love the movie, Field of Dreams and when I was watching it the other night I started thinking about the three "tasks" that Ray had to complete in light of my dream to build Studio Kinate.
"If you build it [they] will come"; "ease [their] pain"; and "go the distance."

When I started this journey, I was spurred into action by the young animators I had come to know at my job as manager of the Mason Media Lab.  They had talent and ability but getting jobs after college was difficult at best.  Part of the problem was that their educators didn't prepare them.  Many institutes do not understand how to prepare artists for the field.  They can prepare doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers, but these same institutes have NO idea how to prepare animators to work in the industry.  (I'll table that soapbox for now). I loved working with these artists and they enjoyed working for me.  When they commented that they wished they could work for me fulltime, I thought about my dreams.  I had wished I could be an animator but that dream was beyond my reach (artistic instincts, yes, able to draw, NO).  But what about an employer? Then I started researching and I realized that I had put my dream in a box called "animator." What about building a studio?

Build a studio, okay, how crazy is that!  I'd need millions of dollars, right? Then I started thinking, how much would it really take?  Money I didn't have, but I'm a farm girl so I was willing to work for it.  I would find those with  money who would love to be part of an animation studio.  Others have squandered many millions!  But this studio has to be unique.

Studio Kinate is unique; so is the woman in charge.  If I built it, what would it look like? What would make it different from those studios already in existence?  HELLO!  Wo-Man!  LOL  First major difference!  Okay, I know that's obvious, but as a woman I look at business differently.  I am a nurturer; relationships are VERY important to me.  So my studio has to be about the ones who create the stories, the worlds, the characters.  After all, without that talent, what's the point.  I also know how to get by on less but that does NOT mean I sacrifice quality.  Producing Pete's Odyssey proved that we could do more with less.  It also proved that if you set high expectations, people will rise to meet them.  Those young people in NJ did the work of professional animators because we expected of them and with Larry Lauria at the helm, they did amazing work.

Second, location: VIRGINIA?  REALLY crazy, right? WRONG! I thought it would be difficult to ask people to move to this area until I learned that there are a number of veteran animators as well as young talent already here and more who have lost jobs in NY/CA either because of closing, downsizing or outsourcing who would love to move here.  Virginia has a lot to offer, including a technology corridor.  It is great for families.  Close to the Nation's Capitol, rich in history.  (BTW--I'm from Washington State, which I LOVE but Virginia is my new home).

Technology!  Yep, we have our own technology corridor and thanks to tech advances there is a whole new realm available to Studio Kinate, both in production and HOW we produce.  Paperless drawing, painting, sketching, editing, recording, you name it...and while I still love to watch artists use paper, paints, pencils, etc., (those will always have a place in our productions) there are now tools that allow us to digitize the art.  Videoconferencing is also a valuable tool, enabling animators to telecommute.  Face time is extremely important and will be required, but they won't always have to be in the office to produce OR mentor.

Community/Family.  THIS is a BIG one and very important to me.  When I gave up my paying job to build Studio Kinate, like Ray in Field of Dreams, my family and I sacrificed a great deal. But this isn't about me, it is about them.  In the movie, it was about Ray's father.  "If you build it, he will come."  He did, and they are.  Over the last couple of months, I have been amazed at the people I've gotten to know.  I am learning that these artist's are very close.  They watch out for each other.  They love family and community.  Many teach, they love the idea of mentoring.  I know there are "showboats" out there, but I've met the most genuine people, professionals who are becoming fast friends.

And so, I have built it and they are coming.  My "brain trust" is taking shape and very soon, we will make some amazing announcements.  As always, I cherish your thoughts, advice and prayers.  Studio Kinate isn't about me, never will be, it is about the stories and the storytellers, both known and yet to be. My advice to you, be willing to modify your dream, take a leap of faith and as always, let your imagination be unlimited!

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