Monday, December 30, 2013

Sorry I've been gone for SO long. Life has gotten in the way for the last few months but I am making my new year's resolution get this blog back in gear.

However, today I am going to share something from someone who has become a respected friend. He recently posted his thoughts about how hard it is for an American to get a job in the UK. So, below are his thoughts (which I support). Thank you, Richard Mark Bazley.

I have always believed that The English have far more in common with our American cousins than Europe. I am lucky enough to have a Green Card and know how hard it is for Americans to work in The UK which is a disgrace. We let anyone else in. We should open our borders with the USA not Europe! It would not cause an imbalance influx but a well balanced reciprocal arrangement.
According to the American Community Survey in 2009 data, Americans reporting English ancestry made up an estimated 9.0% of the total U.S. population, and form the third largest European ancestry group after German Americans and Irish Americans.[84] However, demographers regard this as an under count, as the index of inconsistency is high, and many, if not most, people from English stock have a tendency to identify simply as Americans[85][86][87][88] or, if of mixed European ancestry, nominate a more recent and differentiated ethnic group.[89]
In the 2000 United States Census, 24,509,692 Americans described their ancestry as wholly or partly English. In addition, 1,035,133 recorded British ancestry.[90]
In the 1980 United States Census, over 49 million (49,598,035) Americans claimed English ancestry, at the time around 26.34% of the total population and largest reported group which, even today, would make them the largest ethnic group in the United States.[91][92]

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cost of Producing Animation

If you’ve worked in animation for any length of time, I am sure someone has said to you, “I have this great idea for an animation, how much will it cost?” When I hear that question I take a deep breath because yet again I will take time to answer a very complex question. It’s like asking a building contractor how much it costs to build a house, without knowing anything about construction–How many bedrooms? Do you want paint, brick, or stone? Do you want a double oven in the kitchen? How many bathrooms? I spend time explaining the animation process, how the costs vary, etc. So here, I will explain it to those who are new to the industry.

When building a house you usually start with...not the drawings...the BUDGET!  Surprise! The first thing you have to ask yourself is how much do you have to spend? Animation costs vary with style, length, number of characters, complexity of the backgrounds, how fast you need it, etc. I hesitate to put any numbers out but on the LOW end animation costs start around $15K per finished minute for a simple animation. If you think that is high, consider Croods  cost an estimated cost an estimated $135 million to produce. It was 98 minutes so that means it cost $1.4 million PER MINUTE, which is on the low side considering that Toy Story 3 cost out at $1.94 million PER MINUTE and that is before ANY MARKETING costs!

BUT, you say, I have a son, niece, or cousin going to school for animation and you’ve written a script!  Okay, great. First, have you ever written for film or animation before?  And your relative...they are going to do the animation, RIGHT?  Let’s consider, just for argument sake, that an experienced animator takes five days to create seven seconds… (no, not minutes). If you are going to pay their wages for the number of weeks/months/years it will take so they can pay their rent/utilities, phone, car, groceries, purchase equipment/software, etc., not to mention their healthcare…okay, I think you get the point.

Also…animation isn’t just about the art. There are producers, directors, writers, composers, editors, voice talent, bookkeeping, legal and more needed to produce seconds of animation. SO, the next time you consider asking someone to give you a quote for turning your idea into an animation, ask yourself, how much would it cost you for a few months of work…Now, are are you ready to make that call?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Outside the Box

I've often said that I am an "out-of-the-box" thinker.  Yet, sometimes I think that while I claim it, I still fall under the same old paradigms that trap many of us.  Take animation, for instance, it is a way to tell stories using drawn character, for the screen (television, film, etc.) and yet, it is so much more.  And it wasn't until recently, when I've been contemplating the future of Studio Kinate, that I realized the "box" I had built.  Animation isn't just characters telling a story, it is, as Mr. Disney once suggested, a medium with which to conquer worlds!

 I admire Moonbot for how they are beginning to crack through that invisible wall with their short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.  They brought animation into a book and are currently working on an interesting "noir" project with Sony.  There is also a cute story from a French company that is an "interactive" story called, "The Witch with No Name.  Personally, I can see that animation, storytelling, will be combined with technology to form new ways to entertain and educate. There are SO many worlds for us to envision and produce.  We as creative professionals have only scratched the surface of what we can create using animation and technology.  So, let me encourage you today, to put away your preconceived ideas and expand your creative mind, challenge yourself to create outside the box.  Also, remember that just because you're not an animator, there are many ways to create.  Join with artist who draw, musicians, editors, designers, programmers, pool your creativity and serve it piping hot to the world!

So, go and create.  Until next time, this is Momma bear,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm BACK! Review of Brave

Filmomania image of Brave
As much as I love horses, had to choose this picture of
Angus from Brave. Photo from Filmomainia.
It has been a long time since I've written anything so I decided it is time to get back in the habit of posting something related to Studio Kinate and the animation industry.  So, I will begin getting back with a little something about the movie Brave.  

First, I like Brave.  It has been a long time since I've looked forward to owning a DVD/Blu-Ray, but I will look forward to owning this one.  Not just because it is "Pixar's first female lead" but because it is a good film and a great story.  Written by Brenda (Chapman) (I don't know why she wasn't able to finish directing the film), I feel as a mother--with a daughter--I could relate to the mother/daughter dynamics.  It's a good family film, although parts may be too scary for preschool children. 

I thought the visuals were stunning and really take you into Merida's world. I loved all the colors and textures. I've never been to Scotland but it is on my bucket list!  I thought the storytelling was strong and comedy was appropriate and helped breakup some of the tension.  I would suggest a tissue or two... 

If you haven't seen Brave, go.  Bring your sons; they will love the humor (and big sisters will relate to the little It isn't a "chic flick" just because it is about a princess..!  

Okay, sorry I've been gone so long.  You can always check out the Studio Kinate FB page and Twitter for posting related to animation, films and related current topics.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Lion King's Success NOT 3D

I just got done reading an article about the success of Lion King 3D and it infuriated me.  Okay, I will admit to going to see it NOT because I wanted to see it in 3D but because I wanted to see it.  We took our 10 year old grand son, who enjoyed the film but kept taking off the glasses because they were giving him a headache.  I watched parents with younger children, letting them watch the film WITHOUT the glasses because little ones don't like to wear them thus frustrating parents and the youngsters.  

SO, Disney, WHY?  Why waste time and money converting a beautiful film into something we are FORCED to watch in 3D.  As a grandparent, I will have second thoughts about taking younger viewers to go see any other classics because I don't want to subject them to seeing the film destroyed since they won't wear the glasses!  In the words of my grandson..., "Oma, why didn't they just add extra scenes or something like that rather than make it 3D?  

So, again Disney?  WHY?

Okay, that's the end of my rant.  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Illusionist: My comments

As I watched this beautifully crafted movie, I was amazed at the artistry but disappointed at the lack of story.  So what is the purpose of creating a film? Is it for the art? Or is it for the story.  

For me, it must be a combination.  Without the art, you lose the visuals, without the story, you lose the heart.  And since I don't want to say much more than that, I will say that if you want to see the film in the theater, okay. You will enjoy the art.  Otherwise, stay home and watch it when it comes out on DVD.  Then rent it, unless you like to collect art....

Until next time, keep your imagination, unlimited.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tangled: Char's review

I've now seen Tangled four times, twice in 3D (stereoscopic) and twice in standard.  In my opinion, it was a beautiful film and I LOVED it in the standard version.  Frankly, I find 3D to be distracting AND dull.  I'm not talking about the story, I'm mean the image on the screen.   The CG characters looked like dolls but it was still a good fairytale.  There were aspects of the movie that I felt made the story predictable, mainly the boat scene (ala Little Mermaid) and a scene that has been used in Beauty and the Beast and Princess and the Frog  (not to mention a DreamWorks film).  Though I love traditional animation (whether hand drawn or "tradigital"), I thought the CG was beautifully executed.  The story was rich (unlike Princess and the Frog), the music was awesome (reminded me of other Disney films), and the characters had heart! But, WHY CG?
CG normally costs at least twice as much as to produce traditional animation.  Compare the two recent "princess" films. Tangled had an estimated $260M budget while The Princess and the Frog had a budget of $105M. Though, The Princess and the Frog wasn't a considered a box office success, it did bring in $267M internationally. Time will tell if Tangled will be able to exceed other recent Disney films but it has a long way to go to beat the record of other films released in 2010.  Personally, I feel the film would have been more beautiful in traditional animation, the budget would have been lower and the film would be a bigger financial success.  I believe that this was a missed opportunity for Disney to prove that it isn't technique but story that is the box office draw.   
Still, it is a beautiful film.  I loved the use of camera shots and I LOVED the humor. I paid close attention to the audience, everyone, including the guys were enjoying this film.  There was healthy humor and everyone laughed.  My favorite scene is the dance scene because  movement and music was AWESOME and made me wish for more (this movie will transition to the stage very well, although I'm not sure how they will create the character of Max...).
Bottom line: If you haven't seen it yet, please watch Tangled
See you next year and as always, keep your imagination unlimited