Thursday, June 30, 2011

Random Thoughts On Art And Commerce #1

As long as animation is treated purely as a manufactured product, the art of animation will never develop past what it has been in the past.

However, I recognize the need to make money with the sale of an animated project. Budgets are always a problem, but for the most part, the money is usually spent in the wrong areas. To me, the most important areas are story, design, and the planning of key animation scenes.

There is never a reason to pay outlandish salaries for "famous" voices. The voices of famous actors don't carry an animated film, which should be unfolding its story pictorially. Actors with solid deliveries will do perfectly well.

I'm not against voices with unique qualities...I'm against paying 30% of the film's budget to hire that voice.



  1. I agree completely. The artists/animators are the ones doing all the hard work in an animation, so they should be getting the lion's share of the budget.

  2. Did Eddie Murphy bring in more money to Shrek than he cost?

    Is it possible to answer such a question definitively?

  3. Well, there is no way to answer that question definitively.

    I will say that his vocal performance was very entertaining. However, if the physical animation of his character was poorly done, or the story itself fell flat, etc, his "vocal" performance alone would not have been enough to bring in the big bucks.

    The chances of a big budget movie turning a profit is never guaranteed. Sometimes you win, most times you lose.

    There are so many elements that go into the successful production of an animated film that to rely on any one of those elements is fool-hardy.

    That's my opinion as someone who has to deal with how to get the biggest bank for the buck.

  4. I meant: "...biggest BANG for the buck."

  5. Unfortunately, the animators' names won't sell the film. Eddie Murphy's name - regardless of the quality or length of his performance - will help sell the film.

    It ain't perfect, but that's the system we play in.

  6. Oh yes, I agree that the animators' names won't sell the film. I also acknowledge that the system has its many imperfections and that, for the longest time, there has been only this one system to work within.

    The point I am trying to make is that films don't need "big box office voices" to be extremely entertaining; and that having an all-star cast of names in and of itself doesn't guarantee that the movie will be successful.

    I have been working for the past five years at developing a different business model of getting animation to the marketplace. With the launch of the first Go Go Gorillas Fun Center, my company has taken the first solid step towards doing so.

    We'll just have to patiently wait and see how things develop.

  7. I don't mind box office voices if they are good voices for animation ... Eddie Murphy portrays good characters on live action film, as does Robin Williams and they know how to use their voice to personify a character. Other actors, while they may be distinctive because of their good looks in live action, are poor animation actors, as they are more or less using their "live action" voice and it sounds dull and unmemorable as an animation character.