Before you click away from this article. Give a few minutes of time to read. Sounds like a daunting process? To some, it may be due to other factors. Love animating? Wish to bring your ideas to life in animation? Hear me out. In this Fifteen (15), patent pending, step making process, I’ll suggest how you just could do it. And even include links too. Maybe even talk a little about crowdfunding.
Okay, I was just kidding about it being a patent pending, Fifteen (15) Steps. But, this is what I have discovered over my years as a creative. Even an investor myself, to others who were looking for enlightenment.
On a side note, before delving deeper into what I have to say, check out what BUZZFEED posted about animators. (15 of them to be exact) I’m getting better at being patient. So, I’ll wait until you return. Even Essence Cartoon has their animation workflow that they follow. While I finish the next two paragraphs, feel free to go (Here) and read about them.
Cue On Hold and Waiting Music…
Music is still playing…
Are you ready to proceed? I know I am. So, here we go. Ways to get funding. You’ll need a few additional items. First. A small bucket or large rubber boot. A small bucket or large rubber boot. Visual aids (possibly, your storyboards). Small sandwiches and a drink. This will help keep up your strength. Food will fuel you, assisting to keep you on the creative path. Stand outside a theater, mall or even a busy street corner, a catchy chant could assist in getting attention and then, start watching the money roll in.
Now, if you actually get your funding that way. I’ll give you determination credit. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Patreon and even networking with friends or business contacts, was what I was referring to. These aforementioned are crowdfunding options. What is crowdfunding? Well, let me put it simply.
Crowdfunding is pitching a project to the public via the internet. People view your project. If they find it intriguing, they can choose different funding levels, you can set up then they donate to the project. Be prepared, in this world, not everyone like to give away their money. Crowdfunding projects usually give back to backers, perks or trinkets that will entice people to donate even more to the budget.
As you do move forward, great rewards. Remember that. One important factor, allow as many patrons, a way at the lowest possible cost to you, to get a digital download of the project. Animation must be seen in motion. Remember that, please.
Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are straight crowdfunding. You create a project. Get people interested. When successful, funding is given to create it. If not (but that is not why you are here, to fail, right?) no-one loses any money. Providing updates will keep them wanting more. Please don’t wait on the updates. People like to see progress, especially, in the case of milestone give a reasonable date for completion.
One never knows from one day to the next, what it will bring. Life can be hard but never give up. Keep developing those creative ideas. BUT, don’t create such a great idea that you get the funding and take time even a couple of years to deliver that project. The average person will not stand for it. Be the better person and deliver a great project on time. Consider software for animation production by Toon Boom Animation Software, the makers of (Harmony and Storyboard Pro), just to name a couple.
One person I was able to get a few questions in to was Chance Raspberry. His project, Little Billy, the world’s first and only animated series about neurodiversity, special needs, and the power of being different (created by a Simpsons animator with Tourette Syndrome!)
Q: How did you approach crowdfunding to your project(s)?
A: Due to all the interference, delays, rules, and limitations of traditional pitching to networks or executives (the “old-fashioned” way), I knew crowdfunding was the best way to go for a project like mine the demands a certain level of creative control, freedom, honesty, sincerity, and quality. I wanted my vision to maintain its form, message, and purpose, so I knew I would have to create its beginnings myself with funds from fans.
Once I decided to launch the first Kickstarter for Little Billy, I took some great advice from a great friend and made up my mind to put everything else on hold – you have to make your campaign the entire project and give it 100% focus if you want to ensure its success; just like a full-time job.
Q: What avenues did you consider first, second, third?
A: I was originally planning to pitch first and try anything else second. I spent years trying to get my Little Billy project to a “finished enough” state to pitch it because in the animation/entertainment industry, the common “rule” is that the more locked down a project is, the less likely it is to be changed from its original state.
If the network/studio/company you pitch to likes it for what it is, they’ll likely want to work with you to maintain what they like about it. What I eventually learned is that it’s also MUCH harder to sell a show or get a deal if your project is too locked down because the people paying to have it made (the people you pitch to) want to be involved and in control of every phase/aspect of the project’s growth, process, and progress.
It’s part enthusiasm, part ego, part self-preservation, and part fear. No one wants something they supported to fail (especially if their name is tied to it). So, the need to control or decide most/all things kicks in and if you’re not very careful. You can wind up having your idea become someone else’s or selling a show.
This is where lose all your copyrights and ownership of it. And to even most likely to have it shelved and never made. All these pitfalls are what finally drove me to make crowdfunding my first choice. Rather than it being my backup or last resort. With crowdfunding, you can literally avoid ALL these problems and make the project you and your fans actually want – your way!
Q: Was it a good experience or were there obstacles in your way to funding, if so, what were some examples of them?
A: Crowdfunding is an amazingly POSITIVE experience! It does come with challenges just like anything else, but none of them outweigh the benefits of calling your own shots with crowdfunding – at least for me. Most good examples of these challenges are unforeseen delays with product/reward fulfillment, confused or impatient backers (which is no one’s fault and can happen to anyone), etc.
Despite these obstacles, I highly recommend crowdfunding for anyone who loves to create. It has high standards for personal creative freedom and quality. Nothing ismore fulfilling than for an independent artist and the creation of their own independent economy to sustain themselves!
Chance’s Campaign, which is headed down the final stretch can be found, here. LittleBilly.com
Patreon is crowdfunding. But in a different way. Think way back to The Renaissance, say Florence, Italy, to be specific. Persons like Leonardo DA Vinci, Donatello and Michelangelo, to name a few. Wealthy families would contract or give patronage to these artists. It would help fund and sustain them while they produced works of art or projects for the public or even just the patrons themselves. They would look in and see how their money is being spent and enjoy what was being produced.
Well, in the digital age, it’s basically the same with Patreon. Patrons don’t need to leave their homes, if they don’t want. It’s delivered to their own homes via email or “LIVE BROADCASTS” from an artist’s studio. With Patreon, levels of patronage, will grant or unlock what the patrons will see or receive in return for their generosity.
And if and when, enough people flock to your project, you just might get that mighty project completed.
Don’t wait. Go out and create. I’ll even wait to hear from any of you on what was accomplished.