Hello readers and my Reese's Pieces. Welcome back to my blog. Before we get started, some self promotion. My short film 'Quiet' is finally on YouTube! This bad boy has been played in a couple of festivals and screenings in the past year. I have a lot to be grateful for with 'Quiet'. It got me started on producing shorts again, it made me familiarize myself with Tvpaint, it forced me to use my time wisely and gave me experience in participating in festivals. Now the little guy is available for all to see whenever you want, without having to view it exclusively on my website. I hope you guys continue to enjoy 'Quiet' and my other short films.
This week's blog is going to be a wee bit different. Today I will go over a few of the most commonly asked questions I've received over the many month's I've been releasing my animation. I don't want to give off the impression I'm some kind of hot shot, but I think people feel comfortable asking me certain questions and I would like to take some time to address them with better written responses. I do care about my fans/ Reese's pieces so I want to start taking some time to engage more directly with them. Also, this would be a good time to mention it but, if you have any questions about me or my art, please send me a message! I'm on most major social networks but if you're not, email me! I take the time to read every comment that's posted toward me. I know everyone says that, but I actually mean it. With all of that said, let's get started!
Q. What program(s) do you use?
A. I use a couple of programs. Here is a list of programs and their purpose in my workflow:
Photoshop - Still art (backgrounds, character designs, etc.)
Tvpaint - Hand drawn animation
After effects - Compositing, puppet animation, video exporting
Pro tools - Sound design
Sound miner HD plus- Sound library searching, archiving, meta data
Magix music maker - Music creation
GarageBand (iPad) - Music creation
I also plan on purchasing toonboom sometime within the next couple of years due to their rigging/ puppeting system being more flexible than after effects.
Q: Who does the music in your films
A: I do. I make all the music in Magix music maker after I finish animating the short. I also do all of the sound design. Essentially, unless stated otherwise in the credits - I do everything in my films.
Q: How long does it take for you to make a short?
A: it depends on the length and complexity of the short. A 'short film' can take upwards to 3 months or half a year. A mini will take about a month or two and a shorty will usually fall underneath a week.
Q: I love your work, lets collab!
A: This is a bit tricky. Usually before I invest my time in collabs, I try to do a few things. First, I try to have a library of content stockpiled in case the collab gets delayed or something. Second, I need to know the terms of the collab as I'd want such an endeavor to be split down the middle and to be as fair as possible. That means same amount of work (or whatever the closest equivalent would be), shared costs and so on. There's also logistic issues - how I plan to fit the production into my schedule, communication and so on. The best way to communicate with me about collabs is to send me an email at email@example.com.
Q: I love your work, can I assist you on future projects?
A:First off, let me say I'm flattered. In the past few months I've had several people ask to help me on future films in some form or another. The most important part here is that I don't really wan help if I can't properly compensate you. I've had people want to help me for free, but that doesn't really feel right to me, I don't want to take advantage of your time and not give you some form of compensation. Be it food, money a gift card or something. Another important piece of info is that currently, I take pride in doing all of my shorts by myself. Now, there will come a time I will need help, and I will put out a notice for when that time arises, but until than, the best way you can help me out is with sharing my work with your friends. Now understandably you'd be more inclined to share with your friends if you've worked on a project, but for now I need to work in a way where I have more control over the outcome. This is not saying you're not talented, but until I feel I can use the extra hands properly and set up a proper workflow for additional people, I am more comfortable doing the shorts on my own. I do have a time planned for when I will seek additional help, so don't fret, you'll be able to help me one day!
Q: I love what you're doing, I can't pay you for your work, but do you want to make something for me?
A: No. The answer is also no if you can pay but the amount isn't reasonable.
Q: I can pay you, do you want to work together?
A: it depends in all honesty. I have a source of income currently so I'm not in any rush to do freelance. That said, if I have a nice library of animation stockpiled and I'm given 5-6 months+ of production and you're easy to work with, I can consider working with you.
Q: Can you animate this? (Fanart)
A: I will not be putting explicit fanart on my YouTube. To be more specific I will not make something like 'Spider-Man goes to the movies'. There may be some shout outs in some shorts or my characters may dress up as another character I'm a fan of, but the video content I create will come from a place of originality first. Basically, I don't want to develop an audience via someone else's ip. There's a lot of problems with going that route and I would rather create something from scratch and leave a little nod here or there, than dedicate a ton of time working on characters that don't belong to me. There's plenty of that on the internet already.
Q: Why do you only release one short film a month?
A: The short answer is because I know this is a schedule I can commit to and keep up with. The long answer is that while technically I can release more content in a month, the size of my audience doesn't justify that kind of investment yet. These shorts take a lot of time and I'm doing it all for free now, so I have to make income a certain way like working a job or diversifying my stock portfolio. I also want a social life, and be happy - maybe find a nice girl. You know, enjoy the simple things in life. Producing one animation a month is the perfect work, life and art balance I can ask for. There's not a lot of pressure anymore or time to stay on a strict schedule. One day, I would like to live off of my animation work exclusively, but until that day comes this is how it's going to be.
Q: Can you make more complex shorts? I want to see you flex!
A: Hell yeah I can! That said, larger shorts take a much, much longer time to produce so there may be 1 of those high quality - 3+ minute films once every year or every other year. Because I don't have the time I used to have for producing a short, I have to develop it way in advance and work on it a little each day. Don't worry though, I have a lot of bombs to drop.
That's all folks
So that's going to be it for now, I might do another one of these in the near future as I get more common questions, but at the moment I can't quite think of anything else. Thanks for reading!