Saturday, March 04, 2006

Around The Horn

There haven't been many posts lately, and for that, I apologize. Work has gotten busy and I just have not found the time to write anything. In fact, this will be pretty brief itself.

This is going to be a big year for CG films. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. The recent flop of Doogal was no surprise, however the relative success of Hoodwinked was. Congratulations to the team that put it together. I hope that the next round will have a high enough budget to keep the work in the States. As any reader of my blog, you probably have gathered that I don't have a problem with low budget productions, just the outsourcing of those projects to other countries. Just a note or two... I've had some conversations with people regarding Hoodwinked and although the budget for the CG was pretty small, the other tangibles were not. This film will be lucky to break even after it leaves theaters when it is all said and done. However, that is not too unusual for a film. Just wanted to note that it is not a runaway low budget (relative dollar wise) block buster. I think we will continue to see more Hoodwinked films with super low budgets. However, I think the majority will fit in the 25-40 Million area. This seems to be the sweet spot right now for these entry level studios or those not trying to immitate Pixar/Disney/DreamWorks/SPA/Blue Sky.

Speaking of entry level studios. Over the months, I have mentioned little blurbs here and there about a new CG feature animation studio opening in LA. I've had talks with those in the know about this endeavor and things are still on track. In fact, I've heard that funding is almost complete. Their financial needs are much more than just a film or two. I'm really biting my lip here and want to blab about it. But, I'll restrain myself. This studio will ramp up very quickly once the funding comes in and their CG feature budgets will be north of $90 million per film. They are currently evaluating several potential stories. At least one of them is very well known in the animation community and, in my opinion, is a very hot property. I think it will be one of those stories that a lot of people will really want to work on and have wanted to see happen for a long time. It will be interesting to watch this company sprout up and see how fast (or not) it can get into gear. If you are in LA and aren't happy with your current situation, or maybe you want to jump up the ladder (or looking for an excuse to get out here). Get your reels revved up. I have a feeling hiring could start around June.

There is not a whole lot to say regarding the Pixar/Disney thing. It still has not officially happened. And until it does, I don't think a lot will be happening. Lasseter immediately removed TS3 from Disney's clutches, and really, that was probably his number one agenda. Things will cool off until the deal is completed. Then watch for more cuts.

That is it for today. Hopefully I will have more time to write in the next week.

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