Monday, November 17, 2008

Mass Scam.. err, I mean Animation

This Facebook short animation project went live today. I browsed around the interface and found that technically, it was put together rather well. And yes, I signed up for Facebook just to check it out.

You can view the animatic and download assets quite easily. Not shabby for a glitzy site such as this.

Unfortunately, the story itself sucks. This is what happens when an executive one day wakes up and decides he is a director. Go watch the reel and let me know if you can stay awake for the entire thing. It reeks of crappiness. (On a non-story note, considering the talent that is behind the music, you'd expect a little more. It was uninspiring and felt flat as a pancake.)

I hate, with a passion when objects like a guitar or violin are deformed like that. It just comes off as rubbery crap. This project is filled to the gills with it. Approached correctly, it could look decent. However, judging by the renders on the Facebook page, the director is interested in stretchy and gooey nonsense.

The good news is, if you are one of the lucky 107 or so animators that are selected to have your shot included in the finished piece, you will receive $500 for your time. That probably works out to around $5 or $10 an hour. Not bad!! (sarcasm)

The bad news is, there will probably be thousands of entries competiting for the 107 selected shots. You'll probably be doing a whole lot of something for a whole lot of nothing. Think about this. You could be the world's best animator and your shot will be rejected, because the majority of shots may be horrible. In order to keep continuity, your masterpiece will be discarded in order to maintain suckiness.

Initially I thought this was a rather cool idea. Upon further self examination. This was a selfish thought coming from the business side of my brain. Sure, this is great! For everyone except the artist. Dell, Aniboom, Autodesk, Reel FX, and other companies walk away with some publicity, and the director and judges get their egos stroked.

But for the "Mass" that will put the real work into this. You'll get very little. This is yet another trick that a producer came up with to get you to work for peanuts. I urge you to resist any temptation to work on Mass Animation. If you are an established artist, instead spend time with your kids, your spouse, your girlfriend/boyfriend, or your pets. If you are a newbie trying to get reel material, instead, spend that time animating a more dialogue driven piece. If you're trying to break into the business, get your head examined, this is not going to do it for you. You'll be forgotten along with the 106 other knuckleheads that had their shots accepted.

I strongly recommend that you avoid this project like the scam that it is.


Anonymous said...

Since the script for MA has very little commercial potential, this could just be a proof of concept. What MA or any other studio might be looking at is whether there exists enough quality animators in the market to produce an animated feature. Otherwise, what is the point of this exercise?

Anonymous said...

i think you are awesome, i wish everyone would speak their mind like this...correction: i wish everyone could speak their mind like this and still find work.

Anonymous said...

I also think that this is a proof of concept experiment since MA is running quite an inefficient process by requesting multiple submissions per shot. Another clue is the simplicity of the characters (no eyes, fingers, human forms, dialogue).