During my time away, I worked with another startup. Completely unrelated to animation. The sad part, while I was away, I wouldn't say I lost interest in animation. But it wasn't in the front of my mind. In retrospect, I feel sad that I allowed that to happen.
You can now see why I didn't post to this blog. I simply didn't care. This thing has always just been something I did every once in a while in boredom. But, when I was having this hiatus from animation, I had absolutely zero interest in posting here.
As this other job wound down, I talked with a friend who is going through a similar experience. He has been in animation a long time. Like me, he loves it - it has been his whole life. But, he has interests outside of animation too. He is an animator, and a very good one at that. But, it turns out he has another talent I didn't know about it. He is tinkering with the idea of getting funding to build that business. However, it will take him farther away from his lifelong career in animation. One that started in his teens (he is now in his 40's). It is just about the only thing he has ever known.
I could hear it in his voice. He is confused and not sure what to do. On one hand, he loves animation and everything about it. On the other, this new business is technically very challenging and requires a lot of problem solving. Something that he enjoys (besides being a CG animator, he has been instrumental in a few studio pipelines). Another plus is that the potential earnings are astronomical in comparison to 99% of those working in the animation industry will ever see.
I wish I had an answer. But hell, I can't even help myself. I floated the idea of going with the new business for a while. See what comes of it. If he can be even somewhat competitive in this small field, he could fund a movie himself. Go this new route and thrive with the new challenges. Maybe you can return to animation and create your own film in several years. He had already considered the same thing. Only time will tell what he decides. If he pursues this new thing, I'll try to help him find his seed money.
If you were hoping to read a post on the state of the industry, sorry. Maybe next time. I'm still catching up with friends to get a feel for things myself. Check back soon.