I am (we are) doing something.

I’m doing something. With some friends. But also all people I’ve never met. Some colleagues, then. That’s the word I tend to use for all of the animators I know only through Twitter or Vimeo or Facebook or just plain email. That’s about 99.999% of the animators I know. And, in fact, I’ve never met another animator in real life who regularly makes independent, non-commercial work. That’s what I generally mean when I use the term “indie animator”. But the people I chat with online, people like Charles Huettner, Eimhin McNamara and Eamonn O’neill, these people are very important to me. They’re my people, I suppose. And this thing that I do is the thing that they do, and that makes it the thing we do.

We do.

We. Do.

Together.

Animation in the online sphere is still a young thing. There was a time when it was all about fests and possible distribution and screenings and such. All of those are still important and vital, but right now all of the best animation I’ve seen in recent years has been seen online the day the creator releases it, which is often the day it’s finished. It’s personal, immediate, actually creative and very much of a specific voice. It’s almost redundant to talk about the death of the gatekeeper and the rise of the curator. But for people like me who never had a chance getting past those gates before, it feels really good to run through them. And we do that individually most of the time. But maybe we should do it together more often. Because the things we make mean something. To us, and to others.

So I’m doing something with some colleagues. It’s the earliest of early days, but I think it has the potential to be something special. To be something you’ll want to know about. But you won’t know about it for a bit, at least not much for a couple of months. But when it happens you can say “Oh THAT was what he was talking about”. And hopefully you’ll be saying it with a massive smile on your face.

 

 

Was that vague enough?

3 comments

  • 11/11/2012 at 8:34 pm // Reply

    Hi Scott – I read this a few month back, and the words stuck in my head – its only now that I have replayed – I did festivals this year with my short, and recently I put it online – For me it feels the same issues existe both on and offline – There are still gate keepers, when you put a film online its pretty much ignored, you have to work hard to get it scene you have to hope that ‘gatekeepers’ share it. Its just different.

    I also found seeing screenings of my film incredibly interesting. The experience of watching peoples reaction to the work is not to be under estimated I promise. I think these worlds can co-esist quite harmoniously. I have certainly enjoyed meeting other animators from a around the world online. But I have also enjoyed meeting them online.

    also I on this point;
    “all of the best animation I’ve seen in recent years has been seen online”
    Have you been going to festivals and watching things? beacuse you would not have seen the stuff thats not offline in that case. And I can speak up and say; these things are highly personal, and beautifully executed,
    To list but a few
    https://vimeo.com/35560725
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kkRWC4yp8M

    I am off to keep plugging my film online now,

    Adam

  • 11/11/2012 at 8:59 pm // Reply

    Hey Adam! I actually wasn’t trying to disparage fests or anything. And in fact this thing I’m working on will probably go to some fests next year. I was mainly talking about the fact that there was a time when that or a commercial third party stepping in was pretty much the only way your stuff got seen, and we are past that point. Both still have their place. Not down on either of them, especially fests.

    My point was more that we are building a scene online that isn’t beholden to those more traditional channels, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. There are certainly gatekeepers online, but they are many and we are not absolutely beholden to them. And really, after you’ve been through a couple releases, you learn that while the big blogs and twitterers are important, they tend to post about stuff that other people are already talking about. So it becomes more of a horizontal thing than pitching it to a handful of sites. No one’s work gets rejected online. It just has to stand on its merits. It doesn’t always mean that thousands will it, but often it does. And the agency for that lies with the creator and the people around that support his or her work. And that’s something we should be building, supporting one another and pointing to one another’s work as often as possible.

    I haven’t been to many fests, though I will probably next year. I had to pass up invites to Annecy and Pictoplasma this year and the fact that I just wrote that should signal that I’m still pretty sad I couldn’t go. I end up seeing many of the films that haven’t been released online yet just through the grapevine of “knowing a guy who knows a guy”. But I would love to go and see more. Again, my point was in no way to talk down on fests, just to say that we can do other things now too.

    It should also be pointed out that these days, a fest run is very often a year or so circuit before a film ends up online. Some people do it for longer, while others of us go straight to the upload button. The point was more that there isn’t that barrier of location and short-listing in the online space. Screenings start whenever a creator desires, and whenever a viewer shows up and clicks.

    Best of luck on your film! Make it awesome!

  • 11/13/2012 at 7:39 pm // Reply

    Yeah, dont worry I dont think you were festival bashing, and to be honest some have a very disdainful air of exclusivity about them (not so much animation specialist ones however).

    You see I am currently weighing it all up , having just experienced both for the first time – I pulled my film out of festivals after only 6 months, because I wanted to talk to people about it online, while it still felt a bit current to me, luckily I have some new work to start putting in, so hopefully now the balls rolling I wont have to feel like delaying gratification. having spent some time on vimeo looking through its darkest corners come stuff never gets noticed, thats really good. And I fear that for my own work (appart from the been good part;) )

    We will see how it goes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>