Its happening! Im in my new home in Halifax with my amazing beautiful and partner http://moonguardnemir.tumblr.com/ and aside from not having a real bed to sleep on yet everything is pretty damn dandy.
Im working on a freelance gig which will hopefully keep me going financially for a short while, soon tho I will need to find a regular day job, at least until I can afford to just do contract work.
Also, since i’m settled back in now and after months without the ability to animate digitally I finally have my Cintiq back I have started work on my next short film “White Eyes”. Its not really a laugh a minute type short, more just a surreal very short story, the last Gerkinman story, I ever plan on telling. I have been pushing Gerkinman for 11 years, and I think its time to let him go. This cartoon brings everything full circle from the original 2003 short. Its very much its own thing and stands on its own in that regard, but it is also full of references that I know only a very small handful of people will pick up on. I have also chosen a very simple and somewhat primitive animation style in the hopes of recreating that distinctive feeling that many flash animations from the early 2000’s had.
It also ties into my current feelings on online animation. I am not going to lie, I have been unsubscribing to countless animators in the last few weeks. Its not that I think that their work is bad or anything like that, but i’m finding what most consider to be funny online entertainment, to me, is becoming more and more repetitive and in a way, sort of bland. I am sure if I was the same age now as I was when I started I would find a lot of these content creators inspiring, but as I stand now, I have very much lost interest in 90% of the animators I once followed. It all feels very insular with everybody relying on the same style of jokes and same techniques to get laughs.
I think another issue to is that there is a set formula for making a successful youtube video. Theres a set running time a video has to fit into, you need to hit certain notes of comedy or interest every certain amount of seconds to keep the audience engaged, you need your thumbnail to look a certain way for people to click it in the first place. I have toyed with all of these things myself, and the shorts that I take advantage of with this formula always do much better then when I don’t. What I didn’t like about this, its made those shorts exactly the same as every other animators shorts that I watch. When everyone is following the exact same rules in order to get views, everything ends up coming out the same. That sense of creativity, flow and spontaneousness that should make shorts, and especially animated shorts, fun and exciting is lost.
This puts me in an odd position, I guess, in a sense, I am in the same position I have always been in. I have never been an immensely popular animator or content creator and I really don’t expect that to change. But moving forward, dropping pop culture, parodies and the like from my animation line up is going to make gaining any sort of traction even more of a struggle. I have had good support from Frederator since joining up with them late last year, but they couldn’t promote the likes of Spilt Coffee because of its adult language and themes, and I can see this happening increasingly with my future projects I have either started on or am in the process of writing. Frederator have a very specific audience, and show a great ability to guide and share ideas to reach that audience with the people who have joined them, but its not an audience I am interested in, and that puts me in a very difficult position. According to my youtube analytics, 70% of my audience is between the age of 18 and 34, and that makes me happy and will encourage me to continue making more mature animations. But how do I target these people directly? Its a question I don’t have an answer for. Time is another issue, since I want to spend more time on my shorts, making them festival quality instead of cheap and nasty, or disposable as I consider a lot of internet animation now, and seeing as people on youtube tend to unsubscribe when you take a while to produce content, that too causes problems.
Anyway, sorry for the long rant, its just been so long since I have been able to work on anything and my brain is bursting with creative energy. I look forward to putting up shots of White Eyes as it progresses! If your still reading this, thank you for your time. :)