E-Read­ing’s Next Evo­lu­tion

Animation Magazine - - Visual Effects -

Auryn Tech­nol­ogy brings chil­dren’s clas­sics and orig­i­nal tales to an­i­mated life with the in­ter­ac­tive Sto­riesAlive app. By Tom McLean and Mercedes Mil­li­gan.

im­mersed in this area, it’s that much more im­por­tant to find a mar­ket you en­joy.

Fo­cused But Vi­able

For ex­am­ple, maybe you’ve always had a soft spot for an­i­mals and want to find a niche in that cat­e­gory. Be­ing the best ze­bra an­i­ma­tion team may be too nar­row, but be­ing the most spe­cial­ized an­i­mal an­i­ma­tion stu­dio you could find out vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing needed to know if any niche has the po­ten­tial to pro­vide ad­e­quate cash flow to achieve your busi­ness goals. If so, con­grat­u­la­tions — you’ve found your niche.

In this par­tic­u­lar ex­am­ple, you would strive to be the an­i­mal an­i­ma­tion stu­dio. This niche would per­me­ate ev­ery mol­e­cule of your com­pany’s be­ing. When you go to pre­sen­ta­tions, you would pro­vide an­i­mal crack­ers. Your busi- ness cards would be re­plete with an­i­mals. Your web­site would feel like a zoo as much as an an­i­ma­tion stu­dio. Your show reels would be pop­u­lated with a wide va­ri­ety of high qual­ity an­i­mal an­i­ma­tion clips. You would pro­vide free an­i­ma­tion to a rep­utable an­i­mal shel­ter’s mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing campaign. You would pro­claim to the world with great cer­tainty that if any­one needs an­i­mal an­i­ma­tion, they ab­so­lutely, pos­i­tively must work with you.

Stick to Your Plan

Know­ing who your clients are be­cause you are so well niched also means know­ing who they are not and be­ing un­afraid to turn them away. It may be hard to stom­ach at first, es­pe­cially dur­ing the startup phase when you may not have much busi­ness, but if you make a habit of ac­cept­ing clients and pro­jects out­side your niche, it will only make you frus­trated and ul­ti­mately out of busi­ness.

Per­haps most im­pres­sively, when you are well niched, “How much does it cost?” is no longer a client’s first or sec­ond ques­tion. If you are per­ceived as the spe­cialty team to work with in a par­tic­u­lar area, the right clients will ask for your ser­vices first and dis­cuss price last. In some cases, they may hap­pily pay your in­voice with­out ques­tion­ing or even dis­cussing the amount.

When you spe­cial­ize, you are putting your sig­na­ture on ev­ery­thing you do. You are not sharing the pie with any­body; you are cre­at­ing your own pie. When you find your niche, by def­i­ni­tion there will be no com­pe­ti­tion. Martin Gre­bing is an award-win­ning an­i­ma­tion direc­tor and pro­ducer who has fo­cused his ca­reer on smaller stu­dios and al­ter­na­tive mar­kets. To­day, he pro­vides cre­ative con­sult­ing and is the owner-op­er­a­tor of Fun­ny­bone An­i­ma­tion, a boutique stu­dio that pro­duces an­i­ma­tion for a wide range of clients and in­dus­tries. He can be reached at www.fun­ny­bonean­i­ma­tion.com.

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