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Rodney
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On Tuesday I met with Paul Harris for several hours and discussed a very wide range of topics.

We should have recorded the meeting although it's surely best that some things were off the record as that allowed us to wander far afield in the discussion.

One of the subjects of interest concerned financial support (a very broad topic).

 

I have a lot of opinions on this subject which I'll be more than happy to discuss but I am more interested in the thoughts of everyone in the A:M Community on the subject of grants and sponsorship. Some general parameters should probably be stated for the discussion but I don't want to miss important feedback by artificially limiting discussion so as far as I can tell there are no areas related to funding through grants and sponsorship that are 'off topic'.

 

In addition to your thoughts it might also be good to get your take on the following questions:

 

1. If you were to (directly or indirectly) sponsor an individual or project what might that look like?

2. If you were to be given a (financial) grant how might that best be applied?

 

 

 

 

 

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Not sure what you're asking, Rodney?

 

Are you wanting to discuss funding options besides crowd-funding?

 

Getting a company to sponsor your project is probably doable if you're a good salesman. I think there'd have to be some level to where they felt that it would benefit them, though. It would also add a significant obstacle to creative freedom. I gather grants are plentiful in other countries, but much harder to get in the US, but that's more of a sense rather than specific knowledge I have.

 

In early radio and television, it was normal for a company to buy time and put on their own show that they sponsored. My understanding was that the company's advertising agency was the key player, since it was viewed as advertising. I thought that might be the case on the web, but I haven't really seen that happen with any real significance.

 

Crowd-funding requires a crowd. :-) If you have your own audience of thousands, then you could probably just have a fundraiser and collect almost all of the money. Crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter offer to expose you to a crowd, but my experience is that if you don't have an audience going in, you won't suddenly be given one. Still, they handle the actual money collection and they only keep about 10%.

 

I'm interested in Patreon, but haven't jumped into the water yet. I signed up in the first couple of weeks, but it's geared for ongoing projects, rather than individual ones. The idea is that patrons of yours agree to donate a small amount of money either on completion of a project or once a month. There are safeguards in place so that patrons can govern how much money they donate per month. It would really be perfect for a webcomic or something like that where you generate content on a regular basis. Not-so-much for lengthy projects.

 

Here's what I've gotten from my Kickstarter experience. People today would rather support an artist than buy their work. Especially in the case of the work being mass-produced. For whatever reason, a band could run a Kickstarter and make enough to have a CD printed, only to find that less people would want to pay $15 for the CD than wanted to pay $25 or more to help the artist make it.

 

The so-called Webcomics model for making money seems to be changing as they find that their audience no longer wants to purchase books, but still wants to support their favorite comics.

 

It's also changing the big guns, too. Look at the number of high-profile Kickstarter projects coming from celebrities. Cases where studios wouldn't greenlight a movie, but the fans of the creators will.

 

I've been paying attention to this large-scale Star Trek fan film project called "Axanar."

 

Initially they were seeking $10K to do a short film and raised over $100K. This expanded budget allowed them to produce a very high quality film. Now they are working on a feature film and looking to raise $650K. They plan on doing it in stages. The current KS is for building sets (they have already surpassed their goal). The short film's release was surely timed to coincide with the launch of this new KS, acting as a brilliant marketing device.

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Are you wanting to discuss funding options besides crowd-funding?

 

 

Yes, I'm specifically not using the word 'crowdfunding' for many of the reasons you cite. Although I should state that there is always a crowdfunding aspect to grants and scholarship in that those grants and scholarships must themselves be funded. Crowdfunding being the means to spread the burden of support more widely so that no one individual is overburdened in the process.

 

Kickstarter and other such crowdfunding sources definitely have their place!

 

To my way o thinking Kickstarter doesn't address the underlying problem but rather attempts to circumnavigate the problem by incentivising the funding process.

Crowdfunding also currently exists as an option in several varieties which unless we were to suggest a better way and means is probably outside the scope of this topic.

New forms of this basic model of financial support are appearig every day, such as Youtube's foray into peer-to-peer funding as well.

 

Concerning grants and sponsorships... and I'll add the word 'scholarship' as well as that opens more fully into the world of specific grants given to further education... would not strictly tie support to a given project. An example: Person A has a desire to learn how to animate dialogue so they receive a grant to take a course in animating dialogue or Person B is pursuing their interest in Lighting for their current project (requiring R&D on their part) so a grant is given to further that activity.

 

For the sake of discussion here is a loose alignment of the terms with a basic definition:

Grant - financial support for research and development

Scholarship - financial support for furtherance of education

Sponsorship - financial support of an event or person

 

I won't say I'm entirely satisfied with this alignment.

The thing that strikes me concerning all three is how they would be limited by (yet to be defined) criteria and time frame.

The primary limitation appears to be 'until the funding behind the grant/scholarship/sponsorship is gone'.

There is also the prospect of potential renewal of each should the they receive additional funding, the goal be achieved or the scope be expanded in some significant way.

 

Added: It should be noted that in most cases the funds under consideration here would be considerably lower than those folks are attempting to raise via crowd sourcing.

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It would help to know what the problem is

 

.

If that were known I think we'd already have a solution but I'll take a stab at it..

 

As near as I can tell the underlying problem is one of communication.

The person with a need must connect with other persons willing and able to answer that need.

Or at least to supplement or resolve a portion of that need.***

 

But this may be entirely too cerebral for our purposes which is exactly why I am more focused on the idea of grants.

I may be wrong here but it seems to me that grants are already funded and simply awaiting distribution or disbursement.

This is unlike rounds of funding in that grants more specifically target a given need whereas funding raises the money to fulfill those needs.

 

For sake of discussion, let's assume that Kickstarter developed a fund that would be used finance a few projects introduced into their system (say they were to take 10% of their profit and randomly gift it to a Kickstarter project). Random would certainly be controversial... but that's exactly how the lottery system is said to work these days.

In a way Kickstarter does this 'granting' to certain projects though exposure via website and email/newsletter (i.e. a few projects are granted prime online real estate).

They don't have to pay the project heads anything but occupying that space is certainly valuable.

Perhaps folks even pay to occupy that space.

 

Somewhat esoterically something similar happens in the forum banner (for those that opt to use that particular forum skin).

As a topic of interest shows up on the banner folks are more likely to see it.

 

Those are all important... and I've gone out on a tangent to outline support that circumvents the monetary exchange... but specifically we are talking of thing that require the exchange of monetary funds here. The assumption being that there are products and services that require payment. For such transactions money is the most direct means of communication.

 

***Other underlying problems: The person may not know what they need or they may not accurately communicate that need. Regardless, they still have that underlying need.

 

Added: I'd say the most basic need of all A:M Users (outside of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs) is to maintain access to A:M.

Those must be satisfied before any other needs.

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First, let me say it was a pleasure spending (several) hours with Rodney. We covered just about every topic even loosely related to A:M. It made my week in Springfield just a little bit more tolerable. As an aside, anybody else who might be in that particular area is welcome to join us the next time around (I'm scheduled to be back the week of August 18th). Now to the subject of grants:

 

Over the years I have looked into grants for the arts, and at least in the U.S. are incredibly tough to come by. Primarily because most are funded throught the national endowment for the art (http://arts.gov/grants/apply-grant/grants-individuals) . At looking at the site, grants for individuals (non matcing) is $25,000, and is limited to literature. If you are an organization, then funding for film projects is possible. In searching the site (NEA) of funded film projects since 2000, I find that most were for film festivals, museums, etc. It doesn't look, from this grant avenue at least, it is likely to get a film project such as we would put together, doesn't have much of a chance of gaining funding.

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It doesn't look, from this grant avenue at least, it is likely to get a film project such as we would put together, doesn't have much of a chance of gaining funding.

 

 

We'd actually have to have a film project in mind before chasing after such a grant. ;)

 

I'm not opposed to folks creating films but the very first thing I tend to do when meeting new folks help them reconsider the idea of making the next 'Star Wars'.

I figure... 1) If they can overcome a little resistance they may have what it takes to actually make a film 2) They'll usually need to build confidence on smaller projects before diving in to the deep end.

 

One 'problem' with grants is that some form of result is expected from those receiving the grant.

If there is a likelihood the project will not come to fruition the grant may very likely not be issued.

 

I should have mentioned that for our purposes I am talking about *establishing* a grant although if someone could find one... hey, count me in!

This (the pool of resources to draw from) pretty much guarantees the amount of said grant to be small/tiny/minuscule.

BUT... if that grant actually satisfies a need then it has served it's purpose right?

 

In previous posts I intentionally dropped a few hints into my general orientation concerning grants (see up there ^^^).

The first is to help talented folks maintain access to A:M. The second is to educate them in an area compatible with the interests of the A:M Community.

I know that's a tall order but if one is to begin they must start somewhere.

 

As an aside, anybody else who might be in that particular area is welcome to join us the next time around (I'm scheduled to be back the week of August 18th).

 

I now there was someone who lives/lived in Springfield... Vance maybe?

We do have several Chicago denizens (and while he hasn't been seen in ages David (he wrote the book)Rogers use to hang his hat there.

The Tinkering Gnome and Jeffrey (Zayrin) Bolle are a bit farther to the north in the Milwaukee area (I need an excuse to visit family there).

Den Dotson lives close to me near St. Louis.

All we need is a reason to gather. :rolleyes:

 

Actually, the next time Hash Inc is in Chicago (is the Chicago Comicon/WizardCon still hosted there?) that's a likely place to meet.

Since you (Paul) fly in and out of IL from quite a distance away I suspect you don't care to travel a lot once on the ground.

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I've been paying attention to this large-scale Star Trek fan film project called "Axanar."

 

 

 

As I was reading your post I couldn't help but think of Axanar and then you mentioned it. They got something really incredible going on. Next pay cheque I fully intend to support, especially after the 20 minute prelude they released.

 

Sorry for the OT :P

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I should have mentioned that for our purposes I am talking about *establishing* a grant although if someone could find one...

As an aside, anybody else who might be in that particular area is welcome to join us the next time around (I'm scheduled to be back the week of August 18th).

 

I now there was someone who lives/lived in Springfield... Vance maybe?

We do have several Chicago denizens (and while he hasn't been seen in ages David (he wrote the book)Rogers use to hang his hat there.

The Tinkering Gnome and Jeffrey (Zayrin) Bolle are a bit farther to the north in the Milwaukee area (I need an excuse to visit family there).

Den Dotson lives close to me near St. Louis.

All we need is a reason to gather. :rolleyes:

 

Actually, the next time Hash Inc is in Chicago (is the Chicago Comicon/WizardCon still hosted there?) that's a likely place to meet.

Since you (Paul) fly in and out of IL from quite a distance away I suspect you don't care to travel a lot once on the ground.

 

 

 

I sort of missed the gist of your original post Rodeny... You're more interested in "how can we help fund a project" versus "how can we get a project funded"? correct? There might be possibilities. Perhaps if seed capital were made available to create an initial project, that could be used as the "flagship" model for A:M projects, then income made from that could be used to fund the next. There's a couple of real big issues with this, primarily, who manages it? Fiduciary responsibility is a big one, not lightly taken. I have other ideas, but they are a little more self serving, so I'll refrain from airing them here. :rolleyes:

 

A comiccon trip is a cool idea, but you're right Rodney, once my wheels hit the ground in Springfield, my job owns me from 8am to 5pm Tuesday thru Thursday. Mondays and Fridays are always travel days with my flying the friendly red-eye skies.

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You're more interested in "how can we help fund a project" versus "how can we get a project funded"? correct?

 

 

Actually, neither.

 

The funding of projects may be too broad a category so, perhaps we should reset?

 

Let's consider education because that is more manageable/tangible than 'a project'. (and probably cheaper)

There are many online courses in a variety of subjects that can be taken that will plus up any given project.

What if a grant was disbursed in the form of funds to cover the cost of attending?

What kind of course? Heck, I dunno.... pick a subject... any subject... cinematography? Character Design? Color Theory?

I can think of a few $10-$100 courses folks might not feel inclined to take if they were paying but might be interested in taking if the fees of the course were already paid.

 

While not a subject that is off the table, I am hesitant to suggest paying for some or all of a subscription fee for A:M because frankly A:M will be appreciated more when someone personally pays for it.

I speak from personal experience and from funding a few copies of A:M for other people.

 

 

 

There's a couple of real big issues with this, primarily, who manages it? Fiduciary responsibility is a big one, not lightly taken.

 

Yes, most definitely! Yet another reason to proffer one-off grants.

Yikes, you are bringing back bad memories.

Other aspects of that would include continual visibility (better yet 'transparency'!), dispersing all grants immediately upon receipt and not cursing some poor soul to be in charge of a purse full of money. Holding money in stasis would be the antithesis of applying them toward people's needs.

 

I have other ideas, but they are a little more self serving, so I'll refrain from airing them here. :rolleyes:

 

You are wise beyond your years. (or should that be 'behind your ears'? ;)

 

For the sake of argument because of my stated interest in these grants... if they were to ever be offered... I would remove myself from eligibility to receive them.

Avoiding conflicts of interest is the only true way I've found to successfully avoid the potential pitfalls and to counter the inevitable occurrences of self-deceit.

Having said that, when considering -an educational grant- I would encourage those who can pay their own way to take said course simultaneously along with the grantee.

Rationale: Besides just being more fun... there is considerable benefit to be gained through that shared experience.

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In college I went to a number of "new music" concerts of music by the composition faculty and the programs would typically have a note in it saying that this was supported by a grant from some grant-giving organization.

 

I often wondered what the grant made possible that wasn't possible without it. The hall was free for them to use, the performers were students so they were free, likewise for the electronic instruments they were playing with.

 

None of these people were knocking themselves out with heavy teaching loads so it's not like they had to quite their day job to write the opus, which was godawful crap so it was hard to detect where the money had improved it at all.

 

That apparent paradox is perhaps why public support for arts funding is low.

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Some sort of A:M Foundation that could grant financial support to A:M-specific projects and education?

 

I would think you would undoubtedly need to lean heavily on sponsors. Preferably big ones. What corporations or companies would have an interest in sponsoring A:M? How could you demonstrate to them that supporting an A:M Foundation would benefit their company or the general welfare?

 

I could see some of the goals of such a Foundation being:

 

1) Providing subscriptions to schools that can't afford it.

2) Creating/maintaining/distributing educational materials (video tutorials, A:M assets) in support of schools teaching with A:M

3) Raising awareness of A:M in the general community

4) Fostering creativity by hosting a student film festival

5) Sponsoring A:M User Groups

6) Supporting and maintaining A:M development

 

Chief to any success with this would be making the credible argument that learning and using A:M fosters creativity in students and offers them some way of bettering their lives. An argument would have to be crafted and supported by some kind of data. Anecdotally, there are cases of people learning on A:M and then going on to work at large studios. That's useful, but an A:M Foundation would need statistical data in support of this.

 

Assuming this could all be made to happen, there would have to be someone(s) who would represent an A:M Foundation who could knock on all the doors and make all the calls to sell the idea to potential sponsors.

 

Assuming that meets with success, it would be quite a time-consuming venture and I would think there'd be some kind of board that would need to be in place to decide where and to whom the grants should go.

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Let's consider education because that is more manageable/tangible than 'a project'. (and probably cheaper)

There are many online courses in a variety of subjects that can be taken that will plus up any given project.

What if a grant was disbursed in the form of funds to cover the cost of attending?

What kind of course? Heck, I dunno.... pick a subject... any subject... cinematography? Character Design? Color Theory?

I can think of a few $10-$100 courses folks might not feel inclined to take if they were paying but might be interested in taking if the fees of the course were already paid.

 

While not a subject that is off the table, I am hesitant to suggest paying for some or all of a subscription fee for A:M because frankly A:M will be appreciated more when someone personally pays for it.

I speak from personal experience and from funding a few copies of A:M for other people.

 

 

 

This idea, as they say, "has legs to it". Consider this;

 

A) We have here in the A:M community several very talented folks who rather enjoy guiding, teaching, etc. an all aspects of what it takes to build a quality animation with A:M. Whether its modeling, rigging, materials, lighinging, whatever we have a deep talent pool here.

 

B) Now consider someone who has a project in mind, a story to tell, but, wisely, realizes that they don't have all the skills necessary to pull off a quality timely project.

C) Now, also consider, we have a broad array of folks here who are talented, and dieing to learn A:M to improve their skill set so they can, mayhap, tell their own stories.

Now, let's put the three of these together, and say this:

 

The folks who like to mentor create a loosely knit group of teachers in a sort of A:M university. They have set dollar amounts that they require for one on one mentoring in given subject areas. The bloke with the project in need of talent, connects with forum members interested in helping out, but in need of guidance to hone their skills. B offers C the $'s needed to hire A for a given offered A:M course. C agrees to take, and complete the course, then when done, use his newly learned skills to work on B's project.

 

This gives group A incentive to continue to offer their knowledge and earn a modest income to boot. Gives group C the means to learn A:M and improve their skills. And Gives group B a talent pool of skilled, knowledgeable talent to get their project.

 

The money circles the community, stays in the family, with the added advantage of supporting, improving and growing A:M.

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Mark,

I like the idea of an A:M Foundation but from my perspective it seems similar to a newbie starting out wanting to create the next Star Wars... a large enough project to almost guarantee the project's doom. Still, even Star Wars started somewhere so an A:M Foundation could too. Never having initiated a foundation before some R&D would need to be undertaken. I presume one issue would be those funds held in stasis.

 

Paul,

The idea of the mentor/apprentice is certainly a valid one. Not only has it been attempted... several have benefitted from it and can speak better to it... for instance I believe David Higgins apprenticed (if'n you can cal it that) under Frank Silas. More recently Robert Holmen did a trial run on a basic animation course (my memory says you may have been involved in that). In each case it seems to me the primary burden falls upon the initiator of the idea/course with the success being determined by the role of the participant.

 

Both of these are fairly lofty ideals but are implementable.

Let's test this out on e=paper...

 

If I were to start a course (the first offering of a potential A:M Foundational Series) it would likely be to run through the current lessons of TaoA:M.

Reasons for this is include: 1) the course already exists 2) lessons learned could be applied to future offferings.

 

There is another aspect of what this A:M Foundation might look like in the real world.

At the risk of muddying the waters I'm tempted to say it sounds a whole lot like a refreshing of that storied group known as Hash Fellows.

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The great thing is that there's resources such as Skype now that would allow for real time lessons and whatnot.

 

 

Yes, one of the things I discussed with Paul Harris earlier this week was how the initial roll out of The Art of Animation:Master on the forum* couldn't take advantage of technology we take for granted today. Not to mention I didn't have a clue back then either. (well at least some things remain the same)

 

*Note that TaoA:M had been used a lot before that (even being taught on college campus by Steve Sappington but it hadn't gone online yet via the forum. If I could find anyone that would believe it I'd say we were an original source of inspiration for Animation:Mentor. They didn't start up until much later.(circa 2005 as I recall) :)

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Rodney, I really think that between the "A:M Foundation", the "money round robin" idea, of mine, And all of your efforts (as well as many others) in TaoA:M all fit into the same grand scheme of things. To me, the real goal is to foster a greater sense of learning A:M, providing an avenue for those members who wish, to contribute to that learning (and earn some level of compensation in doing so) and in so doing, improve A:M in the industries eyes to some degree to boot.

 

Providing a robust learning center is not a trivial task (as you well know), for that reason providing the means to compensate the teacher for their efforts will make that effort seem, hopefully, worth while.

 

What I had envisioned was along the lines of employer paid education benefits. The producer of a short needing help, pays the benefit to a student needing some learning. In turn the student agrees a level of servitude in helping the producer with his/her current project.

 

Hell, I'd be the first "producer" to pony up the dinero to send a student in need. We just need some teachers!

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Hmmmm... as a trial run, the teacher I might nominate would be John Pomeroy.

Cost would be $10 ($20 for two lessons).

Folks could either pay to take the course or apply for the grant.

The venue; 'Taught by a Pro'

The course(s): ''Animating Dialogue 1: Speaking Through The Body' and/or 'Animating Dialogue 2: Moving the Mouth'

 

Measure of Success: Those who receive a grant would/should transfer a portion of what they learn into a project in A:M that incorporates what they have learned.

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Hmmmm... as a trial run, the teacher I might nominate would be John Pomeroy.

Cost would be $10 ($20 for two lessons).

Folks could either pay to take the course or apply for the grant.

The venue; 'Taught by a Pro'

The course(s): ''Animating Dialogue 1: Speaking Through The Body' and/or 'Animating Dialogue 2: Moving the Mouth'

 

Measure of Success: Those who receive a grant would/should transfer a portion of what they learn into a project in A:M that incorporates what they have learned.

 

Is there anybody within the A:M community who could teach/mentor the same or similar topics?

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Lots of folks could teach/mentor but I'm not aware of any courses by anyone in the A:M community currently being offered.

And to my knowledge none with 30+ years of animation experience.

 

Point taken. We need to develop that then , along with a library / list of courses being offered outside of A:M, then don't we? :)

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This forum is all about R&D and at times we all get to sit in the audience and watch as cool things appear on the screen while at other times we get to be creative and make cool things.

 

I suppose one could argue that it's the results we are after but I've no doubt it's also about the journey getting there.

 

along with a library / list of courses being offered

 

 

All we need is one course and that'd be enough to begin. :)

Keeping up with what is available out there... yikes!

That task is never ending.

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This forum is all about R&D and at times we all get to sit in the audience and watch as cool things appear on the screen while at other times we get be creative and make cool things.

 

I suppose one could argue that it's the results we are after but I've no doubt it's also about the journey getting there.

 

It's the journey that most often teaches.

 

But this topic has turned into a conversation between you and me, which we already had! Where's everybody else?

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Rodney, that's kind of my point.

 

That's the value of something like Kickstarter or Patreon. The mechanisms are already in place and the selection process is democratic.

 

Taking Patreon, for example. One person (or a small group) could set up a Patreon to do tutorial videos. At levels of support, patrons could be offered individual training. They might not be able to pay hundreds of dollars, but what if it were at the $5 or $10 a month level? If the Patreon managed to reach a certain level, it's worthwhile for them.

 

The Patreon is also pushed along by this to produce new content each month, which benefits everyone with an interest in what they are doing.

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I was just thinking of doing a Kick Starter for my early retirement, haven't really set a goal amount or determine quite how much I would like but thought it would be far easier than trying to come up with a project and look for investors and hope to make something out of it all.

 

Always looking for a shortcut :)

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That's the value of something like Kickstarter or Patreon. The mechanisms are already in place and the selection process is democratic.

 

You are a veteran of KIckstarter so your take on its use is very valuable.

Having not used any of the services available I can only play the process out logically, examine potential shortcomings etc.

I like Patreon's approach a little more because sometimes folks just need support. They may not have a specific project planned.

I like Kickstarter because it's a neat way to get things developed (O think everything I've backed didn't exist at the time I opted in... there is something very satisfying in bringing such things to reality. (the downside... I have a small 'supercomputer' I'm not exactly sure what to do with... sometimes the wait for that reality to come around is considerable)

I *think* I'll like Youtube's approach even better because...

 

I was just thinking of doing a Kick Starter for my early retirement

 

 

I'm a big fan of random acts of kindness. :)

 

 

 

 

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Unless there is some patron who is looking to setup a grant for A:M projects--which (to me) seems unlikely, I don't know what the scholarship/foundation talk is about....

 

However, there are the tools built in to Animation:Master to create a distributed studio, such as was created for TWO project. I think about this alot with my own project--make it OPEN SOURCE or something and bring in anyone willing to collaborate. there are opportunities galore working in any project like that for apprentices and on-the-job training...And the collaborators can SHARE copyright of the finished work! Anyway...it is something that I think about....

 

As for Crowd-funding...without a crowd, I don't think you will get any...

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make it OPEN SOURCE

 

 

Will,

Can you clarify what you mean by this as I don't want to overlay my interpretation on what you suggest.

 

Do you mean to suggest open sourcing the tools used to collaborate (as with TWO)?

 

If that is the case most of those tools are already open source (SVN, dotProject, etc.) so I think I'm misunderstanding.

 

If you mean to open source the actual projects (i.e. an open source movie... open education... etc.) I get a general sense of where that could be heading.

If both or something else altogether I'll appreciate the fine tuning.

 

We've had a whole lot of successes in the A:M community but we don't often celebrate them.

 

I don't know what the scholarship/foundation talk is about....

 

The scholarship stuff I can see but the foundation thing way beyond the scope of this topic.

The more limited in scope. the smaller. the more flexible. the less constrained. the better planned. the more expertly executed. the simpler. the better.

That's why I proposed a $10 grant to take a limited course in animation lipsync dialogue as a means to test the process.

An added benefit being that dollar amount is sure to scare of opportunists with loftier aspirations so the process can get to focused on what really matters.

Animators take what they are exposed to, assimilate it and apply it more thoroughly to their effort than was ever originally anticipated so I am confident that learning can happen. For those that are just simply stuck in a rut perhaps they could take a course in project management.

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I mean Open Source, as in sharing the copyright with TAR of Zandoria with a group of collaborators to create more episodes of the series. Without being able to pay people, making them partners in the copyrights gives them ownership in what they are making. Like the TWO project, all of the assets could be on SVN. I live in Chattanooga which is nicknamed "GIG City" because it's smartgrid provides gigabit/sec Internet access--I'm thinking that that could be useful for a distributed studio.

 

Of, course, the ideal situation would be to have a network option the show....

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I mean Open Source, as in sharing the copyright with TAR of Zandoria with a group of collaborators to create more episodes of the series.

Do you mean the way the Blender Foundation organises its open movie projects?

 

Pardon my fantasising, but Hash, Inc. might do well to take a leaf out of the Blender Foundation's book: http://www.blender.org/foundation/history/. Blender was in copyright and development limbo at one point, but Ton Roosendaal raised enough money (years before Kickstarter) to take it open source and start the development funding ball rolling. Today it's probably the fastest-growing CGI software around that challenges the big guys and has several releases every year.

Maybe that's something to consider if A:M development stalls.

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Maybe that's something to consider if A:M development stalls.

 

While development is always of interest... I talk about development often... our primary focus is to use A:M as it currently is.

There are so many things that can currently be created with A:M that is where our creative energies should be.

 

That's rather the whole point of this grant thing; to educate everyone in what is currently possible.

Take something that exists and apply it in A:M.

 

The example mentioned above of taking a course in animation dialogue from a traditional animator is one example of that.

Those techniques are time tested and proven to work in CG but that information must be assimilated... interpreted and transferred

And where something doesn't directly transfer... heck, that's just success from another angle... now you've learned how one approach doesn't work as well as another in A:M.

 

The grants I speak of would facilitate learning by allowing folks to broaden horizons by sampling others experience without breaking the bank.

 

While software development is important, for our purposes here, when I speak of development I specifically am referring to developing the person... not the software.

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Wasn't there a virtual studio set up here already? Not sure what could be funded if the users already have the software. Would the funding be used to create tools for AM? Now that might be worth it, a new rigging system similar to TSM, maybe some new translation tools such as FBX I/O, and even some mocap via kinnect that the Poser people are adopting.

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Wasn't there a virtual studio set up here already? Not sure what could be funded if the users already have the software. Would the funding be used to create tools for AM? Now that might be worth it, a new rigging system similar to TSM, maybe some new translation tools such as FBX I/O, and even some mocap via kinnect that the Poser people are adopting.

 

 

(See above concerning topics related to software development)

 

Note: I don't want to suggest a grant for development couldn't be applied but in general I think the funds required for such would be fairly high.

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I would like to apply for a grant. In return, the grantee would get to sell advertisement on animations that go on smartphones. Plus, I'd get to develop the software further full-time. All I need is enough to make a living and pay off debt. Then everybody has a chance at developing their own version of an app, with their own content (although it's already sitting there for free on the website :). But the idea has been laid out plainly enough, and put on Google Play to show. They even would get a cool business name...Monoboom! ...with a website! ...and the first ever (deep breath) Adjustable frame rate multi-layered sprite driven interactive Android application focused toward animation with a cool name like Starplayer (although the music is pretty lame right now). Not to mention three characters that dance very nicely to help sell... stuff. It's just sitting there...waiting to take off... Of course, if it did take off, I'd like to get 10% of the gross or something like that, right? But I can't do all the content, especially since others could do much better.
Anyway, that's my answer to the original Question #2. Bring on the Sharks!


I guess that would be the grantor... or shark. Someone that has connections and knows how to promote. Otherwise, the idea, and potential, will be lost, and I'd rather not see that happen.

 

Okay, I'll throw in a picture book as well. Rather a Monoboom Manual.

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