Update! Key animation for all the characters are finished. But there’s still way too much breakdown and inbetween animation for me to handle on my own before my graduation deadline.
So it’s time to assemble a team!
For the past five weeks, I’ve been recruiting animators, and setting up the groundwork for a team. I’ve used three platforms for recruiting: Facebook, Artella, and SCAD Collab Fair.
I’ve considered ditching my Facebook account so many times. I… really dislike surrendering personal info online. That said, Facebook has been super useful for keeping people updated on Merge’s progress, and for posting calls for artists.
Artella is an online collaboration platform for artists creating independent content. It’s basically a “virtual studio” where artists all over the world can find one another and work on each other’s projects.
Setting up a project page on Artella was pretty easy; it required a pitch video, a promo picture, and a written description. Here’s the pitch video I shot:
There are some stunning projects and talented artists on Artella. The development team has also been super responsive. Artella has been great, and I anticipate it will only get better as more artists join.
SCAD Collab Fair
SCAD Collab Fair is an event coordinated by one of the professors (Ashwin Inamdar) at my school. It’s basically an opportunity for students to pitch their projects to other students, and find collaborators. While Facebook and Artella let you reach people online, Collab Fair lets you pitch your project face-to-face to humans in actual real life :O
In order to run a table, I needed a poster, a video reel, and a set of signup sheets. Here’s my poster for Merge:
Collab Fair was super exciting. After about a year of working in isolation (literally under my bed), it was the first time I’d gotten live feedback from other people. It was great to express my dream to everyone, and hear everyone else’s dreams. Everyone had put so much heart and labor into their projects. I left feeling motivated, proud, and humbled all at the same time. Seriously, creative community is so important. If you have that, don’t take it for granted ❤
Besides recruiting, I’ve also been laying the groundwork for incoming team members. Once people join, they have to know what to do, right? How do we transfer files? What do we name them? How rough should the drawings be?
So I made some tutorials:
And defined some ground rules to help keep everything consistent:
I’m hoping that this documentation will help everyone get a foothold once we start working together. Let’s see how it goes!
All of this preparation and recruiting took 5 weeks. Although it was a large upfront investment, hopefully it will save a lot of time in the long run. There are 15 conventional animation shots, and it took me a whole week to finish just one on them on my own!
In addition to recruiting, I’ve been working on the experimental animation shots. I’ll post more about that later.
Thanks for reading! More soon ~