Making 'Toons That Sell Without Selling Out: The Bill Plympton Guide to Independent Animation Success
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Learn the secrets behind independent animation from the "The King of Independent Animation” - Academy Award-nominated Bill Plympton. This living legend breaks down how to make a career outside of the world of corporate animation - and without compromise. Learn time-saving techniques, the secrets to good storytelling, and the business-side of short and feature-length animation films.
didn't do it for the money), and I've had a lot of out-of-pocket expenses on the project, so I decided to go the Kickstarter route. My good friend and fund-raising genius Signe Baumane warned me against it, though. She said it would be too much work, and there was the possibility that I might not reach my goal and therefore have to forfeit all of the pledged money. But Matthew Modine and his producer, Adam Rackoff, encouraged me to do it. They said they would make the documentary pitch for my
were all that funny anyway. You'll notice that a lot of my jokes are set up using clichés. In most storytelling, clichés are evil, but in humor, they're golden. I learned this fact when I began my political strip, Plympton. The more common clichés were famous paintings, like Edward Munch's The Scream, which I used a lot because they were very eye-catching and already somewhat humorous. EXAMPLE OF A CARTOON USING THE CLICHÉ OF CYCLONES ALWAYS HITTING TRAILER PARKS So I decided to make a gag
check out either the Preston Blair classic, Animation, or the great Richard Williams book The Animator's Survival Kit. WALKING CYCLE, 3 ⁄ 4 VIEW FROM THE BACK 137 13 8 A n i m at i o n Point of View RUNNING, SIDE VIEW IDIOTS AND ANGELS (2008) It's amazing how many people don't know my name when I introduce myself, but immediately recognize my work if they see it. I like that! My style has become quite identifiable. THIS IS ANOTHER TRICK I USE TO SAVE TIME. INSTEAD OF THE 11 NORMAL STEPS
this question a lot—and I know most animation these days is done using breakdown artists, in-betweeners and such, but I like to create all of my own drawings. There are a number of reasons why I create all of my own animation art. When I was making Hair High, I thought I might use some other animators to help me speed up the process. They did wonderful work, but I constantly had to redraw their shots because they didn't follow the image I had in my head—and how could they? The other animators
song. Now, I was able to get by with some freebies. The John Philip Sousa march I wanted to use was performed by the US Marine Band, and it was very old, so it was in public domain (plus, as a military recording, the US taxpayers own it). Another track was by an old cartoonist friend of mine, and he donated the song to the film. But happy accidents like these are very rare. I'm going to cite five interesting examples of how I got some of my music for Idiots and Angels. Example #1: I love the