Sunday, January 20, 2008

Speeding on Speed Racer

So we're full bore into helping pinch hit on the Speed Racer project for Animation Collective. We're doing in-betweens, cleanup, ink and paint & a shadow pass, and trying to get 2 to 3 eps done inside a few weeks. Happily, AC has given us excellent direction and is doing all of the keys, so that let us hit the ground running with essentially zero prep time. We're hearing good feedback from the client and have been getting work done faster than they can supply us with new work, so big props to the crew working on it.

I got an RFP from Microsoft last week while I was on my Western tour to develop a game with them. As I'm under non-disclosure, I can't say much except that after I figured out the parameters of the RFP, I had essentially 24 hours to devise a game concept and write up a proposal / design overview document. By the time I finished that night, my eyeballs were hurting. I'm sure there's a Visine for that.

I had the meeting out in Saskatoon, and have an agreement in principle to start doing some interprovincial co-development between us and them I'm also getting alliances together with 2 other companies & 2 individuals to get into development of new series concepts. This year, my target is to have 5 concepts to take to broadcasters and re-establish our hat in the original intellectual property ring. This has a time horizon of about 2 years to get the next collideascope developed property to TV if all goes well, but this time working with other parties will (I'm hoping) help accelerate the cycle of getting some good work done.

Kidscreen is coming up, so I'm arranging my meetings and looking for opportunities for us to partner with new companies and producers on their projects. Any suggestions of companies you'd like to work with? Send me your top picks & I'll see if I can't get a meeting.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January already?? What in the hell happened to December?!?

It was a busy, busy month, mostly taken up with proposals and estimates, as well as helping out on Busytown, which was perhaps busier than anyone had bargained for. Now, here we are in early January, and we're negotiating to pick up some work from Animation Collective for Speed Racer. It needs doing tout suite, and there's a call to get going on it tomorrow. Hopefully we will get going on it by Monday. The show needs a lot of work in a short period of time, so we're going to go with a footage rate rather than a salary, I think.

No word on Arthur as yet, but I saw the test and it was nothing short of impressive. Steve's going to poke around with CJ and see what's up there next week.

There's another thing we're talking about with AC - a full series, but again, I don't like to count chickens before they've hatched. If we were to get both that and Arthur, I think we'd be getting very big, very quickly. Keep us in mind, gentle folk. We're still in the running! ;)

Speaking about counting those chickens, the Christmas special got shuffled to Studio B at the last minute, so that one is unfortunately in the dustbin. However, I'm very excited to be going to Sask on the 10th to talk with the producer of that show to talk about co-development on other properties. Over this year, Collideascope will be slowly starting up the original development engine, but this time by partnering with other producers rather than going the very taxing and not necessarily better route of doing it all ourselves. I expect to see this start to pay dividends within about 2 to 3 years, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere.

There are other things in the hopper - the Mystery Hunters New Media project is a-go and in design phase. We'll be needing some good internet flash animation help on that one, along with people who are experienced at Photoshop photo collage for the backgrounds. It'll be a very different departure of style and content from things we've done before. I'm looking forward to it.

There's even more to come, strategic-planning-wise. Steve and I have plans for the place that I'm hoping will ensure more stability starts to gradually seep into place over the next 12 to 18 months. I'm still formulating the details of these plans, and when they're done, I'll post them here for your perusal and hopefully your feedback.

Your humble Commissar,