Last month, we talked about our process a bit. Specifically, we covered a lot of the ins and outs of pre-production, of communicating with the client on what they need, and figuring out a plan of action. I believe we said more than once during the post that the planning stages are the most important, fundamental part of the whole shebang. Which is true. However, there are a few different ways to look at how “importance” is defined. What’s more important: Making sure you have food and shelter taken care of, and that all predators are a long way away?


Or, that you have a working and stable system keeping your government, economy, and so forth all running smoothly? Without getting too far out in the weeds there, the point is that different things are important at different times, and, to tie this all back to our humble little art business, production is pretty important too. We’d like to talk a bit about that over the next few paragraphs.


So, storyboards and script are done. All the planning is covered, and the client seems happy with the overall direction. What happens next? Well, to quote Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

Dat sultry smile tho

(yes, I looked that up) (also, that’s the coolest name I’ve come upon in a while, incidentally): “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” The enemy, in this case, is the task of interpreting your direction.

Let’s revisit a project we just recently finished. We had a company with a print marketing campaign that had worked for them successfully for years, and they wanted to translate the designs and characters in those print materials to a short animated commercial. We worked up a script idea, created character designs that would work in animation, and storyboarded up a storm. Hard parts over right?


Well, kinda.

In this particular video, the main character was a big, boxy piece of household furniture, who also needed to move through a bunch of different action scenes. Big fights, lots of jumping, saving the world, that sort of thing. So, riddle me this: How does an up-to-this-point decidedly immobile piece of household furnishing go about following in the footsteps of [insert currently-popular action hero here]?


More to the point, how does he do all that, and look convincing doing it? Well, the answer is…. You cheat. You twist and bend the character in different ways that couldn’t actually exist in reality. You stretch out his otherwise-stubby limbs in the shots where he has to grab someone (so that he can actually reach them). You get as much mileage as you can out of a couple awesome poses, and cut from one pose to the next reallyfastsothatpeoplecan’tseehowithappens (and, if you do your job right, they won’t notice anyway). And when all else fails, there’s always a way to pull a Batman, squeeze in a good “POW!”-type starburst, and leave those tricky bits to your viewers’ imagination.

Lindsey is too excited about word bursts for words

Lindsey is too excited about word bursts for words

Next, there’s…. Wait, what’s that? We’re about out of time? Oh poo. Well, tune in next month where we sing all of the numbers above zero! (Or, go more into our production process, whichever one readers demand more of)

Happy Halloween!