I’ve been blogging about my “upcoming” animated series, The Precinct, for almost six years now!
In that time, I’ve learned a lot about the animation industry, and about animation itself. I’m a much better artist and animator than I was in 2006 (see here for evidence). A better writer, too, hopefully.
I’ve made countless plans as to how we’d make the show. 12 x 3 minute episodes. 11 x 5 minute episodes. 8 x half hour episodes. 6 x eleven minute episodes!
For a little while, it might have been a Canadian co-production. Or an Israeli co-production! Then it became an interactive story. Then it wasn’t. Then it was again! Then it wasn’t again.
Adam and I have written numerous episodes, in several formats. We’ve been very excited and also very cynical about its chances on TV. Every dummy has a show idea, and we’re funny dummies, but, y’know, still dummies.
Adam’s one of a big bunch of people who have been greatly supportive over the years. They’ve helped in many different ways, including with making the few short “teaser” episodes that exist.
At our high points, we got funding from the government to promote ourselves. We’ve chatted with production companies and networks about making the show. We’ve had a great producer and currently have a great animation company behind us.
The low points have been infrequent, but depressing, in the way failures often are. You’ve been there. You know what I mean.
And, though all this has been worthwhile as a learning process, the fact is: I’ve spent six years writing proposals and scripts and pitches… and it’s time for that to stop.
That’s why, come 2013, production will begin on a series of Precinct shorts. One minute episodes. Probably eight of them.
I don’t have funding or backing. That’s why I haven’t done this before now. As a freelance animator, finances have been wobbly enough that it seemed very risky to take a punt this big. I know eight minutes of animation doesn’t sound like a huge ask, but when you’re trying to pay bills, it’s a lot to add to your plate.
Still, others have done a lot more with a lot less, so it’s go time.
The plan has been to start pre-production as 2012 ends and work on it through a solid production period of several months, albeit one divided between the series and freelance work.
Budget will be my savings. So it will be miniscule by animation standards. I’m considering trying a small crowdfund whose goal would be to raise enough money to pay others to help me. We’ll see.
I’ve popped the new project on SPAA’s The Melting Pot site so you can see a bit more about what the series will be and what I’m hoping to find, help-wise.
Whatever happens: Precinct cartoons are coming! I may come looking for your help one day soon. Beware.