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Animation Business questions

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Animation Business questions

Hello all:

I'm new to the forums and as I posted on my "hello" post I hope to become a frequent poster. I'm currently a film student but looking at attending a graduate school with a program in film and animation in Fall 2009. Maybe you have suggestions?

The primary reason for this post is that I was seeking help from people who have worked for or own animation studios. I have a project for a "Business of Film" class in which I have to create a business. I decided, since my interest is in animation, to "start up" an animation studio.

Here is the assignment (abridged):
"You will be presenting to the class your company, your company name, its structure (which legal entity you chose), your mission statement which is to be at least one half a page typed, your brand, and some information on the competition in your market. Having a logo for your new company is also a good idea. This is what you will be presenting to your banker. Your mission statement is basically a written statement about your company, why you are starting it, who you are, what is your background, and how you will start up and compete."

I have the company name, structure, logo and brand decided but I'm not too sure what my competition would be - let's say for assignment's sake that I'm starting this on the East Coast - but what are some things that I might want to present to a bank in order to get a loan? I might say that I want to start an animation company that, right now, only does 2 and 3D animation projects as needed for commercials, whatever, but plan on doing "big" projects within five years. Is that a good selling point to an investor? What kind of staff do I start with at the outset? What sort of equipment do I need if I plan on doing, maybe, 5-30 second spots in 2 or 3D?

I just wanted to get some ideas and suggestions from people who have actually gone through this before.



Thanks again for your help!

Not sure of the letter grade but the comment I got was, "Overall great. The idea and concept is solid." So I'm guessing I will get an A when I return to school on Monday.

The next part of the project is to create a budget for my animation studio including the initial investment as well as any expenditures and revenue over the course of the first year. What are some things I might want to take into consideration? I have a list of expenses, but I'm not sure what an animation studio, in its first month or three of opening, can expect as far as revenue and costs. Any thoughts?

Here is a list of some of my expenses:

Salary of Owner
Full-Time Receptionist
Full-Time Artists
Part-Time Artist
Lease Payment
Loan Payment at 7%
Worker's Compensation
Electricity and Utilities
Telephone and Phone System
Internet/Web Hosting/Bandwidth
Meals and Entertainment
Office Supplies
Commercial Phone Bill
Business Cards

Business License
Logo Design
Kitchen Furniture
Cintiq Tablets
Animation Tables



Your post was great. I'm wrapping up the "paper" now and plan on presenting it tomorrow afternoon at some point. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Some questions I had, though:

I wouldn't be hiring animators on full-time at the onset because I probably wouldn't have many contracts, right? What is the average pay rate for 2D or 3D animators if, say, I had a request for, let's say, an animated bunny for 15 seconds of a thirty second commercial? I guess 3D would pay more than 2D but how much more? What are the average turn-around times for something like that?

Thanks again so much.


Plan:Follow the Leader

Hi I'm posting on this thread so I can follow the conversation if it starts again. Also if anyone is interested in reading my business plan for an animation media company message me.


I don't know if this is related enough to the topic at hand, but I have a project of my own that needs some animators. Right now, my funds are tight, but I am also working on that as well. To make things cheaper, simpler, faster, and easier, the project will be a composite of 3D render, 3D machinma, 2D hand-drawn, and 2D falsh. For this reason, I will hire multiple animators.