Recently, indie animator Bill Plympton took time off from his latest production IDIOTS AND ANGELS to speak to students of Earthlight Pictures' Teletraining program. Streamed over the Internet to students at various parts of the globe, Plympton discussed his career from an illustrator to his first indie animated short, YOUR FACE, which was nominated for the Academy Award.
He gave three points to students about finding success in independent animation. First, keep the time short, no longer than five minutes. Second, keep the budgets low, because it maximizes the chances for a profit. Finally, make your films funny. Distributors looking for short animation want funny material. Plympton said the easiest way to find distribution is at film festivals like Annecy and Cannes.
Plympton quickly drew some sketches for the students, promising to send them to trainer John Teton to raffle off. One student asked what the animator uses to create his toons and he said a #2 pencil and a ballpoint pen. Another student asked about finding reasonably priced music for films. Plympton said he went to local musicians he liked and asked them to be part of his films. He said they're usually excited to be part of the projects because it helps get their work out to a wider audience.
For more information about Earthlight Pictures training programs, visit http://www.earthlightpictures.com/ .