When a Mother Ship goes down (Disney Feature Animation Florida, Fox Animation Phoenix, to name but two) there are usually small studios full of ex-employees that spring up near the smoldering crater, willing, able and anxious to take on new work. The issue isn't mastery of craft, but ability to finance projects. For instance:
Artists at [Secret Legion Studios in Orlando] want to produce what they hope will be an Oscar-worthy, animated short film, “Combover for Dinner.” The light-hearted tale is about a middle-age man who invites the “girl of his dreams” over for dinner as he tries to win her heart while hiding a not-so-hiddensecret: his combover. ... Before they can do that, though, they will need more than $150,000.
The company is selling smart-phone apps to raise the money. To date, it's sold 7,00 applications, which means only 146,000 to go before financing is assured.
We wish them the best of luck.
The problem for small animation studios dependent on bringing jobs through the door and executing them well to remain alive is, even if you have a facility filled with gifted, hard-working people, you are still at the mercy of our fine, entertainment conglomerates for projects. They will either like your work or not. They will either give you new assignments or not. And if they don't, you will soon be out of business.
Not an easy road, bidding jobs for regional commercials and public service announcements, waiting for the Big Break. Hopefully Secret Legion will get its short made, be nominated for a Little Gold Man, and climb from there. (All the while keeping artists employed.)