Saturday, July 06, 2013

Sunset Animation

The new cartoon studio in town:

Animation Domination High-Def -- a new animation programming block consisting primarily of quarter-hour episodes drawn from a roster of shows. It will make its debut July 27, a Saturday, from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Eastern and Pacific times (10 p.m. Central), a time slot that is more or less overlooked by all networks that don’t broadcast “Saturday Night Live.” ...

High-Def is either a low-stakes experiment in Internet-inspired content development, or one of the highest-profile rethinks by a major network of a chunk of its airtime in recent memory. ... [It] can be thought of as a quick-strike response to the molasses-slow process of traditional animation, in which episodes are storyboarded more than a year before their air date. “That’s a long time to wait to see if your show is funny or not,” said Matt Silverstein, one of the in-house show runners. ...

Fox owns this content, which also means it free to distribute it however it like, or to let viewers do so. A signature of the High-Def Web site will be a simple GIF maker so fans can put together their own clips of the shows and share them on social media. ... But advertisers will be there from the beginning, and not in the usual ways. As opposed to relying on 30-second spots, Fox hopes to sell the block as a whole via partnerships that include High-Def-created ads that will be stylistically consistent with the rest of the programming. ...

Think of ADHD as Fox's low-pay, non-union farm team. The employees we've talked to let us know that most of the employees are young, recently out of school, and making below what animation artists earn at most L.A. cartoon studios.

But hey. It's new. And experimental (kind of). And art. And twenty-four-year-olds paying back their student loans are expected to sacrifice for art.


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