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The Little Guy Gets a Piece of the Animated Action - LA Times 06/19/05

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  • The Little Guy Gets a Piece of the Animated Action - LA Times 06/19/05

    Article from The Los Angeles Times - June 19, 2005
    The Little Guy Gets a Piece of the Animated Action

    Major studios open their arms -- and wallets -- to entrepreneurs who can offer that golden combination: creativity and cost-efficiency.
    It's more affordable than ever to become a prospector. A decade ago, a single computer workstation used in making a CG film cost roughly $80,000. Today, movies can be made on $3,000 home computers, and 3-D software that once cost $20,000 or more can be bought at Circuit City for about $2,000.

    "Technology has liberated independent animators and given them an opportunity to break into the motion picture realm," said Ron Diamond, co-publisher of Animation World Network, which operates an online trade magazine. "It's a huge shift."

    This new breed of animation entrepreneurs includes established digital-effects houses and TV-commercial shops eager for a piece of the animation business as well as veteran animators who have left the major studios and gone solo.
    With the help of some freelancers, a scanner, three Dell computers and some hand-me-down desks from his former employer, Baxter and his wife, Kendra, set up shop in a 3,500-square-foot former mattress factory in Pasadena. Their start-up capital: $100,000 pooled from their savings.

    To help pay the bills, Baxter has dabbled in small commercial jobs and animated sequences on the 2-D animated movie "Curious George."
    Join a discussion on this film here.

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