Are animators (as they have been known for decades- not as they’re being redefined now) like the dodo bird? On the outs, to be gone from the planet all together before long?
Michael Sporn seems to think so.
Maybe he’s just being provacative. If so I like it. Rhetorical provoking isn’t a bad thing, just so long as it’s thought and not knuckle sandwiches that are provoked.
Still, “Extinct” is a strong word. It doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. But Mr. Sporn does touch on the diminishing nature of animators as the years to come arrive and pass into the years gone by. Technology continues it’s inexorable march and the old ways adapt or miss the train. Still, I gotta believe that somewhere, somebody will keep doing this stuff ‘the old fashioned way’ long after the ping pong suit hegemony has settled into middle age.
Someone once told me in an email (I think it was Hodge) that they felt the future of animation- specifically hand drawn/hand keyed full animation- would be akin to a cottage industry. Like candle makers, blacksmiths or glass blowers are today. Quaint artesans whiling away the days in an outmoded form of labor, loved by an enthusiastic few, collected and feted within a small circle of people who still love and appreciate the art and craft of animation. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with that. If one can make a living this way, heck… it actually sounds kinda nice. The only thing missing would be the collaboration and social benefits of the studio system. But I can imagine small animator “co-ops” developing in the years to come. A group of animators/artists get together and rent a space, but they don’t form a proper studio. They share rent & utilities, hang out, work, offer crits and inspiration, perhaps hire each other to help out on a larger project now and then, but by and large do their own thing within site & sound of each other (private offices would be smart, though. In case you want to shut the door and work alone now and then). I’m thinking more of a loosely knit affiliation of animator/artist buddies than a studio. Studios, even small ones, can be messy affairs. A co-op might be an interesting model for those who want to run a different race than the big budget/big name one that predominates the landscape. I can see a co-op being fun and invigorating (assuming everybody involved is able to make a financial go of it, that is). All that’d be missing is a pot belly stove. Maybe I’m just being a romantic. Who knows.