Tuesday, November 4, 2014

WatchCat Work: Our Thoughts

November 21 is nearly upon us and we still have a lot to finish up if we want to make that date. I'm not sure how we came up with 11/21 to be the release date of our first animated web series called, Watch Cat.

Maybe it's because that is my birthday, as well as the start date of the three day CTN Expo in Burbank, CA we will be attending. Or perhaps, it is both of them combined that makes it the perfect date for our feline crimefighter to hit the screen. But moreover, it was necessary, at the time, to set a date on the calendar, no matter what it was.

We've been working on this one episode for 10 months straight with just one animator and myself, as the writer and could possibly do another two to four months of work, if we wanted to be perfectionists. Without a deadline in sight, we would not have been able to reach our goal for the film.

But, there's something about setting a deadline in a project that makes it more real, more urgent, and more important. It's not just some hobby, it's... something else. A deadline, forces you to work longer hours, work harder, & quicker with little to no sleep. And, the closer you get to the deadline, the crazier you become with trying to finish it. We call that "Crunch time!"

But, no matter how far in advance you put that deadline and how many hours you dedicate to that project, it's still never feels like enough time.

We have two weeks left.

I hope we make it!

Animation is a lot harder than most people think it to be. 

I know for a fact that people think they can create animated films just by getting the latest copy of Maya or picking up some other software tools used in 2D or Stop Motion. However, these are only the tools you need, but to make them work properly, you need to have the experience.

I have been storyboarding, animating, and thinking about this project for several months and even though we started this venture in February, I've only been working on it during my free time. 

Someone made a comment about not to point out the negative things that happen while working on this project, but I disagree. Adversity is more interesting and exciting when you are not in the middle of it, but when you succeed or fail, you have learned something from the situation.

I've been retraining my brain to adapt back to the 2D process for this project, unlike the typical CG production commonly used these days, as well as using a combination of techniques to tell our simple tale. Above all, I've been attempting to document our steps throughout this project in search of an audience, to inform people about what we are working on at the time and also to find out if there are others out there interested in this little labor of love.

Greg and I came up with this project to create a common project and watch it thrive. I'm happy to say that everything is looking good so far and I think this could become the beginning to a much bigger story. Since we began this blog, we've had over 1000 viewers stop by, take a look and, hopefully, enjoyed our work! I am amazed by the outstanding amount of interested people and am thrilled that it has been viewed and appreciated by so many!

We are now are aiming for November 21st to finish this project and from there, begin the next episode. Our goal is to create enough short episodes to build a complex, larger story, which will hopefully become well-known to many. We plan to move to a crowd funding venture only if we can gain an enthusiastic audience and discover their opinions of WatchCat and his story.

Looking for photos of your neighborhood WatchCat; please send your picture to heyjimr@gmail.com. Thanks again!