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Eric Miller Animation June Update

I wanted to give everyone a June Update on everything I’m working on with the company.  Although I don’t currently have any client projects I’m working on I’m still pretty busy with many other tasks.  Here are some of the things I’m currently working on.

Animated Short
I mentioned in an earlier post I was working on a CG animated short.  We are making progress with it, but have been taking our time to make sure it looks great.  As I write this we are working on the design of the main character, as well as brainstorming the set location.  To keep costs down it will be in one simple set that we can reuse for the different episodes. Once we finish the character design phase we will start modeling the character, and then rig it for animation.  At the same time we work on the character rig we will also be surfacing it.

Motion Graphics Sizzle Piece
Since we are offering 3 main services, Animation, Visual Effects, and Motion Graphics, I wanted to make sure I had examples of the different styles of work we can do.  The Toys”R”Us commercials are great examples for VFX, and the Animated short will be the example of our animation work.  That leaves me needing something to show off what we can do with motion graphics.  I have been working on putting a sizzle piece together to help show clients what we can do.

I have been talking with some motion graphics artists about a piece that will show off what our crew can do with motion graphics.  We are still early in the discussions, but I’m excited about the direction that it is heading.  I will keep you updated as we move along with it.

Business Plan
I have been trying to find the time to put together a business plan, and I finally got started with it.  It seems silly that simply writing out your plan would have such an impact, but it has already helped me a great deal.  It got me thinking about things I have not thought about yet, and gave me some ideas on how to grow my business. I have not got to the mission statement section yet, but I’m looking forward to working on that.

S-Corp
My company is currently a sole proprietorship, but for some time now I have been looking into changing it into a S-Corp.  There are several reasons I’m planning on doing this, but the two main ones are limited liability, and tax savings.  It will also allow me to raise money by selling shares if I decide to go that route.  I have been talking with my CPA, and next plan to talk to an attorney about it.  As long as everything works out I should be moving forward with this in the next month.

LA Society of Creative Professionals
I mentioned in my last post about forming a society to plan monthly outings, and activities for networking and fun. Well I have setup a Facebook group for it, and plan on working on getting our first outing on the calendar.  If you are in the LA area, and in the animation, visual effects, or motion graphics fields please join the group to find out about our events.  I think this will be a lot of fun, and who knows it might help you find your next project, or new friends.  Visit the Facebook group.

Finding New Clients
Another thing that is a constant for me is looking for new clients.  This is by far the most difficult part of running your own company.  These are skills that you don’t learn while working for a large corporation, and has been a huge learning experience for me.  I have been cold-calling/emailing, but have not had much luck with that.  I have tried getting a commercial rep, but I have not found any that don’t already have a full roster of companies.  I have been doing a lot of networking, but still no leads.  The thing with networking is that you never know when someone in your network might turn into a project.

Although I will continue trying to contact clients directly I also want them to find me.  This is why I have been investing in my own projects like my animated short, and the motion graphic sizzle piece.  It seems to be a much more effective way to gain new clients.

I have also been reaching out to directors, and try and establish a relationship with them.  This way when they are working on a project that needs animation or visual effects they will hopefully reach out to me to help.  Often times directors have a lot of influence over the studios and agencies they are working for in bringing in their own people.

As you can see I have a lot of things on my plate, and a lot of work to get done.  I also always have work to do on my website, but that never really ends.  I hope you are enjoying following along with my progress, and if you ever want to know about anything specific please leave me a comment below.  I will answer to the best of my ability, and if appropriate dedicate a blog post to your question.  As always don’t forget to subscribe to get the blogs delivered directly to your email inbox.  Well, it is time for me to go back to work, so until next time.

 

If you have not already, I hope you will join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog.  If you have any thoughts or advice I would love to hear what you have to say, so please feel free to leave me any comments below. Otherwise, be sure to stay connected with me on Twitter (@MillerAnimation). Only Time Will Tell.

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