We have had a lot going on these last few weeks, so I thought it be a good time for the July 2016 Company Update.
Bink: Hopefully all of you have seen the first episode of Bink by now. Through our different postings there has been over 50,000 people who have watched our yellow and blue little creature, so I think this is pretty good for our first animated short. I have never been an expert when it came to YouTube, so before launching Bink I did a lot of research on the best practices. Things like the best day of the week and time to post to get the most views, or should I post it as a Facebook video, a YouTube link, or a website link.
It turns out Facebook penalizes YouTube videos, and don’t put them on as many of your friends newsfeed as it does with its own native Facebook videos. I wanted to drive traffic to my YouTube Channel, so in order to do this I ended up sharing a link to my website which contained the embedded YouTube video as website links are ranked higher then directly linking to a YouTube link.
Many of you have been asking when the next Bink is coming, and I’m still trying to figure this out. Producing one of these episodes(even at 30 seconds) is pretty expensive. Before committing to another episode I need to make sure the company has the available funds to do so. I need enough client projects to bring in money I can use to fund future Bink shorts. I will need to take a good hard look at my current client projects, and the company’s savings to see when is the best time to produce another episode.
I have been doing a lot of thinking on the Bink shorts, and have a lot of really fun ideas of where I can take the story. I want to explain more about who Bink is, and about his species, where he is from, and how he end up in this testing facility. Each episode will give you a little more insight about Bink to eventually help you see the whole picture. Some of my future plans for the short will also take us outside the testing facility, and you might even get to meet more of his species(can you imagine how cute baby Binks would be?). A lot of very exciting stories I look forward to sharing with all of you. The animated gif of the amulet is a hint there are more to Bink then you might have expected.
Bink Merchandise: I have had a lot of people ask for Plush toys of Bink, and I have actually started looking into it. It seems to be a little out of my reach at the moment, but as the series grows in popularity I might be able to support the expense of making plush toys. My brief research has shown there are companies which will make custom plush toys, but most have a minimum order of 1,000 units. I’m not sure there are enough people who know about Bink where I could sell 1,000 plush toys to make my money back on the order.
While we don’t have plush toys yet, I did add more Bink shirts and other merchandise to our online store, so be sure to check it out. I ordered some test prints to see how they printed, and they turned out great.
MagicMeeMees: The big thing this week is we finally got to share the first MagicMeeMee episode which we started working on in January of this year. We are currently working on 3 additional episodes each with its very own unique worlds and characters. This web series is for our client, Future of Play, which is a startup toy company who will be releasing the MagicMeeMees toy line next month. Depending on how the toys sell they may decide to make more episodes, so go out and buy the toys!
You might also notice this web series is a very different style and quality then what Bink is. We had a very tight budget with these, so we designed it in a way to keep the complexity down. For example none of the characters have fur, and are very simplistic in design, there are limited reflections in the world, and there are no FX. We had a very talented crew working on these episodes, and they all did an amazing job working within the budget constraints.
There were other challenges such as we needed to stay true to the toys and their worlds as much as possible, and we had to tell a story without any dialogue or narration. We also needed to make sure we showed off the different functionalities of the toys like the glowing chests to show their emotions, and their communication through buzzing/vibrations. Food is also really important part of the toys, and you will see this more in the future episodes.
Here are the amazing crew members who brought MagicMeeMees to life.
Jared White – Writer, Storyboard Artist, Editor, & Co-Director
Carl Johnson – Composer
Linda Kurgpõld – Modeler & Surfacer
Nico Sanghrajka – Character TD
Jim Richardson – Rough Layout
John Eric Domingo – Animator
Eric Deuel – Animator
Chris Mayne – Animator
Danny Clark – Animator
Benjamin Liska – Lighter & Compositor
Boom Box Post – Post Production Sound Services
Jeff Shiffman – Sound Supervisor
David Carfagno – Sound Editor
Jesse Drake – Re-Recording Mixer
Eric M. Miller – Producer & Co-Director
Company: So as you can see we have been pretty busy with our different projects, so you might be wondering what is next for the company? Now that we have a nice body of work I plan to update our companies showreel to include the Toys’R’Us, Bink, and MagicMeeMees work. I feel this gives us a nice variety of projects and styles to show clients what we can offer. I will be spending most of my time reaching out to potential clients, and trying to bring in more projects. The more client work we can do the more the studio can grow, and the more money we will have to do our own projects like Bink.
If you have not already, please join me on my journey by subscribing to my blog. Also, 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.