As this will be my last blog post in 2016 I wanted to do a Year in Review of how this year has been. Many of these things we have gone into greater detail in past posts, so this will just be a quick overview of the year. Overall it has been a great year. We got to work on some great projects, and I got to attend some really exciting events. The business was profitable, and we did a lot better then we did last year. I’m very excited, and looking forward to what we will achieve in 2017.
Events & Projects:
You may have seen the web series we have been working on called MagicMeeMee which is based on the toys by the same name. Our client, Future of Play, asked us to create this web series to help get people aware of their new toy-line. We started working on the series at the beginning of this year, and ended up working on the episodes most of the year. We released the first episode on July 11th, and the 4th episode earlier this month. Currently the four episodes have a 173,173 combined view count on the client’s YouTube pages. Creating this web series was such a great learning experience, and I felt each episode was better then the last. I hope we get to work on more of these episodes in the future. Click here to watch the series.
Producer Guild Awards:
On Jan. 23rd of this year I attended my second Producers Guild Awards. I was also able to talk my wife, who was pregnant, into being my date. I’m not sure how she was able to wear high-heels while pregnant, but she somehow pulled it off. I think one of the awards should have gone to her for that. It is always fun to dress up, and go to these awards to mingle with all the talented people in the industry. It is also fun to see the movie stars who make an appearance.
In February I attended the Annie awards for the first time, and it was such a fun event. This event is very different from the Producers Guild Awards, because it is all about animation. There is an added excitement to these award shows when you actually know the people getting the awards. I already have my tickets for both of these events for next year, so I will be sure to let you know how it goes.
Launched our Online Store:
In April I was really excited the company launched its online store. I don’t expect to make millions off the merchandise, but I wanted to offer company related shirts for anyone who might want them.
We also made an update to our company’s logo this year. I wanted something which was a cleaner and simpler read, since I felt the more detailed logo did not print well.
My Daughter was Born:
My wife and I were really excited to welcome our daughter Ayla into the world on May 1st. She has been such a joy, and I love watching both her and her older brother starting to play together. Even when most of the time it is her brother taking toys away from her. She is already crawling, and trying to walk.
UT Alumni Magazine & UT Home Page:
Bink got a lot of love this year from my Alma mater, the University of Toledo. He ended up making an appearance in the UT Alumni Magazine, UT News, and the University’s Website’s Home page on a few occasions this year.
3D World Magazine:
Bink also made an appearance in 2 issues of 3D World Magazine. Once before the release of the teaser short in June, and another after.
Bink’s Friends & Family Screening and Wrap Party:
How often do you get to create something new and exciting? I figured we might as well go big with the release of the first episode of Bink, and throw a screening and wrap party to thank all the crew for all their hard work. Even with twisting my ankle really bad hours before people showed up I still had a great time. As a side note: My ankle is still recovering from this incident.
This might have been one of the biggest things coming out of the company this year. After working on the short for over a year we finally finished it in time to release it on June 28th. We got a fair amount of attention, and even some clients from the work we did on Bink. While I consider it a success I still feel there is more to come from Bink. We are actively working on a longer episode, and hopefully will be releasing it in 2017.
University of Toledo – University College: Alumni of the Year:
I was honored to be selected by my university as the Alumni of the year. They flew me back to the university in Toledo, Ohio for the Homecoming game, and the award gala where they presented me with the award. It had been a long time since I was in Toledo, so it was really awesome getting to go back and relive some of my college experiences.
DreamWorks Animation Presentation:
After the release of Bink, DreamWorks Animation invited me to do a presentation for their employees about my company and the projects we have been working on. It was exciting to get to go back to the DWA campus, and do a talk about what I have been working on. I also really enjoyed reconnecting with some of my former co-workers.
After we finished all the MagicMeeMee episodes we updated our showreel to showcase all of our new work. Jared White, who also wrote and directed the MagicMeeMees web series, edited this company showreel together. You can check it out below.
The World Animation & VFX Summit:
In October I attended the World Animation & VFX Summit, which was my second time attending this event. I went last year, and got a lot out of it. This event is geared to producers, and studio heads so all the presentations on very relevant to what I’m doing. I had a great time at this at this year’s event, and looking forward to going again next year. I only hope they don’t schedule it on Halloween again. Check out our blog post about this year’s event.
In November I attended my 3rd CTNX animation expo which is held each year in Burbank, CA. This is always a great event, and is much more artist focused then the World Animation & VFX Summit. I always meet so many great artists and animators as well as learn a lot from the panels and presentations. Check out our blog post about this year’s CTNX.
The last project we worked on was 2 videos we did for Honda. One was used at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and the other will be used at CES next month. Unfortunately we do not have permission to share them online. If you are going to CES let me know if you see our video.
Blog Post Data:
I actually have two blogs. This one which I use more as a personal journal of my journey in starting an animation company, and they we also have one for the company. Here is some information on both of them.
Total 2016 Views: 6,657
Top 2016 Blog Post: Building An Animation Company’s Leadership Team (961 views)
Total Subscribers: 54
milleranimation.com/blog(the company blog):
Total 2016 Views: 5,195
Top 2016 Blog Post: Talent Spotlight: Introducing Violette Sacre (494 views)
Total Subscribers: 42
Total 2016 Views: 32,645
Top 2016 Page: Bink (2,632 views)
Social Media & Marketing:
This year we created a Social Media Marketing Coordinator position, and we have had a few people in this role. They are responsible for daily posts on all our social media accounts, weekly blog posts, quarterly newsletters, and a few other tasks. This has helped us stay active on all our social media accounts, and create some amazing content for our website.
Network Size: 4,833 Likes
2016 Growth: +407 Likes
Network Size: 1,044 Followers
2016 Growth: +522 Followers
Network Size: 707 Followers
2016 Growth: +466 Followers
Network Size: 287 Subscribers
2016 Growth: +278 Subscribers
Most Popular Video: Bink: New Arrival – Teaser (5,881 views)
Total Channel Views: 10,005
Network Size: 27 Followers
2016 Growth: +15 Followers
Most Popular Video: Bink – Teaser (514 views)
Network Size: 20 Followers
2016 Growth: 4 Followers
Society of Creative Professionals:
While technically the Society of Creative Professionals is not part of the company, and is only hosted by me I still wanted to include it in this update. We ended up having one mixer each month this year with a range in the number of attendees. Our biggest mixer this year was our April mixer which was held at the Robin Hood British Pub in Sherman Oaks. We had over 35 people show up at this event. If you are interested in coming to our mixers please join the groups Facebook page.
Overall I think this was a great year. I was able to attend a lot of great events, and meet a lot of new people. These connections will help me to continue to grow the company. I look forward to the coming years. I wish all of you a very happy and successful new year!
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.