Saturday, 26 March 2022

How We Tackle External Projects at BNU

At BNU we often get asked if our animation students can take on external projects. Our students are very busy with their own work, but on occasion we can tackle "live briefs" for outside clients.

There are however a few things we need in advance, most important of which is a brief (ideally a single page PDF), explaining what the client wants and expects.  Below is a list of things for clients to think about to make sure that the project is a success. 

External Projects Checklist
To make the process work, we need a little help from our external clients. In particular, we will be looking for answers to the following questions:
  • Is there a Budget? Some clients have budgets, others don't. But it's important to be clear at the start whether this is a paid or unpaid gig.
  • What is the story? It helps a lot if our client has a story in mind, ideally a script. If the client doesn't have a script, we can help flesh one out, but it helps to have a fairly clear idea in advance of what the story is about.
  • How long is it? Animation is slow, expensive, and time-consuming. How long is the final film to be? Animators generally measure their weekly output in seconds.
  • Who is it for? What is the audience? Adults? Children? Toddlers?
  • What style? Everyone likes Toy Story, but we can't deliver Pixar quality on a zero budget.  It helps if a client can show us examples of a simple style of animation that they like.  A link to some videos at YouTube in a similar style is very useful. 
  • What is the deadline? Everyone needs a deadline. When does the client need the project completed?
  • What is the Final Output? What output does the client need? What aspect ratio and what resolution? Is it for theatrical release, or the internet?
  • Who is the Main Point of Contact? We will ideally need one person who defines the brief and makes the decisions, who is easy to contact for feedback and approvals.
One Page PDF Brief
The best way to get our students enthused about the project is to put together a one (maximum two) page PDF which explains the above. That way we can circulate this with our students and hopefully get a positive response. 

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