Bubblegum Farts: Is Bawdy Humor on the Rise in Adult Animated Comedy?

by Colin Wheeler Introduction by the Needy Animator  It is no secret to those close to me that other than being an avid browser of food-related content, I am also a hungry glutton of the animation selections on Netflix as well clicking on anything that mildly looks animated. We’re not talking just Disney classics to anime or famous features and series here but also lower budget straight-to-video selections and even pre-school animation with animated numbers and alphabets. So on more than one occasion, I have also watched more than a few episodes of a “not for kids” animated series only to be disappointed to be leaving with a sense of sadness that all I got out of my 2 hours of sit down session was derogatory content. Hey, I’m not naive and know to expect more than a fair share of raunchiness with the genre but while there are a lot of smart “adult animation” that peppers their show with raunchy content (personally I am a fan of Bo Jack Horseman and commend Archer on its up-to-date humor), it seems like there is also a great trend for the “adult animation” genre that heavily rely on being raunchy, rude, and uses crass slapstick and violence as a replacement of having real engaging storyline or character appeal. Sure, it might be totally subjective on my part but this article is a better musing by Colin Wheeler, our editor-in-chief with an MFA in Animation currently pursuing his PHD on this interesting phenomenon.   “I have a fine sense of the ridiculous, but no sense of humor.” Edward Albee   A situation only induces laughter when one never sees it...
Animators with no Boundaries

Animators with no Boundaries

The Importance of Traveling as an Animator by Nadine Promes (Edited by Colin Wheeler) As an international student and coming from a family that moved often, traveling has become second nature to me, within time, it turned into some sort of addiction. To give you an idea this summer alone I visited 4 different countries, almost 20 cities/towns and stayed in 12 different accommodations. In the past it would shock me whenever I encountered someone that said to me they didn’t like (or minded) traveling. I then realized that many factors go into this lack of interest, a major one being the fear of leaving your comfort zone. However the more I travel the more I understand how incredibly important it is to me, not only as a person, but also as an artist; more specifically an animator/storyteller. It not only opens up your mind to things you didn’t know existed, but it also introduces you to new cultures and new ways of understanding our brothers and sisters from all over the world. I fear to say that stereotypically speaking, animators are thought of as introverted people that spend most their time hunched over a desk or in front of a computer or game console for hours on end. Although I know this is partially true, I would like to break the stereotype by believing in a new generation of animators with no boundaries. World Building as an Artist As an artist, when you travel, you are open to different kinds of geographies, different city arrangements, new architecture, and new vistas you are not used to. You are also...

Wage Fixing in Animation

The Case of Wage Fixing in the Animation Industry and its Implications Introduction by the Needy Animator Personally, this topic has been of big interest to me as an artist, especially with how the outcome of this case could really determine the standards of the animation industry and how artists are treated. As we dig deeper into the Antitrust Law case and wage fixing in animation, entertainment lawyer Lee Morin sheds light into the hot topic of the ongoing case with insights to how this could affect the direction of the animation industry. While this series might be longer than most, it is very relevant that we as artist follow closely as a community. I believe that it is important to foster awareness and self protection for our industry as a whole so that the career path of an artist is a livable one where we can be passionate about what we do without sacrificing our livelihoods. We are most grateful to Lee for putting so much time and energy to do this in-depth research for us! Because of the length of this article and content that might be hard to digest, this article has been divided into 4 sections with leading key point for each.   In re Animation Workers Antitrust Litigation by Lee Morin, Esq.   SECTION 1: OVERVIEW OF THE ANTITRUST LAW CASE Antitrust Law has shaped the entertainment industries since the 1940s. It is the reason why performance rights organizations like ASCAP and BMI do not collect royalties from United States theaters(1)Alden–Rochelle, Inc. v. ASCAP, 80 F.Supp. 888, 894–96 (S.D.N.Y. 1948). on behalf of songwriters and publishers, and why...
A Student Volunteer’s Experience at Annecy Animation Festival 2015

A Student Volunteer’s Experience at Annecy Animation Festival 2015

by Nadine Promes What is Annecy? Annecy is a city located in the Haute-Savoie region in France, relatively close to Lyon. Although small and tranquil, it has plenty of things to do including various types of sports and outdoors activities. However during the summer, when the International Animation Film Festival occurs, Annecy fills up with people like no other time of the year. The event is divided into two sections. The Festival includes expositions, screening, special programs, signing sessions and more. The MIFA (International Animation Film Market) is where booths held by different studios or companies related to the entertainment business show their new products, shows or simply give information to future business partners or employees. In 2010 the Festival celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and this year (2015) MIFA is thirty years old. Every single year the festival grows in visitors and participants. This year the festival had more than 8,250 badge holders, 83 countries represented, and 500 films screened, and for the MIFA 2,680 badge holders. The Festival chooses a theme and a country to represent every year.  This year for example, Spain was the country represented and ‘Women in Animation’ was the theme. Hence the beautiful poster created by Regina Pessoa, both a woman animator and a Spaniard.   Volunteering for Annecy 2015: A Bénévole (Volunteer)’s Perspective Students get exclusive benefits that normal Festival badge holders don’t. For one day, students are allowed to enter the MIFA. There, they can and the stands, network with the companies and talk to recruiters. This is an immensely important opportunity of which one must take advantage. As an international animation student...
Copyright for the Freelance Artist, Pt. 4, a Case study of MomoCon

Copyright for the Freelance Artist, Pt. 4, a Case study of MomoCon

by Lee Morin, Esq. Articles related to Copyright for the Freelance Artist series may be found here: Part 1: Copyright Basics (The 101) Part 2: 3 Types of Employment Agreements Part 3: Copyright Infringement and Defenses    In Copyright for the Freelance Artist Pts. 2 and 3, we discussed copyright for freelance artists in the context of employment; however, we will now return to where we started with a discussion on the role that fans play in the world of animation.  Frequently, fans of animation, or manga, grow up to pursue careers as freelance artists.   My cousin graduates from SCAD this year with a degree in visual effects. When she was a kid, she collected manga and learned Japanese. She is an example of a fan, who became a career participant. I would like to dedicate this final chapter to my cousin, Nicole Rager.   To Skip to Specific Sections of this Article: Introduction Cosplay Anime Music Video Doujinshi/ Fan Art/ Fan Sub How to Copyright Fanworks   Introduction The first time I met Christopher Stuckey, Co-Chair of MomoCon, was at Mashable’s Social Media Day in 2013. Nestled in West Midtown, we networked and learned about social media from Dorothea Volpe. I again ran into Chris at GameVidExpo, where I was a featured panelist on fair use for YouTubers, and SIEGEcon, where I presented on intellectual property law basics for game designers. I suppose it was only a matter of time before I turned my sights to MomoCon. My hope is that the information shared here will raise awareness of the risks presented by fan art, how to guard...

Copyright for the Freelance Artist Part 3: Copyright Infringement and Defenses

  by Lee Morin, Esq. Articles related to Copyright for the Freelance Artist series may be found here: Part 1: Copyright Basics (The 101) Part 2: 3 Types of Employment Agreements Part 4: A Case Study of Momocon   In our last blog, Copyright for the Freelance Artist, Pt. 2, we discussed three types of agreements employers and artists might use when collaborating: work for hire, assignment, and license. In Copyright for the Freelance Artist, Pt. 1, we defined copyright, stated what subject matter it protects, the exclusive rights it grants, and outlined the benefits of registration, for example, access to federal courts and statutory damages in enforcement proceedings.   Moral Rights/ Les Droits Morale As a freelance artist, you may decide that registering federal copyright in your creative works provides you with the means to protect them. Moral rights, which exist in Europe, provide artists with the means to further protect their works, which rights are inalienable, meaning they cannot be contracted away, and include the right to create, to determine completeness, to withdraw, to attribution, and to integrity. The United States recognizes a limited set of moral rights for visual artists [.1]; thus, an artist, who paints, draws, prints, sculpts, and photographs images for exhibition only, in single copies or limited editions of 200 or less, signed and consecutively numbered, may assert their moral rights to attribution and integrity. Copyright Registration for Artists For all other artists, copyright registration is the sole method by which you may protect your creative works from impermissible exploitation, by enabling the copyright owner to exclude others from use. The use of your...

The Artist Epidemic: Paid or Free Work

*This is a personal rant with a lot of opinions. There may be generalizations.   We often encounter stories in the media about the wage gap and gender/racial inequality. While at an animator’s meeting today, I discovered another pervasive ideology that I find disturbing: the epidemic of artists that do not get paid what they deserve. Artists deserve to be paid for the hours that they put in. That includes the expenses they incur from travel, meeting hours with clients, and the hours of executing a task.   When you calculate the amount of hours put into a project versus what they earn, their wage falls well below the minimum. The minimum wage in Georgia is $7.25 an hour…except when applied to a freelance artist working under a set budget. I’ve talked to friends that get into projects like this. They do revision after revision with no additional charges, their hourly rate dwindling to less than $4…$3…$2…. Some artists don’t even break even. They end up exhausting their time and energy and inadvertently end up paying for the clients’ work.   Three Simple Things to Ask Yourself When You Accept Work 1. Why am I doing this? When you accept the work from a client/non-paying “friend”, what are you getting out of it? Are you getting monetary compensation, learning a new skill , or getting mentorship? You might be happy to do work for your best friends or family members. You will also be met with requests from acquaintances that just need a wedding invitation or a card for their boyfriend. These people never communicate with you on a daily basis but when they need art they suddenly remember their forgotten friend. This being said, many people have different...

List of Film Festivals

One of the goals filmmakers generally have in making a film is to have it seen by audiences. While platforms such as Youtube or Vimeo are great for public distribution, another way to garner recognition and a great way to get your film out is through Film Festival screenings. Granted most festivals worth entering not only have a submission fee ranging from around $25 to 45 dollars. With limited budget, which festivals are worth submitting to? There are many subjective answers to this question but having a general idea of some of the existing film festivals is usually a goo way to start. This list was compiled from some festivals we have submitted STARLIGHT to, research, and recommendations from other filmmakers. (To see a full list of festivals STARLIGHT has been accepted into and screened at, here is our information on our press page.) The tabs below are sorted into general, global, Atlanta-specific, and FREE (information focused on shorts, especially animation. Features not included). DOWNLOAD FILM FESTIVAL LIST AS PDF  We will also be running another article on basic film festival submission guidelines, submission platforms, how to prepare for your Press Kit, benefits of online screener, fees, information and more tips and tricks in another article. *Disclaimer: Please note this list was compiled based on the year 2014 Festivals and as current updated information as possible in 2015 but are still subjected to change. Please do your own further research for your film submission as we claim no authority or liability for any misinformation that may occur from the information in this...

Copyright for the Freelance Artist Pt 2: 3 Types Contract Agreement

The 3 Basic Types of Agreement for Artist Freelancers by Lee Morin, Esq. Articles related to Copyright for the Freelance Artist series may be found here: Part 1: Copyright Basics (The 101) Part 2: 3 Types of Employment Agreements Part 3: Copyright Infringement and Defenses  Part 4: A Case Study of Momocon THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS: The Case of Jack Kirby and Marvel Comics Whether you transfer ownership of or merely grant permission to use the exclusive rights to your work depends on the contract agreements in place.  Heated debates have arisen where it concerns agreements between freelance artists and publishers that allowed publishers to exploit characters in the comic book industry. Motion picture adaptations of literary superheroes are an example of derivative works, which provide the film industry with some of the highest earning films of late, grossing more than 15 billion dollars for Marvel, now Disney, since 2000 [11] .  Because copyright law provides that freelancers can terminate transfers of ownership in the exclusive rights to their work [12] , heirs of freelance artist Jack Kirby sued Marvel to reclaim rights to characters Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Spider Man, Thor, and X-Men [13] . Marvel argued that Kirby produced work as made for hire not subject to termination; thus, Marvel was author and owner; neither Kirby nor his heirs had any claim.  The heirs insisted that Kirby had not irrevocably transferred his rights to Marvel, rather that the transfer was subject to termination after 56 years [14] . After petitioning the Supreme Court for certiorari, parties settled their dispute on confidential terms [15] .  Whether freelance...

Copyright for the Freelance Artist Pt 1: Copyright Basics

So today we have an awesome guest blogger Lee Morin, an Entertainment Lawyer here to shed some light about things that artists might not know but probably should, especially if they are freelancing or considering doing so. One of these things that people might be familiar with but not in details have to do with the issue of copyright in art and adaptations. While something we are all probably familiar with at a basic level, here’s some useful information that might get artists more familiar with a bit more than just the definition and a bit of how copyright is important especially to artists. * This guest blog post was written by Lee Morin, Esq.   OF COPYRIGHT, CONTRACTS, AND FAN ART If you are reading this blog, words like “manga,” “cosplay,” or “doujinshi,” may seem ordinary.  To the uninitiated, these words are foreign; but, if you have heard of Pokémon, or Dragon Ball Z, then you know “manga”[1].  My first encounter with manga was the film adaptation of Akira, and later with Ghost in the Shell, whose soundtrack is as haunting as its subject matter.  Following in the footsteps of the crossover tradition was the epic film adaptation, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, from the successful media franchise Final Fantasy, which, “centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games, but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise [2].” The film adaptation of Final Fantasy was the first photorealistic computer animated feature film, and most expensive to produce at $137 million with a staff of 200 at 960 workstations rendering 141,964 frames over a span of...