Preparing Hyperspace Jump, Sir!

Coffeebot: An Online Series.  So far it’s still in the pre-production phases of development – which is okay, since we’re still ahead of schedule. Everything’s getting closer. But let’s talk about some  long term stuff we haven’t gotten to yet. Stuff that, right now, is all hypothetical, but when we get to it, it’ll be more than real, man.

That I’m referring to is our team’s rather unconventional plan of attack (“pipeline”, if you will) for senior project. As far as I know, our approach hasn’t been done before at Drexel. Variations can be seen in the real world though. Instead of focusing our efforts on a final animation, like a short film or single story, we are doing a series. A living, updating, and constantly improving body of work that, that by the end of senior project, will have already been available for public viewing for some time. Webcomic artists do it. Cartoon companies do it. We plan to do it too.

One of the main reason we choose this project was the fast turnaround time for content instead of something more traditional. Yes, it means we have to work faster (but not necessarily harder, as we will be working smarter instead), and yes, it means we have to have storyboards and animatics, etc, done in advance – basically, we will have a packed schedule. But because of that, we will be constantly getting feedback on something finished, not a rough draft or concept. Once we get into production mode, that element is done with. We want to get content out the door, onto our website, and start driving traffic to it right away. More content = more feedback. More audience members = more feedback. More experience for us = better, faster content. Sure, the first handful of comics and maybe the first episode might be a little off from the later ones, but in this kind of setup, that has to be ignored. Well, not ignored, per se. Everything we put out will be heavily monitored for critiques. But you can’t go back and fix it, you can’t spend a month working on playblasts, messing with every little detail. In a feature film, yes, but we’re not making that. We’re intentionally putting ourselves in a situation which calls for fast adaptation and the ability to move on without lingering on the small things. We don’t expect our first releases to be perfect. We want to grow and improve with every comic and animation we make. It might seem a little stressful, but we’re seniors in college, damn it. If we’re not going to go all out, how should we expect to impress any potential employers? Senior project is all about doing your own ideal project, and, well, this is what all 4 of us really wanted to do.

So yeah, by the end of senior year, our team will not merely be presenting a short that we’ve worked on to the point of loathing it and that only merits one viewing from the audience. We want to create something that people will want to check every week for new stuff. Something that they’ll tell their friends to check out. Something that doesn’t just end when our schooling ends. We want to be able to show our work to people at big name animation places and say, we know how to work on a deadline, how to adapt to new ideas, and, oh yeah – we don’t need to have you. We want to work for you, you want us to work for you, and you’re cool. But we already made this series from the ground up. We’ve already made something we can go back to, because we can make it and make it good. So who do you want to hire – some shmuck who went to Animation Mentor like everyone else, or someone who started their own cartoon series?

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