I'm looking at starting a stop motion animation studio - mainly because of passion than profit, but of course it will need to make profit.
Would it be normal for animators to get involved through collaboration whereby work can be matched with equity, share ownership or payment depending on size of job? Are animators interested in being part of something as it grows sort of thing? I'd look for the work and gain interest from companies but I would need the bodies with the skills to make the actual animations. This can be from home or in a small studio setting.
I would also like to produce some independent stuff as my skills are in the writing and design, with a view to selling finished products to content acquirers in the industry.
I like the idea. I'm just starting out and need the practice. In a few days I'll upload some pics.
Members here are spread across the globe, the majority in the US, a few in the UK, and some like me in other places like Australia. So only a few reading this could be able to physically turn up to your actual studio. If they did they would probably need upfront wages because they would have to house and feed themselves. Maybe others could make props or puppets, or even build sets and film in their own studios, and send you stuff.
I do a small amount of work making and animating puppets, usually against greenscreen, for compositing into productions in other places. So do a few others here. I'm not sure how much value I would place in owning equity in a small start-up studio... it is incredibly tough making a living from animation production. Short films, basically, do not make money. Unless you get a grant, you are spending money you won't get back, to express your vision or build your portfolio and lead to the next project. TV series or feature films can make money, but are a major undertaking, especially with animation which takes a long time to make. 12 to 18 months of full time work for a crew of 20 to 50 people, or years and years of work for 1 to 4 people. Here In Australia, studios are usually put together for the duration of a single production, and break up after it is done. Then about 10 years pass before the next one comes along. There really isn't a steady market for an ongoing facility with premises and staff, so I guess that colours my view of it as a business proposition. (When I built my own studio, I did it with no expectation of making money from it, it's just what keeps me sane.) You never know, you could end up being the next Aardman, and anybody with a piece of it could do well, but the odds are against it, so part ownership of such a fragile enterprise might not have that much appeal purely from a monetary point of view. I think I would probably put that in the same category as doing a bit of work for free just because I'm excited by the project. I'm doing some animation for an independent UK project now - if it eventually covers its costs and can pay me a bit, great, but I'm not relying on that. It's fun stuff, I put in only as much as I can afford for something just because it is fun, and if I ever get any money back it is a bonus. That works for some of us, most others really do need to earn a living with their time and skills to pay the rent.