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Animation Is Hard

Making your own animation can be an ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be! Hosts Mike and Matthew walk you through the challenges and pitfalls of producing independent animation, and share their advice on everything from scriptwriting to crowdfunding.

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Episode 3: Team-building

Mike and Matthew go deep into the world of freelancers: where to find them, how to negotiate with them, and how to make sure everyone ends up happy. They also cover copyright ownership, payment terms, kill fees, and how not to be a bad client.  Once your team is assembled, you’re going to want to manage communication with a large group of people, and that’s where group-chat clients like Slack come in. Matthew shares some of his thoughts on Basecamp, and Mike explains why video conferences sound gimmicky but are actually vital for team morale.


31 Mar 2016

Rank #1

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Episode 8: Burnout

The podcast returns after a long absence! Mike and Matthew devote this episode to the complex problem of burnout: how to recognize it, how to deal with it, and how to help others avoid it. They also touch on changing attitudes towards mental health over the last 20 years, and why quitting a job might not be as hard as it seems. Also, the show has a new Twitter handle! Please follow us at @animationishard. Show notes: CTN Animation Expo Twitter: @animationishard


26 Jan 2017

Rank #2

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Episode 7: Stepping Up Your Game

Animator Guen Goik chats with Mike and Matthew about how to continue improving yourself as an animator once you’re out of school, so you can get better animation jobs. It takes more than just good animation techniques—communication skills are just as important. Guen also talks about IK hands, Emilia Clarke’s eyebrows, and that time she ran an animation studio in China. Show notes: Guenever Goik’s reel Emilia Clarke Has the Most Insane Eyebrows Known to Man Breakdowns Can Be Such a Drag Jane and the Dragon


21 Jun 2016

Rank #3

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Episode 6: Sacrifices

This week’s episode goes to some dark places. Many personal sacrifices are required when committing yourself to a major creative project. All that time and energy has to come from somewhere. Mike and Matthew share their tales of woe about poor health choices, missing out on great TV shows, and that moment when you realize you’re never going to learn a foreign language. They also cover Mike’s newly launched webcomic project, and how it fits into his dream to become a feature filmmaker. Show notes: “5 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Own Life (Without Knowing It),” by David Wong “Imagining your future projects is holding you back,” by Jessica Abel “The Automan’s Daughter,” by Mike Stamm and Shadia Amin


29 May 2016

Rank #4

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Episode 5: Making It as a Freelance Animator

This week, Mike and Matthew chat with freelancer Kyle Bernardabout his experiences as a working animator. Along the way, theylearn about the importance of networking and moving to Burbank, howto figure out what your client rates should be, and the one shotyou should never include on your reel. Kyle also shares his processfor finding the inner life of an animated character, and thereasons why he hopes to someday work for Disney.


1 May 2016

Rank #5