Wolf: The animated feature

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 Post subject: Real talk here about movie production...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:08 am
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This is not an attack by any means, but just a very blunt bit.

I've been following this 'movie' progress for about ten years now. Yes, ten! (Though more accurately, discovered ten years ago and checked in about five times since then). I admired the art and characters of realistic but well done patterns and markings when I was a young teenager. This movie has been over fourteen years in the making, and no doubt people who were once hyped and passionate have long forgotten about it, as had I, until someone cracked a joke about it recently.

I saw the most recent estimation of 'another 1-2 years'. Threads from previous years were simply vaguely answered "we don't know", et cetera.

By that estimation, that's fifteen or sixteen years in the making. Sixteen years that no doubt will cause inconsistencies in animation quality, art style progression (and differences between artists, already the emoticons look outdated) further on in the movie, and sixteen years of lost interest among dozens of people. One whole person could have been born and grown up to be able to help out in that time. The main website seems to be outdated. The occasional two or so second progress shots are... well, two seconds of several frames.

This forum looks like tumbleweeds are blowing on by! Where are the fans who will watch this? Is there a fanbase over even 500+ to watch it? The forum itself only has 673 users, no doubt a majority inactive. As mentioned before, I barely remembered it until one joked about it as we reminisced on deviantArt "wolf famous" artists.

Sorry, but this is just mindblowing to me. Several years ago I got into animation and have improved slowly. I know animators from all walks of life - hobbyists, professionals, friends who have even interned for cartoons like Regular Show, and instructors; before anyone might jump to the "how about YOU do it better" defense.

Yes, I get it, many people working on it. Free time. Non-profit. You guys are very dedicated to this! But sixteen years with little to keep fans' interest, or gain new fans? I cannot wrap my head around this. I would love to see this. But how on earth would I even be updated on this in an organized manner? Is there a solid plan for the movie, or even a plan to keep people in the loop? Would I, someone who first heard about it a decade ago, still have interest? Where are the people who were interested 10+ years ago? Are the ones who wanted to provide voice acting even around still? The wolf comic phase like KayFedewa and many others on various art sites has long gone by (or at least died down & considerably less popular) to boot. :S

Best wishes.


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 Post subject: Re: Real talk here about movie production...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:30 pm 
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Thanks for the best wishes! I'll answer some of your basic concerns tho others (like about the voice actors) I know less about so I'll leave it hopefully to others.

We aren't planning ahead for too much til the movie is done...there's no point for instance in figuring out DVD or online download, or tshirts or screenings til we have something to show. Sometimes we are slow to update...we start a twitter or upload a new video we worked on, then get busy and leave it for a bit. Usually someone comes along to update it again, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. People come and go on this project. There's those who leave forever and those who go and come back after long hiatuses (like me!)

The website IS being updated, we change the artwork as the seasons go by. There's little things here and there, but we don't focus on updating it much more than to add new info, as that's just one more bit of work to add to an already work-intensive project.

New videos go up as they are done...but we don't upload every thing we finish as some of it contains spoilers. The "we don't know" answer is the most frustrating of all (and for us too) but we can't possibly measure the progress when one month we might finish 10 shots and the next 2. It's so dependent on who's around at the time and how busy they are. I know you're tired of hearing it, but it's the truth and there's not much we can add to it.

It's understandable that many of our fans are frustrated and I am sure there are those (probably a lot) who have given up on the project. Some recent experiences with Youtube Live have proven that there are some folks who were pretty excited to see we were still going and who have wandered back to observe our progress and cheer us on. Many more have probably forgotten all about us.

If I can speak for my own personal experience on the project, I have grown substantially as an animator through it, and I am happy to work on it as long as they'll have me and as long as it takes. It's a chance to work with other people (something I need or I drop off and get unmotivated) and to grow in traditional animation. I work mostly in Flash at my animation job so this is a lot of fun for me and keeps my animation muscles strong. It's also a chance to meet younger kids who are into animation but don't know how to start. It's nice to talk to them and show them you CAN do this without going to school for it, if you want to give it a try. And it's nice to meet people who just think animation is fun and this is a chance to do a bit here and there. There's also wolves, which are cool. There are many worthwhile reasons for me to be here, whether we ever finish this project or not. (Of course I hope we do! And sooner!)

We're still here and we're still working away at it, slow though the progress may be. If you are annoyed or have given up hope on the whole thing, that's a valid feeling. There's not a whole lot of projects that are still going this many years in. We're bound to lose fans over time.

The project is mindblowing to me, too. I don't know how it's still going after all this time except by the will of a few stubborn folks and sometimes a fresh infusion of new artists who are eager to take up the mantle.

For those few of us, it's fun and it's neat to see it actually progress over time. We've come super far and we have super far to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Real talk here about movie production...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:59 pm 
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I agree with everything Marji has said. Like you, I started out as a fan who stumbled scross the project and watched it for years before joining. Honestly, I figured the project would be done before I had the time, experience, and skill to contribute. Low and behold, here I am.

You point out that with so many artists over such a long period of time, there are bound to be inconsistencies. I'd have to respectfully disagree. Every frame of every shot in every scene is scrutinized and reviewed multiple times even after "completion." (Even after a scene is "done" being animated, there's still compositing, music, and final approval. Plus until we actually finish, we can go back to any scene whenever we want.) Anything that is "wrong" or needing correction in any way will be spotted and addressed. Even if mistakes do get past us and end up in the final film, this happens with big name studios too, so I don't see this as a big issue. We may each have individual art styles, but while working on Wolf, we stick to ond style.

Secondly, we're not in this to have an enormous fanbase, honestly. We're doing this because we love animation, because we love wolves, because a group of people who have never known each other beforehand can create a movie with zilth experience and learn valuable skills for the real world. Or just for kicks. Because we LOVE what we're doing. We love this project, and that's why we haven't given up, and why we never will.

Yes, we may lose fans, but that's okay. It happens. People's interest change with time. Not everything we like when we were younger stays with us all our lives.

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