Day 175 – Budgets? We don’t need no stinking…

Posted: 20th August 2012 by Mike Gasaway in budgets

Budgets.  Those are the fun things you put together when trying to decide what magical number of weeks artists and coordinators can actually achieve a finished show.  Sure, it’s used with quite a bit of knowledge and experience but most of all, it’s a little guesswork.

Well, at least that’s how MOST people come up with budgets.  I know a producer who literally just slams a fist on the calculator to come up with numbers…well, not really but it sure seems like it.

It’s the age old triangle.  On one side you have time.  Another you have quality.  Finally for the third you have money.  As the triangle goes, you can really only have two.  The less time you have, the less money it costs.  However, so is the quality.  Want more quality?  Need more money.  Need more time?  More money.  Need more money?  You get the picture.

I say bullcrap.


I had a saying back when working with uddered male cows.  “I didn’t invent the car but I sure know it works when I press this gas pedal thingy.”  Out of context, that makes me look pretty insane.  IN context pretty brilliant…ok, NOT brilliant BUT bear with me.  I almost spelled that BARE with me…TOTALLY different meaning.

We did a little show about a genius boy with a metallic dog.  Did pretty well in the ratings and did even better in the hearts of millions.  I still TO THIS DAY get complimented on a show that was cancelled…er…NOT picked up for a fourth season…what, six years ago?

Anyway, we did this show brilliantly (YES brilliantly) ON time AND ON budget AND had high quality.  Take THAT, triangle.

It can be done.

You want to know how?  By not reinventing the friggin wheel.  You take what others had done before you and you build on it.  That way, you don’t have to make the same mistakes as those ahead of you; you make NEW mistakes and learn from them.  It’s rather rational, eh?  Why start over?  Take what someone who did something well and emulate that and improve upon it.

It’s cartoons, not rocket science.

Which brings us back to the weird car analogy.  I have know idea how a car works but I DO know that if I press on the pedal it makes it go.  Why don’t I question how it works before I drive it somewhere?  I could sit in the car and try and figure out how pistons work (heck what they even are) and how torque takes us from one point to the next.

Why don’t I try to figure that out before I drive somewhere?  Because I will never GET to where I want to go!!

I wish that producers in animation especially would understand this…then again, maybe I’m glad they don’t.  One does.  And he’s awesome. (not me – but you may know him).

And someday soon, we’re going to prove that this works and…that it’s right.

  1. i hope my production manager isnt reading this O.O

    (or maybe i should make the whole management read this!!!!)

    i get wt ur saying… but my mind isnt ready to accept it… right now i am working overtime and the situation feels like SNAFU!!!!

    me: can i get a better PC!!! the current one cant handle the rig
    Management: its not in the budget……

    me: can we have more experienced people in this project… so atleast they can bear some of the burdern us freshers are bearing (and failing)
    management: its not in the budget…

    me: can we have more time??? the quality client is expecting cant be achieved at 9 seconds per day!!!
    management: the deadline is fixed according the the money client is paying (another way of saying its not in the budget)

    (hopefully the picture i paint makes little sense 😀 … just wanted to explain why my mind isnt ready to accept the valid points u made )