Something's been bugging the hell out of me these last few months. People who know me look at me as a quiet, happy-go-lucky, non-alpha male kind of guy - so for me to go on a rant is a rare experience. But I just can't be silent any more.
There's a huge prejudice in Hollywood, and also indie film circles, against animated films. The film executives, agents, crews, distributors all seem to be against animation.
Take, for example, my recent experience in Park City this January. Out of all of the 100's of feature films playing in town, only one film, "Cheatin'", was animated. There were about 400-500 features and only one was animation? There are lots of great indie animated features, why can't they accept a few more?
It's my theory that everyone in the film business grew up accustomed to the traditional Hollywood routine: a producer finds a script, he attaches a director and some movie stars to it. The director and producers find the editors, cameramen, musicians, etc. etc.
And that's the tried and true fashion to make it in Hollywood. Then along came Pixar, who did everything different. They let the artists run the show, and movie stars aren't so important any more. The animators are the ones who create the characters. Who ever heard of such a thing? That's not the way it's been done for the last 100 years.
And this fear of animation is very curious to me, because if you look at the top 10 grossing films from last year, you'll find that 3 of the top 10 were animated: "Frozen", "Despicable Me 2" and "Monsters University". Plus a 4th film, "Gravity", was about 90% animated.
And it's not just last year - check out the box office numbers for the previous 4 or 5 years, you'll find the same domination of animation. But when I court distributors about my own animated feature films, it's the same old thing. They don't understand animation, or even care for it because that wasn't in their training.
The ask me about who the audience for my film will be, and how are they going to market an indie animated feature. It's just outside of their comfort zone. This drives me crazy - because I know the audience loves animation and fantasy. They want to see something different and fresh, yet the old Hollywood culture wants to do a safe drama starring Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep.
Hey, come on guys, get with it, expand your horizons, try something different - animation!!!