Tuesday, 5 August 2014

So You Want to Make an Animated Film?

Making your own animated film isn't as easy as it sounds. The most common mistake made by newbies is to underestimate the amount of work involved. Everything takes longer, and is harder to achieve, than you expect. That said, it's not an impossible dream to make your own short, especially if you plan well and work smart. The trick is to plan it out properly, doing all the steps in the right order.

Making any film, however big or small, breaks down into four main sections:
  1. Development 
  2. Pre-production
  3. Production 
  4. Post-Production
Do them in the right order, and you won't go wrong. Start animating before you've got your story right - and you are courting disaster. We all tend towards our comfort zones, and animators are no exception - the temptation is always there to start animating before you really have your story figured out.

To make a great film, you need to follow the steps properly, starting with a great story, doing your storyboards, making your animatic, and then going through pre-production, production, and post. It's a complex process but the best way to learn film-making is to go through all the steps, and do it in the right order.

To find out more, watch the video above.


For information on finding work and surviving in the animation and visual effects industry, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how awn.com can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business.


  1. This Is Gold thank you, this has helped me to organise and focus on the right path i was lost and confused on how to start but this really helped clear everything up :)

  2. Incredibly informative!! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  3. Thanks you, most insight full. You are a wonderful teacher.
    I sometimes read scripts for people and they hardly ever say "thank you" after I give my comments glowing or otherwise.
    I have learned to say thank you.

  4. Do you have online classes for real beginners that have no experience at all?

    1. Yes, of course, our class is designed to teach our students from scratch. We assume no knowledge of animation at all.

  5. What your doing is sharing amazing knowledge and i really appreciate it man. My dream is to create an animation studio with my sister. We compliment eachother well with her doing animation, storyboard, rough draft and me video editing, marketing, voice acting and ivesting. I cannot thank you enough man. I was stuck forever not knowing where to begin. Your a friken angel dude! 😇 Your awesome!!!