Thursday, November 13, 2008

Studio Ownership...Part Two

The fledgling studio I started took on a partner when Nandu relented and joined the experiment. We were the best of friends and took out a two year lease in a new building. We needed to sign a partnership contract between us so we had an attorney draw one up. This was like getting married! The lawyer asked us terrible questions like; "If one of you gets sick and can't work, does he still get paid? If one of you dies does the business pass onto the partner or does the wife or children inherit that share?" Our friendship was tested at the beginning during this contract process. We survived and assessed our assets. Nandu was a designer as well as an animator so he designed a flyer and we hired a business promoter. I had established a contact with a major studio and we exploited that by contracting out all the layout designs for a new show. Thanks to Nandu, a well known cartoonist collaborated with us to produce and animate a couple of main titles for a Mexican studio. We paid our bills and shared all revenues. Unfortunately, Magic Lantern Animation made the same money as before but now had to divide it by two. This was less than we could live on. After a year, we bought out of the lease and went in search of new prospects. It was my first entry into the pleasures and pitfalls of studio ownership. I'd recommend it to everyone who is young and stupid. You have many years to recover from your mistakes and maybe learn something from them. By then you'll be older and smarter or, at least, less stupid.