Opening a children’s animation studio does not require a large start-up capital. In fact, such a school is one of the varieties of numerous schools for the creative development of children. However, unlike the latter, animation studios are not yet so widespread (especially in small towns), so there is practically no competition in this segment of the educational services market.
In the animation studio classes, children learn how animated films are created, get acquainted with all stages of work – from writing a script and developing characters to filming and voice acting. What is especially pleasant for children and their parents is that at the end of the training they receive a cartoon made by the child. The equipment needed to open your own studio does not take up much space, so a small room of 25-30 sq. m. for a group of 3-6 people.
First of all, you will need a digital camera or digital video camera, a microphone, special spotlights or lights for setting the light, a computer with the necessary software, a video projector for viewing finished works, as well as blanks, materials and tools for creating scenery and cartoon characters.
Please note: choose a camera or a camera that supports manual aperture and shutter speed control. Don’t go for high resolution. One million pixels is enough for such work. Also, do not forget about furniture – chairs, tables. A white board will also come in handy for writing and for viewing slides and cartoons on the projector.
The training program, as a rule, includes the following sections: searching for and analyzing topics for the plot of a future cartoon, writing a script, breaking down and drawing individual scenes, creating sketches of characters and scenery, creating the characters themselves and scenery from plasticine and ceramics, shooting scenes, selection musical accompaniment, editing, sounding.
The technology for creating an animated video is quite simple. First of all, the script is compiled, then the characters and scenery are created. According to the script, a large number of individual frames are filmed, which, as a result, are edited into one whole and projected at a speed of 24 frames per second if it is a sound clip, or 16 frames per second if the clip is not voiced. In conclusion, the sound is superimposed on the picture and synchronized. Children of middle and high school age can be taught the basics of computer animation. In this case, all the characters, their facial expressions and postures are drawn on a tablet, and then the actual cartoon is created using a special program.
When choosing the location of a future animation studio, the presence of competitors in your city is of some importance. However, even if there is no competition at all now, you can rest assured that this will not last long. Therefore, try to take full advantage of your position at the moment. It is desirable that your studio is located in the city center or at least close to it. This will make it easier for parents and children to get to you.
Don’t skimp on the sign. A brightly designed and memorable name of your studio will attract the attention of potential customers. If the budget allows, you can conduct a whole advertising campaign dedicated to the opening of an animation studio, including outdoor advertising, newspaper and magazine ads, holding events with the distribution of leaflets and invitations. Don’t forget about the discounts for the first clients and better prices when paying for a single lesson for a month, and not for each lesson separately.
The success of any educational institution is determined not only and not so much by its location, the quality of equipment and the advertising budget, although this, of course, also matters. But first of all, the success of your business depends on the teachers who work for you. You can save on salaries for specialists only if you yourself are a professional in the field of animation, and also have extensive experience working with children and are ready to conduct classes on your own.
Otherwise, when preparing a business plan, immediately lay in the cost of wages for one or two teachers (depending on the number of students and class schedules) for at least 2-3 subsequent months of work. In addition to teachers, you will need an administrator who will answer phone calls, schedule classes and take payments.
Like any other service business, your animation studio will be driven by seasonal factors. As a rule, the first set of students is held in early autumn. The total training period is about six months. The second set is planned for mid-January – early February. During the summer months, there is a decline in demand for such services, as many children leave the city for their holidays. The cost of one lesson is from 350 rubles. per person (for a group of at least 6 people), depending on the region. Classes are held 1-2 times a week for 40-60 minutes.
To open your own animation studio, you will need at least 350 thousand rubles (including the purchase of the simplest equipment, the cost of renting a room and paying wages to employees for the first month).