Hey everybody, it’s “an animator’s shot of a lifetime,” according to the Fox network and Aniboom.com, who have teamed up to sponsor an outlandishly demanding contest that requires artists to make them a 2-4 minute holiday-themed short for no pay. Fox Broadcasting Company prez Kevin Reilly says, “Fox has long been the sole primetime animation powerhouse, and we’re searching for a fresh new animated holiday special that could potentially become an instant classic and maybe even a weekly series.” The rules are: “Make it funny. Make it edgy. Make it uniquely Fox.” The reward is a few bucks and some kind of a development deal at Fox.
Bottom line: Name me one well-known animation creator who has launched his or her career due to an online contest? Zip, zero, nada! These type of gimmicks are designed to bring attention to the corporations sponsoring them, not to help artists gain a foothold in the industry. Nevertheless, gullible, young and stupid artists who don’t know any better enter these contests by the legions inspired by years of conditioning from reality TV competitions that promise fame and fortune with minimal effort. The only winners in this contest are those who are intelligent enough to not waste their time entering this sham, and instead choose to pursue the path of success that every other great artist has followed in the past, and that quite simply involves hard work, determination and persistence.
UPDATE: Veteran animation writer Mark Evanier addresses the issues of contests, like the Fox/Aniboom one, on his blog. He says, “The terms might as well say, ‘We get everything, you get nothing except what we decide to give you.’ That’s not good for an artist’s wallet, career or soul.”