Let’s get one thing straight: Paying artists is always a positive thing. But the manner in which the guys at Channel Frederator are doing it continues to reflect their lack of regard and respect for the filmmaking community upon which they’ve built their brand. Seriously, in what universe is $50 considered an acceptable fee for anything nowadays? Have they been misinformed that filmmakers can time travel back to 1964 to make all their purchases?
Here’s a reality check–the last time I went out to lunch with Channel Frederator founder Fred Seibert, our lunch bill ended up being over fifty smackers. In other words, this paltry amount isn’t even enough to fill up Fred’s tummy for one afternoon, yet somehow it’s supposed to represent a filmmaker’s reward for months of blood, sweat and tears. They’ve also announced that every month they’ll pay the filmmaker of the most viewed film a whopping $200. Guess what? That’s still less than what we pay every single filmmaker on Cartoon Brew TV.
Cartoon Brew TV doesn’t claim to be the standard bearer for online film distribution. Our company is two guys, Jerry and myself, and we’ve never received tens of millions of dollars in funding like Channel Frederator’s parent company, Next New Networks. But at the end of the day, I sleep well knowing that I do my best within our limited means to give something back to the community. I don’t make self-congratulatory videos and blog posts when I decide to do the right thing that I should have been doing all along. I put my money where my mouth is instead of making grandiose outward shows of being artist-friendly and supportive of creators. And most importantly, I don’t insult filmmakers by paying them fifty bucks.Â
I truly believe that there needs to exist an alternative to the hucksters who have been exploiting the animation talent pool for years. This is what drives me to continue building Cartoon Brew TV into the premier destination for animated shorts online. We all know that the possibilities for filmmakers to earn money on the Internet are greater than ever. And while I don’t have a lot of money, I have more than $50, and I’m more than happy to dole it out when I put your film on the site. Who knows, maybe this idea of paying animators a respectable fee for showing their work online will someday become an industry-wide practice.Â It’s only fair, right?