Afterworld

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Fascinating story in yesterday’s LA Times about Afterworld, a new CG animated series which premieres online this week at MySpace. The $3 million production (a significant sum for an online animated series) is comprised of 130 episodes, each between 2-3 minutes. The first ten episodes have been posted onto MySpace and the series can also be seen at Afterworld.tv. Below is an excerpt from the Times about how the creators intend to make money from the series:

Instead of a traditional licensing fee, [production company] Electric Farm gets a cut of the ad revenue MySpace generates from the show. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The company also has made money by selling international television, Internet, mobile and gaming rights to Sony Pictures International, which helped finance the project. Sony also is developing a mobile game to be released early next year based on the series.

The global rollout began this month when the Sci-Fi Channel in Australia began airing the show, which is also available in 13 half-hour episodes.

It also will air on television and mobile phones in several other countries.

Afterworld is a great example of the multi-platform future of animation. While series animation on TV is far from dead, it can no longer be regarded as the final frontier for animation creators. There are an ever-increasing number of distribution platforms and revenue streams for animated series nowadays, and projects like Afterworld are helping to pave the way and find what works in this exciting post-TV environment.


  • http://www.nancybeiman.com Nancy Beiman

    Amid, this type of ‘animation’ has been referred to as ‘cryogenics’ and considering the subject matter, this is the best possible use for it. I sat through four episodes of this before boredom made me turn it off. It can’t be called animated–more a succession of still images.
    I have no idea if this will fly, but it certainly plays into the zeitgeist.

  • http://bloggerasaurus.com/ Cliff Galbraith

    I think the point here is not how bad the story or characters or the animation is — and they’re all pathetic — the point is how a show can be launched in the age of the Internet. Here’s a company that didn’t ask a network’s permission to make a show. They came up with a new format, a new dstribution method.

    This same method could be used for a good story, good animation, etc. The conventional means of distribution are old and rickety, and guarded by narrow-minded trolls.

    For the record, I read a book when I was a kid back in the late 60′s called Earth Abides — it’s pretty much the same story, but better.

  • http://www.afterworld.tv BFree

    Thanks for the write-up, Amid. While we never set out to invent a new animation style, we have stumbled upon a new business model. In fact, it’s been so lucrative that we’re launching two new series and gearing up for a second season of Afterworld. In truth, the visual references were two-fold: animé and “La Jeté.” (If you don’t know the latter, Google it.) Fortunately, our fans seem to be able to stave off boredom for three minutes and use their imaginations to fill in the gaps between stills. As for the story, it owes much less to “Earth Abides” (a decent but dated parable) than to “Jeremiah Johnson.” But unless you knew where the story actually goes over the course of our planed three seasons, I’m sure it’s tempting to just presume plagarism. Can’t wait to review your readers’ contributions to this new medium!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWKVmCX6SKY Hasdrubal

    There should be a notice on the opening page regarding the required connection speed necessary for viewing. Afterworldtv’s menu pages never fully load with some connections.

  • http://www.aproductions.co.uk Antman

    Good to see that these guys have actually got a production made and out there. It seems getting distribution offers is fairly easy for digital content, but getting the investment for production quite another. The more of this sort of programming is made available the more investment will be available and ‘quality’ issues will improve.

    (It always makes me chuckle how people expect animation to be made for little or nothing. – sure if you want a home made scribble fest, thats fine, but for long form series it costs a LOT!)

  • http://theworldofnexttuesday.blogspot.com/ the world of next tuesday

    Reminds me of “Oh! Mikey”, the Japanese series starring mannequins … but it’s not as funny.