Tuesday, April 14, 2009
On the Tunaphone
This is a Charlie the Tuna Telephone. From 1987. Why was this popular? Who wants to talk into a fish?
Last year I got fired up with the idea that cel phone animation was the coming thing. But you know what? I don't think so any more. I don't think people want to just look at their phones. They want to do things with them. Just sitting there looking at your phone seems kind of sad, doesn't it?
That's why the iphone games are taking off. That's what I think.
But I'm getting emails from art students who've decided animation is what they want to do, and they want advice. Sounds as if animation is a popular course of study on campus these days, the way marine biology was a few years ago.
I don't know what to tell them. The way the world is now, it seems like a terrible choice to me. (Have you considered entymology?) There are so few ways to make money with animation, other than teaching more students.
But sometimes a bubble of interest can be foreshadowing some new format that we can't quite identify, and maybe these students are right in front of the wave. I don't think it's just more games on phones that will be coming along, but maybe some whole new manner of interactive animation. I usually tell them to learn Flash, because it's a way in to interactive animation, even if the code language has become a bear.