Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Animator's Survival Kit DVD Set

You have probably seen the pencil test for the opening for Richard Williams DVD set of The Animator's Survival Kit over at Cartoon Brew. The website for this set has been updated with a promo that shows a more finished version interspersed with shots of Williams lecturing at Blue Sky. There are additional clips of Williams explaining things here and on succeeding pages (click on the images for motion).

The set, consisting of 16 DVDs, is not cheap. Price information can be found here. At today's conversion rates, the set will cost $990.70 in the U.S. and $1,011.88 in Canada. After November 17, the price is 20% higher.

(link via The Thief)


Thad said...

How on earth can this price be justified?

Mark Mayerson said...

Can you justify spending $1000 for animation lessons? There are schools that charge more. The question becomes whether you feel that these DVDs will teach you as much as a school. Based on his experience, there's no question that Williams knows more than some of the people teaching animation.

Also, let's face it, this set is going to be bootlegged. No matter how inexpensively it is offered, people will borrow and rip these DVDs. A high price insures that Williams earns some money from them before the bootlegs flood the market.

In the clips on the website, you can see Williams referring to his own book during the talks. Those people who can't afford the DVDs or are too honest to rip them off, can always buy the book. The big question, which I can't answer as I never attended the live Williams seminar, is whether the DVDs are worth $950 more than the book. I'm sure that we'll be reading reviews once the DVDs are released.

Thad said...

Sorry, Mark, as solid as your reasoning is ($1000 for lessons from Dick Williams would unquestionably be worth more than certain schools that will remain nameless), I still don't see the justification in a $1K price tag for DVDs. Had it been half or even 2/3, I'd honestly consider purchasing it. (Does anyone want to go halfsies on it?)

Anonymous said...

Problem is not it costs 1000, the problem is you can only buy the 1000 bundle. A good solution, i think, is to sell separate dvds, 1000 divided in 16 dvds = $63 per dvd, which is affordable, piece by piece.

Michael J. Ruocco said...

It still is a lot of money. I ain't made out of the stuff ,you know. If I can, I'll try to at least borrow a copy of it to check it out. I saw some of the preview clips on the site & my eyes nearly fell outta my head.

I know he's comin' to New York to meet with John Canemaker at the MoMA, so I definitely will check him out there. Who knows, maybe I can influence some of the bigwigs at SVA to have him speak at the school while in town.

Ah well, a man can dream, can't he...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, experience has shown that the price he asks for GUARANTEES 90% of people who will own these DVDs will have a ripped version.

Mark Mayerson said...

I agree. However, music CDs cost under $20, and they're being ripped even at that cost.

The fact is that a large number of people interested in these DVDs are students, many of whom are in the habit of ripping whatever it is they want. That market is a dead loss no matter what the item costs.

I assume that Williams is hoping that enough schools and studios will buy sets so that he'll see some real money.

It would be ironic if Williams ended up making more money from his book than from the DVD set, simply because books can't be copied as easily.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

At $990 a pop, I'll stick with the book version, thank you.

Mitch K said...

That's very impressive drawing skills! I think that along with the book, it would be a good thing to have the DVD (you could watch the animation frame-by-frame!), if you wanted to learn how to animate. It's MUCH cheaper than animation school!, however it doesn't teach you how to draw. So although the price is less than that of animation school, one would still need to invest the time, and possibly the money, to learn to draw (in addition to owning this DVD set).

It would be a fantastic resource for studios, though!

Mitch K said...

PS: As much respect as I have for Richard Williams, I hate how he animates everything on ones! It looks too floaty for my tastes.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of cheapskates. I'll have this thing in my library asap.
I've been to three William's workshops and to have it in my house for reference and inspiration is invaluable. You essentially have the distilled knowledge of all the Warner Brothers and Disney animators in one place. For those who have a problem with Dick charging this price, obviously you'll be at a disadvantage with those who cough up the dough.
It's like magic tricks, the best ones cost the most to buy. Not because the trick is that much better, but because it separates the wannabe's from the pros.
This DVD set is for pros. All else whine about the price of everything but understand the value of nothing.

Anonymous said...

As the Sufi's say (and the previous poster), knowledge costs money. Williams' book is standard issue for all animators. The chance to have these classes, to review and dissect them in your own time, will be hard for many professionals working in the industry pass-up imo.

So it's $1000 - a pittance for 40 years worth of knowledge. Knowledge gleaned from some of the greats of animation. I've paid more for a lot less with regards to education, DVD's and books over the years.

At least you've got as close to a guarantee that you will get quality. In the 10 years that I've been animating, I'd have paid for his book many times over, without thinking twice about it.

It would have been great to buy them separately as previously posted.

People will burn these dvd's for sure, good luck to them. For those who pay, better luck to you.

Thomas said...

The book is only about $150, Richard Williams came to talk at my school (DigiPen Institute of Technology, if you don't know what it is look it up because its a pretty big deal) and he showed us some of the boxset it was amazing. Truly the book has everything in it but to see the animations is so much more. If you cannot afford animation school this is the way to go you will learn so much from his book/dvd. I do agree that the price is a little ridiculous but they worked on it for three years and it is amazing. Get the book at least and if you are going to be animating for a living this boxset will be so much help.

Anonymous said...

Please don't call us cheapskates. Try to understand that this is a HUGE purchase. Most students get loans for school because they can't afford the cost, it has nothing to do with the value of the class.
If I could I would buy this in a heartbeat, I really would, but to be honest a part of me thinks that even if I had the $1000 I probably still wouldn't.
I honestly find the price tag a bit offensive.
Yes, I agree this is AMAZING and should be owned by every animator alive BUT most animators I know would not be able to afford this.
Richard Williams was a starving artist at one point and he should respect and understand that he is putting his amazing knowledge and tips just out of reach.

P.S. Yes, I am fully aware that these will be ripped, but I still think point is valid.

Anonymous said...

I think is not worth the money.
He doesn`t cover more than just the book.
Besides....every DVD is not more than half an hour each.

That`s not a problem of course,but I was expecting more than just the book.

Save your money don`t go to the show.

Anonymous said...

I split the cost with some other animators and am very pleased with the product. It's about 9 hours of top notch instruction that nobody can come close to matching except for maybe 2 or 3 schools. Everyone should stop complaining about the cost. Richard Williams has given us a gift!
As a nice surprise, our set came autographed! I'm not sure if that's standard.

kathy said...

Can this be bought used now? I'd like to watch it.

Liltoon said...

I've been looking for a used copy to buy but haven't found any - guess I'll have to make due with just the book.

Anonymous said...

The price is just alright for me because Richard Williams paid over million dollars just to learn all these lessons. Can't you appreciate that...These concepts are very historic and even came from the golden age of animation..

BTW, you can just pirate it now then buy an original copy when you would have money or have a carreer in animation

Pretty bad but and it's also like having a lone for yourself..Much like learning before paying