Selling animations

I have few questions about the business of animation-

Can anyone tell me how to “'sell” shorts( 5-7 min ),
i mean, are there buyers for shorts or they prefer series?

Whom should i contact? can you explain few terminology like - 'Distributors, broadcasters, publishers etc.

I really like to learn about the “selling” part of the animation, for both- series and shorts.


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At CGTalk there is a jobs area. Set up your membership, set up your portfolio, set up your resume’. A lot of empolyers looking for artists there and a great place to sell your goods.

no , i am not talking about ‘job’ or working for hire,
I am talking about producing own series / shorts - independent animation -

-how to sell them?

How do you sell pink rubber hammers?

You need to find markets. Think about who would buy your product and why. Remember that marketing is about filling needs. Pick up some basic marketing book to learn more. It can be quite enlightening.

I agree that marketing is where one would create success - but the question is still valid. Is there any venue/ use for shorts? As a writer would try to sell short stories, can an animator sell self created bits? I assume not, but until you ask, you don’t know for sure.

On a related topic - I am vaguely attached to a local film group, and got to see a collection of ‘Oscar shorts’ (a whole category of Oscar winners that no-body ever gets to see) a couple months ago. Does anyone know how an average person would get to see such things?


CG Jobs is more than just an employment search. Lots of people there that have lots of contacts. But I do understand that you’re trying to sell movies that you’ve produced.

Many communities in the States have local community-access television stations. They are set up so that the average Joe can put content on the air. You’d not get paid for broadcasting your work this way, but it could certainly lead to it getting “purchased” by some entity who is looking for such content, such as a TV production company. This is assuming certain “lucky” factors fall into place: first that your stuff is good - in other words, people watch it and like it and tell their friends about it and the word gets out and it becomes somewhat popular, even locally. Second, this “word” will have to reach the ears of a potential “customer” who will then have to view and like your stuff.

All this to say, yes, there are markets for visual content, and yes there are ways to “break in to” these markets - with the above scenario being one (remote) possibility. It’ll take a lot of work (on your stuff), a lot of relentless pursuit (to get it viewed), and a lot of networking (to get it viewed by the right folks.) Hey, it can be done, I’d guess… if a rapper from the 'hood can start their own record label & production company, then why not you? Creativity, determination, politic-ing - just some of the key ingredients! Go for it!

On ebay…

people will buy ANYTHING on there… I once sold a .wav file of me saying the word “Hello” for £1.23 and even got posative feedback for it that said “if this seller was a planet, I’d orbit him!” so anything is possible.

I guess in terms of selling short films, it is all down to how you sell it… Are you looking to sell it to End Users (viewers in this case) or film distributers? For the former… I think this wil be hard to do in the new world of youtube/google video media. For the later, send your film to every film festival you can and try to win recognition.

Just like music though, I think to truely sell, you have to be wrapped up in some big coorperate machine or team up with enough other independent film makers and fight against the machine.

I have read recently about film makers in France who get sponsered by their own government to make French films. The problem with this though is you get lots of crap film makers makeing lots of crap films just to take the money. Arts councils / governement funded film schemes may help if your in the right location. Worth looking up.

Finally, you could just forget selling it and do it for the fun of it. Give it everything you can and make the best you can. If it works out to be very good, it might just sell itself.

This is a huge topic. You can find some great discussions about it at places like, but the discussions are usually about landing freelance work. It is possible to sell already completed animations outright but I don’t hear about that happening very often.

Some folks use their animations for marketing their own DVD’s, teeshirts, etc., and/or generating ad revenue, but the main goal is usually getting it seen anyway you can for free in order to generate clients for freelance work and/or land a licensing deal (the ultimate). Viral marketing. If you create an animation that gets seen and shared by millions and people on TV are talking about it, you are definitely going to get some business offers.

It can happen -take for example the lady who started a simple website with 30 second movie spoofs with bunnies. She was approached by a studio and now her series is on television, and I’ve seen her interviewed on cable news.

There are some other avenues opening up online. pays royalties from ad revenue and distibution deals, and has invested in some works before they were begun. Most make petty cash, some make thousands, and a few have made $100,000.00 (so they say).

Everything mzungu and julesd-g6 said applies no doubt. It’s gotta be good (a subjective term -there’s alot of crap making it big simply cos it’s gross or offensive) and a bit of luck doesn’t hurt.

Edit: Here’s an interview of that bunny woman at Cold Hard Flash

All good ideas. Personally I rather like the idea of just publishing your media in web format for free and then seeing whether people catch on. If your work becomes popular, the opportunities for making money will present themselves.

Whom should i approach to sell my animation ( short as well as series)

  • a production company or a Distributor ?

I believe you will not sell just one 5-minutes animation. Think in the Warner Brothers shorts (Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, etc.). Each one was a 5-minutes animation, but the TV channels buy them in packs of four or five animations, so they can show it in half-hour blocks.

You should put four or five short animations together and sell them in a block of half-hour (well, 23 minutes, giving them a chance for the commercials).


Consider Atom Films, Revver:

and as LarryPhillips menioned take a look at to see what is going on in professional markets. They have an online magazine and many articles discuss breaking into the business and selling your freelance work.


I am looking into this as well. I have the first three parts to my new animated series. The Lost Samurai. They will be up on Youtube for a while. Untill I start selling them. Then I will only have the teaser trailers on Youtube. I have them up now so people can see and maybe get interested in helping me out. I need voice actors I have someone doing sound effects and original score his work is in episode one I am including the link at the end of this comment… Also models. I am using downloaded characters at the moment. I really need artists to initially work for free and produce some cool characters. I have a whole world the size of the marvel univers already ready to go. If anyone sees this and is interested check out my Videos on Youtube. I have several musicians who have already agreed to let me use any song from their entire library of songs. One musician has 9 million views on just one of his songs. So the potential to sell to an audience like that is worth a little investment of time for me and hopefully some talented character modeler’s… I have stories concept animation and set design handled personally. Please contact me on facebook or my email. FaceBook - ElixirNinE Digital Creations. E-Mail: [email protected] Here is my animation. its in 3 parts Part one: Part two: Part three: If anyone actually watches these please likeand subscribe and comment and share. Thanks eveyone. My goal is to sell episodes no longer than 10 minutes. and release new ones every 3 months. Quarterly. I am posting this in the forums individually as well.

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