Autonomous Animator: The Greatest Methods to Monetize Your Mental Property

***This text initially appeared within the December ’22 concern of Animation Journal (No. 325)***

So that you’ve spent numerous hours, days, and even years, growing, perfecting and producing your very personal mental property — now what?

Mental properties, also called IPs, are well-developed concepts or ideas which were actualized on paper and/or digital media reminiscent of patents, innovations, emblems, software program and as, it pertains to the animation trade, film scripts, characters, tales and different authentic inventive content material.

Holding your concept in your head or floating aimlessly within the ether doesn’t qualify as an IP. Within the case of mental propertyism, it’s not the thought that counts — it’s the clear, documented expression of that concept that may be copyrighted, legally protected and monetized.

Here’s a listing of IP shops which have made numerous billions for his or her creators. Attempt placing your IP in these situations and see what number of you may make occur:

Function Movie
Seeing your mental property was a characteristic movie is greater than doubtless the final word, if not considerably apparent, dream goal of inventive sorts. Nonetheless, the time, cash and large bag of feral cats that need to be wrangled to be able to make and distribute a characteristic movie is extraordinarily prohibitive to independents which is why it virtually by no means occurs.

For the privileged few which can be fortunate sufficient to make all the required vectors coalesce, your IP can earn you a flat payment should you had been to promote it to a movie studio, you may earn a wage as a author, director or producer, to not point out royalties or residuals from the earnings of the movie and merchandise. This additionally opens up the potential of producing extra income from absolutely anything listed beneath.

Streaming companies and TV (bear in mind tv?) completely love collection. A collection contains a number of episodes that vary in size from roughly 15-60 minutes every and keep comparatively excessive manufacturing worth, typically eclipsing even a characteristic movie.

Right here, your IP might be produced as a number of episodes in a season the place the viewers will get to look at the solid encounter quite a lot of plots, storylines and jokes — however (usually) preserving the first solid unchanging in order to not mess with the components and threat dropping the fan base. Monetizing your IP with a collection is akin to a characteristic movie, the place you possibly can earn a license payment, a buy-out, royalties and even wage for serving to produce the collection.

Sure, we dwell in a digital age. Nonetheless, books — precise printed books — are nonetheless offered within the billions all over the world yearly; virtually a billion yearly within the U.S. alone. See in case your IP lends itself to any of the next: Comedian books/graphic novels, novels, quick tales, coloring books, kids’s storybooks or e-books/downloadable PDFs.

Print Adverts/On-line Adverts
Adverts, now greater than ever, want to leap out and seize the viewer. Possibly considered one of your characters may serve this objective for the appropriate promoting or advertising company. Attempt promoting your characters outright or licensing them for restricted use. And when the licensing time period is up, you could have the choice of renewing or in search of different affords.

Clothes & Equipment
Analog, real-world merchandise rule! A lot in order that world clothes gross sales’ $3 trillion annual earnings final yr towered over even the worldwide leisure and media’s earnings of $2.3 trillion. This being the case, it will be fiscally prudent to evaluate the listing beneath and match as many as attainable to your IP: T-shirts, hats, socks, sweatpants, lively put on, bean baggage, towels, bathrobes, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, pillows/pillowcases, pajamas, and so forth.

Telephone Video games/Apps
Many a programmer has made hundreds of thousands creating apps — even modest ones. In case your IP lends itself to an app or telephone sport, by all means discover this selection. An amazing app can nonetheless be very worthwhile and in addition hold you linked to your followers.

Pay-per-Click on Income
Submit your IP content material on all of the free video and content material websites you’ll find, put it on the market very nicely, and also you could possibly earn passive earnings from the site visitors that views your work and clicks on advertiser’s hyperlinks.

Assume Exterior the Listing
Whereas characteristic movies and collection are the plain targets for aspiring mental property homeowners, there are a lot of different methods to earn an adoring fan base and a number of income streams together with your well-developed concepts. Along with those listed above, commercials, music movies, PC/Console video games, board video games, toys, stuffed animals and extra, are all potential shops to your IP to be seen, heard and rewarded with earnings.

Martin Grebing is the president of Funnybone Animation Studios. He will be reached at