PORTLAND, Maine, Aug. 28, 2008 — Ever wondered what you might look like as a cartoon? Animate My Story ), a new Internet-based service launched by Strategic Productions ) in Portland, Maine will do just that for you, making you the star of your own animated cartoon.
According to Brian Bickford, president of Strategic Productions in Portland, Maine, his new-media firm is the first company to provide this kind of service.
"As creative engineers, we are constantly developing new opportunities that may appeal to individuals looking for a unique gift or product," said Bickford, who has spent 15 years in new-media development. He pointed out that new community-based sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube and electronic devices like PDAs and mobile phones have spawned new ways for individuals to express themselves within their own social networking communities. According to Bickford, "Our animations are a digital art form where every frame in the process is customized. This will appeal to the upscale segment of our society that wishes to share their experiences in new and trendy ways using digital media."
The new product was developed when creating an animated product for one of Strategic Productions' commercial customers. The company's animation team went to work on identifying the high-quality elements that would appeal to individual customers. As a custom animated art product, Bickford believed it would offer a new high-end product to the luxury consumer segment.
The process for developing an animated feature is described at . People write their own stories, which can be fictional as well as true, in three concise parts and they submit real photos of characters from the stories they submit.
Strategic Productions begins developing the visuals of customers' stories with a black-and-white storyboard, which is submitted to the customer for review before work on the finalized story begins.
"We want to make sure that our clients are satisfied every step of the way," Bickford said. "Further, every step in the process is a work of art in its own right!" Customers can expect their product 30 days after submitting their order.
The cost varies according to story length. A 30-second animation is $1,500, 45 seconds is $1,750 and 60 seconds is $1,900.
Each animation is completely customized, with black-and-white storyboards, full-color animated visuals, licensed background music, and narrated voiceovers. Character voices are another additional option in the production process that will add slightly to the cost.
These individual digital expressions can be shared with families, friends and colleagues and uploaded to YouTube and Facebook, as well as onto cell phones or the customers' Web sites. Samples of features, with the storyline, storyboards and final product, are on Animate My Story's Web site ).
Capturing any slice of life and articulating it through a digital medium preserves it long after the memories and the people fade. "Each animation is unique and can be passed on forever and ever," Bickford said. "Peoples' story, once animated, can last from generation to generation."
Brian Bickford, President
477 Congress Street-5th Floor
Portland, Maine 04101 USA
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