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Key Idea: Sell Your Unique Talent

Renegade Animation's competitive edge is Darrell Van Citters' talent.  Darrell and his partner, Ashley Postlewaite, honed their skills at Warner Brothers.   More...

Key Question:

A: 

Talent alone can make a business successful.

But, to build a company that has staying power, a team is required. The point I want to make here is raw talent must exist in your small business. The talent could be a person's communications skills, engineering ability, problem solving techniques, analytical thinking, whatever. Every human being has talent. Your job as a small business owner is to find yours first then help every person who works with you to find theirs. Darrell also said that once you have talent and a team, making a business go requires persistence. We have certainly heard that over and over and over.

Q: How did Renegade get it's first piece of work?

A: It came form a very happy customer Darrell did animation for while he was still at Warner Brothers. The position he had there gave him the opportunity to direct for the big ad agencies and he was able to stand out in the crowd. He was not just an animator at Warner Brothers, he was one of the best.

Q: What does a customer get from Renegade?

A: Darrell said, "the customer is getting a one-director house here. Some of our competitors will have five, six, 10 directors, which gives you a lot more breadth because everybody will specialize. Here if you look at our reel you'll notice that it's varied. It's extremely varied, in that we do a lot of different kinds of animation. And that's part of the fun of doing this kind of thing is that you can change drawing styles."

Q:

In addition to customers, what else does Renegade get because of Darrell's talent and reputation?

A: The best free lance artists. They want to work with Darrell because he is a bit of a legend when it comes to the world of animation. So, by leaving home and going to California to study animation then working for the big studios, Darrell is now reaping the rewards of doing what he does best.

Think about it

Are you mining your talent and the talent of every person who works for you? Are you marketing that talent as part of your unique selling proposition?

Clip from: Renegade Animation - Beating the Big Boys

Burbank, California: Back in 1992 Ashley Quinn Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters left  Warner's studios to start their own business, Renegade Animation. They truly were renegades.  Their first challenge was to produce a 90-second spot for Nike.  They did it.  Called Aerospace Jordan,  it aired on the Super Bowl. Now, that's real talent.  And, that 's an incredible start.

This episode of the show takes us inside flights of the imagination, fantasy, and stretched metaphors. Today, among their customers you will find Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney, CBS.com, Leapfrog, Toyota, Mattel, Barq's Root Beer, Campbell Soup, Dow, NIKE and more.

In their first year they did $1.4 million in sales. While the sales have held steady over the years, they have also have been able to do their work with four or less full-time employees.    

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Renegade Animation

Ashley Quinn Postlewaite, Executive Producer

111 East Broadway
Suite 208
Burbank, CA 91205

Visit our web site: http://www.renegadeanimation.com

Business Classification:
Business Services; advertising, marketing, pr

Year Founded: 1999

Sell Your Unique Talent

MICHAEL JORDAN and BUGS BUNNY: (In unison) What's up, Doc? Announcer: It's Bowling for Martians.

BUGS BUNNY: With Bugs Bunny. (End of excerpt)

HATTIE: (Voiceover) In the first year, Renegade did $1.2 million in sales. And even though it is slightly larger in sales today, there are only four employees.

(Excerpt from commercial)

PORKY PIG (Cartoon Character): It says so in my deal.

Announcer: Geez, what a pig! (End of excerpt)

HATTIE: What gave you the nerve to think that you could go out and get an account? How did you get your first piece of business?

ASHLEY: Our very first piece of business was a small piece of animation from Mattel. And it came from a post-production facility that we had worked with. And they needed help with the animation and called us. The second one was the Nike spot, the Super Bowl sequel to the one we had done at Warner Bros. On the strength of that spot, we got an agent, a rep--they're called reps in the commercial business.

HATTIE: What does a rep do, and how much do you have to pay them? Is it a percentage deal?

ASHLEY: Yes. It's a percentage deal. What we have is we have Andy. His company's called Blah, Blah, Blah, which is a great...

HATTIE: Blah, Blah, Blah!?!!

ASHLEY: So Andy's job is to find the storyboards at the ad agencies that have and need animation.

HATTIE: So tell us what does an ad agency do?

ASHLEY: Well, they talk to their clients and the client says, `Here's the products we have. Here's who we think our customer is. Here's how much money we want to spend this year, or over the next three or five years. Come back to us with a plan of how to do that.' So the ad agency comes back and says, `Here's what we think you should do.' And at that point, they begin storyboarding and scripting the commercials. And at the point that we get into the process, the storyboards and the script are pretty much approved. And sometimes, if we really want the job or if it's necessary, we'll do some spec drawings, or--the storyboards that we get tend to be fairly simple. They don't have camera angles in them. They don't have anything like that. So Darrell can take a storyboard and really push it to the next level.

HATTIE: So what is your competitive edge?

ASHLEY: Darrell's talent. And I would like to believe my skill as a producer, because I think that people come away from here having had a really smooth experience most of the time. But it is Darrell's talent as an animator and his reputation.

DARRELL: You're getting a one-director house here. You're not, like--some of our competitors will have, five, six, 10 directors, which gives you a lot more breadth because everybody will specialize. Here if you look at our (unintelligible) you'll notice that it's very varied. It's extremely varied, in that we do a lot of different kinds of animation. And that's part of the fun of doing this kind of thing is that you can change drawing styles. You can change looks every time you do a different job. So it's fun from that point. I'm always learning that way.

 

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