DaniMation Entertainment produces original and contract Animation, Illustration, and Graphic Arts work. Founded by Dani Bowman at age 11, the fledgling company has produced six animated shorts premiering at San Diego Comic-Con and teaches animation to teens and young adults with autism at summer camps around the country. DaniMation’s mission is to hire and train individuals with special needs animation and entertainment production to help them achieve an independent and fulfilling life. The company mission mirrors Dani’s social beliefs in renewable energy, equal opportunity for all regardless of race, disability, gender, orientation and religion.
One of DaniMation’s missions is to address employee issues for people with autism, a disorder than impacts 1 in 50 individuals. According to the common statistics, more than 89% of individuals with autism and other related disabilities are unemployed or underemployed, regardless of their education level or skills. The unfortunate truth is that these individuals who love animation and the arts are completely overlooked in the workforce despite unique and amazing creative skills as artists, musicians and storytellers.
Dani’s summer camps and national speaking schedule deliver a message of hope and encouragement to others like her that are impacted by autism and also serve to market DaniMation’s services as well as develop a network of like-minded organizations and a recruiting platform for future employees with DaniMation.
As defined in the outline in the request for proposal, this document will talk about DaniMation’s products and services, animation production tools, market analysis, its business strategies with promotion, strengths & weaknesses, and opportunities and threats.
Illustration and Graphic Arts
DaniMation Entertainment is a publishing platform for books including picture and chapter books. Our books are published via Lulu and CreateSpace.
We also do graphic designs for “Logos”, “Magazine Covers”, “Posters”, and more.
DaniMation Entertainment creates fun, lively and colorful 2D animated commercials, PSAs, music videos, sequences, and shorts. For the past six years, DaniMation Entertainment has produced and premiered at least one animated short every year for San Diego Comic-Con and then they are screened though the film festival circuits.
Dani Bowman, an inspirational animator travels around the country, teaching animation to individuals on the autism spectrum partnering with companies and organizations like Inclusion Films, OCALI, Step by Step, VSAFlorida, and Spectrum Laboratory. While the focus on the camp is for students with special needs, the classes are typically open to everyone. The goal of the classes is to help develop social and collaboration skills, which are difficult for individuals with autism, while they learn animation. The classes also have the added benefit of acting as a recruiting ground for future employees.
Dani is her own “product” as a noted national speaker, starting as an Autism advocate and speaker at 15. She is one of the select few individuals with autism to speak at conferences around the country about her experiences and challenges, starting her company at a young age and now has transitioned to a broader campaign of education regarding “Autism & Employment”, addressing the issues of employment and the opportunities for individuals with autism to enter the workforce.
We hire individuals with autism, to help us mainly with our animation and illustration projects. Their jobs include story writing, storyboarding, character designing, layout, animation, voice acting, music, and post-production editing.
We use animation production software like Celtx or Final Draft for screenwriting, ToonBoom Storyboard Pro, Soundtrack Pro for voice acting, art software like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter for visual designs, ToonBoom Harmony for animation, and Final Cut Pro for Post Production.
ToonBoom Animation is a sponsor for DaniMation Entertainment; they provide animation software when Dani teaches animation to individuals on the autism spectrum.
We usually publish our animation work (usually the festival shorts) on DVDs. Some animation work like commercials and PSAs are published via YouTube.
We do animation promotion material including posters and flyers, printed at Costco.
For Illustration work, including we use Adobe InDesign for book layout, and our publishing retailers are Lulu and CreateSpace.
Worldwide statistic shows that animation companies earned $122.20 billion in 2010, which had increased to $242.93 billion in 2016, a rapidly growing industry giving DaniMation a large market place in which to grow. These numbers don’t include commercial animation developed by companies to promote their goods and services so the animation opportunity is virtually unlimited. The market for speaking and the animation camps are much smaller and less profitable as these are typically sponsored by non-profits with a mission of education rather than profitability. DaniMation Entertainment is targeting to more than 100 companies and organizations around the United States (and more outside) teaching and speaking opportunities.
Business Development Strategies
DaniMation Entertainment is promoted in Film Festivals, Screening Events, and Autism Events and Conventions. DaniMation is promoted via word of mouth on Social Media, and posts upcoming events. Dani Bowman has more than 4,500 followers on Facebook, which has been the primary market development tool to date.
This company is made to be autism friendly. Despite it’s high earning, the animation industry is small, though it’s easier for people to contact each other.
This animation company is an underdog, the founder Dani Bowman lacks of knowing the business side, social skills, and needs help running her animation business on her own. DaniMation is currently a sole proprietorship, which means that it could go easily out of business if not managed well.
Opportunities & Threats
With increased social awareness about autism, DaniMation’s message and mission resonate with a wide part of the population as nearly everyone knows someone with autism. This awareness and positive message creates additional buzz and opportunities for speaking and teaching, and builds equity in the DaniMation brand. Typically after a speech or animation class, additional public speaking and teaching opportunities pop up via email or social media messages, which serve to further promote the entire DaniMation Mission.
In order to grow the camps and teaching segments of the business, additional staff will need to be hired and trained in Dani’s unique method of teaching. This creates two threats to the business. First is a possible dilution of program quality or the Dani Bowman and DaniMation brand. Secondly staff may leave, or others may copy the model and create competing businesses.
DaniMation Entertainment’s goal is to grow its mission of being an autism and disability-friendly animation and education company. The company is currently home based and most of the staff contributes on a volunteer or internship basis. While this meets the goal of providing training and opportunity, it does not meet the overall goal of providing employment to those with autism and growing it’s animation production to a whole new level.
More info about Dani Bowman is shown on DaniBowman.com