While Disada has produced many films, videos and DVDs in both live-action and animation, there have been specific advantages for many of the companies, governments and organizations we have worked for in using animation instead of live-action. Each project's needs call for one or the other, but there are striking advantages to animation for many clients.
Animation is strictly controlled. There are few surprises once production begins since the film is created to exact specifications. The story, script or narration, the look, design and color of the film, the characters and what they do are all laid out ahead of time, and approved by the client. Modifications and changes are done at the preproduction stage. The budget is therefore also carefully controlled, and so just as there are no creative surprises, there is no need for financial surprises either.
Animation is ideal for handling abstract concepts. It can take you inside an atom and elsewhere where a camera cannot go. It can also be helpful to illustrate so-called difficult subjects. We once did a film for a New York hospital about problems in human sexuality. The aimed-for audience meant that animation rather than live-action would be best.
If a film is successful, more may be wanted, possibly a series afterward. If so, your main actors will be available and won't ask for more money for the sequels. They are animated characters who don't get sick, die or end up in the tabloids. They are drawn, and if the original animators leave or are unavailable new animators can carry on without any changes seen on screen.
Animation has another thing going for it, repeatability. We can easily tire of seeing the same television commercial with the loud-mouth car salesman or gold buyer again and again. There is (thankfully) something about the moving drawing or computer image that we like to look at. A punchy or funny animated commercial or employee training film can be seen again and again, like an old favorite Bugs Bunny cartoon that we know well but enjoy seeing many times.
Animation does not date. A well styled animated film won't have its clothing or hairstyles or other momentary fashion date it in future. Because you control everything that is seen, your message is not distracted by a flashy car or other element in a scene. A new version can be made later with new narration or added scenes and the previous footage can be reused and blended right in for cost savings.
A one-stop shopping studio like ours can also do productions with both live-action and animated sequences to utilize the best of both worlds. We have also done some intricate combinations of live with animation on screen at the same time. For one film we did moving combination shots years before Who Framed Roger Rabbit experimented with it. A new aerial-image setup was created by Wally Gentleman for Disada. He had designed the special effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey, and later sold the setup to Universal Pictures to use on their Battlestar Galactica TV series.
Of course, the best reason to use animation is for qualities of its own. Done correctly and done right, nothing can top animation's humor. A long-time logo or company character can come to life through animation and become a company's best spokesman. An old logo character can now speak, be funny, and soon adorn new product labels and advertising, even become a T-shirt star.
Animation has a different feel to it than live-action. We are, I think, more engaged as an audience, more willing to be convinced, persuaded and sold. If a live person is seen and talks to the audience, we are influenced by how he or she looks, by the hair and clothes and this has an impact, positive or negative, on getting the message across. People will look at your live spokesperson in different ways. What is engaging to some may be off-putting to another. Just having a man or a woman onscreen will elicit on some level a different attitude from men and women watching. But an animated character will dispense with preconditioned social attitudes and provide pure message.
Animation is daunting to some clients, be they companies or agencies, if they have never had some done before. But once they have, they find the experience a positive one. They might think of how it all comes together is a bit of a mystery, but there's no denying the magic on the screen.