Success of animated movies not linked with technology used, study finds

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Research and development has helped the animation industry by leaps and bounds, but this doesn’t always have a bearing on the success of animated movies a new study has found.

According to a study published in the journal Organization Science, latest technology doesn’t always ensure creative success for a film. For the study scientists looked at 218 animated movies produced in the U.S. and released in theaters between 1978 and 2012. The researchers involved with the study looked at a number of things including core production team, consisting primarily of the producer, director, writer, editor, cinematographer, production designer, composer and art director.

Further, they also identified the technological tools that each core team member knew how to use, as well as their level of expertise with each one and primary animation tool utilized for in each movie, for example, cel animation, computer animation, motion capture, and clay or puppet animation.

To gauge the level of creativity achieved by a movie’s team, the researchers recruited two expert critics with extensive experience in movie review, particularly within the animation industry. Working anonymously and independently, the critics provided a rating for each of the 218 movies on a scale between 1-5. The higher the score, the more creative the film was considered to be.

The study found that the most creatively successful teams were often the ones whose members possessed a wider variety of technological tools, even if their experience level was only moderate, or their technological toolkits were commonly represented in other movie production teams.

Production teams whose members’ experience was limited to the primary animation tool, even if they were considered experts in the technology, produced less creative films.

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