Animation Agencies Vs. Freelancers

So you’ve got an animation project on the horizon, you don’t have any in-house animators so you’re looking for the perfect fit to create your masterpiece. And when we say “perfect fit” we of course mean they have the right skillset, enthusiasm, availability and are affordable. But do you entrust this project with an animation agency or a skilled freelancer?

To make your choice, there’s some factors that need to be considered with the individual project specifications and your business needs in mind. In this blog we’ll guide you through the key factors to keep in mind when choosing between an animation agency and freelancer.

 

Content

Skillset

Freelancers create extraordinary work by honing a specific skillset over years of training and experience. However, an agency will grow by cultivating highly skilled individuals into a creative team that can work collaboratively, meaning their clients benefit from this versatile collection of skills.

If your project specification is quite straight forward and requires one style of animation then you won’t need to worry about this too much. However, once you start to venture into specialities within animation, such as 3D, photorealism, character animation, and so one, it becomes more unlikely that you’ll find a freelancer who can achieve your desired results by themselves.

Other production elements, such as scriptwriting, are also more likely to be completed in-house by agencies. Established agencies may also include content and marketing experts, enabling them to intuitively think ahead, not just about the technicalities of producing your video but also about the distribution and use of your video to ensure that the video’s script, messaging, style and feel are all optimised towards your target audience and ensure it delivers real marketing results.

Speed & Flexibility

An agency is likely to work Mon-Fri 9-5, whereas freelancers often work flexible hours and are contactable outside of 9-5. However, if a freelancer have other clients, are ill, or take a (well deserved) holiday, then it’s unlikely that there’ll be someone else on hand to answer your call or email. This can cause delays, which, expected or unexpected, can be frustrating for you as a client. With an agency, you have the assurance that if one person is off, the agency has the capability to cover the workload.

Freelancers will also often work on one project at a time, dedicating a chunk of their diary to one client. This lends itself to impeccable work and amazing looking videos, but it can create long lead times on new projects and mean they’re not a great fit for projects with short deadlines. Agencies have the capability to manage several clients and projects simultaneously, without compromising on project quality.

Whoever you choose, it’s important to state any hard deadlines immediately and gain a realistic project timeline early on.

Commercial Experience

As we’ve already established, a freelancer will be well equipped at producing an incredible looking animation, exactly to (or even exceeding) your brief. Freelancers rely on creating incredible looking work in order to build their own portfolio and subsequently attract more work.

Creating an incredible looking animation is one (important) part of the puzzle but with marketing videos it’s no longer good enough to just look good, the video content needs to increase brand awareness or inspire action, dependant on what your video’s objective is. Established agencies will have worked with hundreds of clients across multiple industries and have the experience and knowledge of how to produce a video that delivers business and marketing objectives.

Cost

One obvious benefit to using a freelancer is that it’ll be cheaper, right? Freelancers usually work from home, don’t invest so much in marketing and generally have fewer overheads to cover when it comes to pricing their services. So they’ll always be cheaper, surely? Well, sometimes this will be the case, or at least seem it when you’re comparing initial quotes.

The important thing to look out for is what exactly is included in this pricing. For example, you might be required to pay extra for any amends, this could be applicable at any stage of production (storyboard, script, style frames, animation…) so you can see how this could easily add up. Unless you’ve specified that you don’t need it, an agency quote should also include the sound design, voice over cost, the cost of any licensed music and all of those finishing touches that complete the video, so there’s no surprise invoices down the line to achieve your final video.

Project Management

Thinking back to those elements we’ve just mentioned that make your video the final polished piece (voice over, sound effects, music, etc.) it’s important to remember that they all need organising.

A freelancer who specialises in animation may not get involved with these components, leaving you having to source everything else. If this is something you’re experienced in or can sort in-house then a freelancer is a great option to simply outsource the animation part.

If you want to have one point of contact who oversees the entire production process, then an agency is the perfect fit. Agencies will often have dedicated staff who liaise with clients and manage the whole project, start to finish, to ensure a smooth and stress free process, ensuring deadlines are met and the creative vision is brought to life.

So, which is right for you?

As we said right at the start, the choice between freelancers and agencies comes down to the requirements of the project. Hopefully you’ve read this blog with your project in mind and along the way it’s become obvious which option will suit you best right now.

If your project has a tight deadline then an agency is likely the better fit. Alternatively, a flexible deadline could work wonders with a freelancer. A video requiring several animation specialities would benefit from the versatile team of an agency. Whereas a video featuring one style would be beautifully executed by a freelancer. And so on and so forth...

 

We’re Posh Gecko

Posh Gecko are an award winning animation and video production studio, helping brands create memorable campaigns that drive action. Formed eleven years ago and grown by cultivating a passionate group of creatives from the best of the talent across the UK, Posh Gecko are dedicated to transforming businesses video content with captivating videos that connect with audiences and achieve results.

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