Recently I fixed some major bugs. Before when someone used the paint tool or zooming, the rendered mp4 would either be blank or messed up. I know it's very frustrating to put time and effort into making an animation, then after you finish and hit 'publish' you see a blank screen. I'll try not to let that happen again. I'm really motivated to add features and fix the bugs on this website.
The last two months that wasn't the case... I basically abandoned SuperAnimo. I got discouraged after I spent a couple hundred dollars on Reddit/Adsense ads and no one cared. With all the bugs, the difficulty of adding new features, the lack of good artwork/sounds to add to the editor, it was easy to think this project is a lame duck and I should move on to something else. But now I'm back - and I'm going to keep making SuperAnimo better, and let me tell you why...
Have you heard of a startup called Kapwing? No? Well screw them. They recently got $1.7 million funding for a startup that they don't care about. From one of their blog posts they say:
I generally don’t care about the problem we’re solving. I don’t personally make memes, watch video memes, or follow meme makers. Many of the Kapwing memes are dumb, mean, or inappropriate...Do memes actually improve people’s lives? Idk, but I don’t think a meme generator will change the world. -Kapwing Founder
I'm the exact opposite. I never worked for Google, didn't go to Ivy league school, and have no network connections to get $1.7 million seed funding. I've spent 8 years building SuperAnimo while having a full-time job. If this project wasn't something that I cared about - something that I think could become amazing then I wouldn't work on it. Sometimes I get off track like the last couple of months, but I always come back more motivated than ever to implement my vision of what I think animated storytelling could be.
Memes are short form story-telling that can leave an impact and change opinions. In a world dominated by corporate messages, fake news, and subliminal product placement, memes may be the only medium that's democratically created by the people and not by someone trying to sell you something. But memes aren't enough. We need to have tools that allow anyone to mashup memes and create parodies of any possible thing they have in their head. We need longer-form versions of memes.
Take South Park for example. Some people would say it's just an offensive, unimportant cartoon but there's actually a strong anti-authority, Libertarian message throughout the show. Someone actually wrote a book "The Libertarian Lessons of South Park: An Analysis of Libertarianism in South Park, How Ron Paul, Gary Johnson & South Park Created a New Generation of Libertarians & South Park Conservatives." I'm not a Libertarian but I'm pretty inspired by Matt/Trey's story about how they influenced society just through animated storytelling. I want SuperAnimo to give that ability to everyone.
SnapChat made it easy for anyone to post "stories" about themselves. But what about people who aren't extroverts who don't want to record every second of their life? SuperAnimo is about story-telling for anything, not just "stories" of yourself. Most of those stories may be dumb, inappropriate and mean but at least it's real and not corporate BS.
Maybe I'm wrong and no one wants this stupid site. It's trying to do too much in a crappy interface and those ex-Googlers at Kapwing have the right idea with their stupid simple tools. If I'm wrong and no one uses this site then so be it. But I have a vision for the future of memes. I'm going to build it... even if it takes another 8 years.