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About Marktoonery.com

MarkToons Video Animation logo

MarkToons Video Animation is an independent animation studio now proudly located in Atlanta, Georgia.

MarkToons was started in 1992 in Montgomery, Alabama when Mark Stephen Smith produced a series of animated afternoon promos for WCOV-TV, Montgomery's Fox affiliate, starring Farley Fox. Farley was an animated emcee who introduced the syndicated afternoon cartoons, and voiced by Mark himself.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How much do you charge for a cartoon?

What services are included in price quotes?

Do you do anything besides character animation, like web design?

What kind of experience/training do your animators have?

Where can I learn more about your new animation book?


How much do you charge for a cartoon?
That's like asking "How much to fix my car?" Well, first we have to find out just what exactly you need. There are a wide variety of styles of cartoon animation, from the lower-budgeted cutout animation (like Monty Python's Terry Gilliam style) to 60's Saturday morning "Moose and Squirrel" to Looney "Golden Age" animation (our favorite). And then, how long a cartoon are you looking for? We've done everything from ten second promos to twenty-second TV program openings to thirty-second commercials to five-minute sales videos. And we can even do mixtures of live action video with animated characters. Obviously, the longer the cartoon, the longer it takes to produce; and therefore, more expense can be involved.

Rather than telling our clients what we charge for special projects not outlined on our Price Info page (like longer animation or live-action/animation combos), we often prefer to have our clients tell us what kind of budget they have, and we tell them what we can afford to do for them. We will say up front, however, that even the most rudimentary animation starts in the four-figure range.

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What services are included in price quotes?
While some animation studios specialize in animation, MarkToons is a full-service independent animation studio. Price quotes include character animation, backgrounds, soundtrack mixing and breakdown, as well as our in-house voice services when needed. MarkToons has a full cast of various character actors for male, female, and animal characters.

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Do you do anything besides character animation, like web design?
Although, depending on our current workload, we occasionally do character graphics for T-shirts, illustration, and web design, our focus is and always has been character animation. No, we do not design web pages, but we can refer you to associates who do, like our friend at C-Eye Design who created the re-design for this site.

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What kind of experience/training do your animators have?
Mark S. Smith, the founder and president of MarkToonery.com Animation, has been drawing since age two (or BEFORE, so his mother tells him), and graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from Auburn University Montgomery. While working in AUM's Graphic Design Center as a Lab Assistant, he animated his first scene for television in a public service announcement warning children not to accept rides from strangers. He took Video Animation four times: twice as a class (it could be repeated for credit), once as an independent study, and once as his senior portfolio. Mark did his internship at the Alabama Department of Public Health in their Video Production facility, doing animation and graphics on various germs and text, as well as animated caricatures of the state health officer in an informational video. He went on to start his freelance animation career in 1992, and while later employed as a Multimedia Specialist for KinderCare, he was sent to take the Animation MasterClass from the "Animation Maestro," the thrice Academy Award(TM)-winning Animation Director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and the Animated Classic, Thief and the Cobbler.

Mark with Richard Williams Mark was recruited by Phil Coley, head of AUM's Fine Arts Department, to teach the Video Animation Class in 1995, as well as Animation Director for a Department project, Gladys the Octopus Nurse, a 13-minute children's video, funded by a private producer. Since taking Richard Williams' Animation MasterClass in 1997, Mark has taught his animation classes using the MasterClass notes.

Mark then went to work for Alabama Public Television as a Computer Graphics Operator in 1998, and stayed there until 1999.  Then he moved over to ABC-32 in 2000, doing pretty much the same thing for their evening news broadcasts, making subtitles and full-screen graphics of exciting quotes from politicians.  During this time he continued to teach Video Animation at Auburn University Montgomery, and one summer he also taught fulltime at Trenholm Technical College, while maintaining his fulltime status at ABC-32!  (Some folks will do anything for Health Benefits...)  In December 2003, Mark was promoted to Creative Services Director.
 
In 2004, Mark's wife Albalis was offered a job in an architectural firm near Atlanta, Georgia and since he was quite fond of being married to her, left his day job to join her there in "Peachytown."  Mark began teaching Graphic Design and Digital Video Editing classes for Westwood College's Midtown Atlanta campus in 2005, and started working on the second PSA for the Georgia Public Library, tentatively entitled, "A Barnyard Fairy Tale."
 
Mark and Albalis are both members of the Atlanta chapter of ASIFA, the International Society of Film Animation (A French acronym accounts for those letters not quite matching, in case you're wondering), where they get to hang out with all kinds of cool people from Cartoon Network.

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Where can I learn more about your new Animation book?
Mark Smith talks about his latest book, The Art of Flash Animation: Creative Cartooning, while also reminiscing about his career thus far in a great interview at Animated-Views.com. Buy it from our Store page.

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Contact us for more information about your next animation project!email MarkToons
 
 


Mark with Producer Gary Goldman and Director Don Bluth - American Tail, Land Before Time, Titan AE - www.donbluth.com

Mark at Atlanta Dragon-Con - www.dragoncon.org

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