How to not get lost in production

I know a lot of people like to believe animating films or doing other creative things is some type of magickal process that you can't run numbers on- well yes and no- coming up with ideas and our creativity in general can seem pretty magickal but the actual making of the film or project is usually pretty mechanical-

I don't wait for inspiration- I get to work- I don't sit around and wonder when a film will be done- I run calculations and do projections to figure these things out- I use daily quotas to make sure I'll get a project done when I want it to be done- I constantly re-assess where I am in a project and recalculate my quota if need be-

Once the script is locked, storyboards are done and all the assets are made and ready for animation- there's no more dancing around- you just need to get right to it! One shot a day? Five shots a day? Whatever it is GET TO IT! and DO IT EVERY DAY! Do at least one a day! You'll get there eventually!

Over the past 80-90 work days I've animated just about 890 shots with my quota at 10 shots/day- I'm lucky enough to do this full time- BUT even if you just had the time to do ONE shot a day you'd have 80-90 shots animated in the same time period-

Here's a ghetto spreadsheet I drew up to figure out how much I've done so far and how much I have left

So I've animated 885 shots and have 552 shots left- I want to finish the animation by Sep 1st so I'll have to keep a quota of 10 shots/day until then to get it done- If I stick to that or do more it will get done by that date- If I don't stay on top of that quota it won't- pretty simple eh?

So if you're walking the line between amateur/professional animated filmmaker and just can't seem to be consistent enough to get your projects done on time- just run the numbers- make projections and break it down-

Like when I started this film I knew there would be 1000-1500 shots to be done- and I had to start all that by completing shot #0001 which can seem scary and daunting- BUT I knew as long as I completed 10 a day I would get there eventually- and four months later I'm %61 done with the animation and in 2.5 months more time I'll be completely finished- just to start shot #0001 on another film

I know a lot of you have projects you're trying to get off the ground- so just make a realistic quota and stick to it- maybe you can only animate two days a week? Well set a quota of a couple shots per day- whatever you can do the key is to be CONSISTENT

So if you don't want to get lost in production than make a detailed map- it may seem like it sucks the magic or novelty out of it- BUT that's just the way it is- so go with the professional mindset- mow those shots down and get it done!