Energy Orbs Rescue Animated Video, Solve an Impossible Challenge for The Goal Mine

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Two entrepreneurs, faced with an impossible challenge in making an animated live action video, discover that not only was the simplest solution the best solution, but also that the outcome was better than they ever imagined.

Who understands how hard it is to create animation has to be crazy to ever take on an animation project.

The two principals of The Goal Mine, a personal development company, were debating the best way to move from "stealth mode" to "post stealth mode," when Bruce Kasanoff challenged his partner, Jim George, to put himself into an animated video. Such a video, suggested Kasanoff, would stand out among all the talking heads versions now online.

"Anyone," says George, "Who understands how hard it is to create animation has to be crazy to ever take on an animation project." George should know; he spent over twenty years as an animator and director in the entertainment industry. "Fortunately, I'm a bit crazy," he said.

The situation got a bit complicated from there. When Kasanoff outlined the budget for this project to his partner, it didn't take many words. "Zero. Zip. Nada," Kasanoff explained.

Animation requires 24 separate images per second of video. That's 1,440 images just to make a one minute video. George simply didn't have the time or money to create that many images, given that he sees a full slate of clients each day plus that the principals are working on a book to be published next year.

Fortunately, George is a highly positive individual and he found the severe constraints to be highly liberating. "We couldn't even consider doing any of the things that animators traditionally do, such as turn animals into cute and vivacious characters."

Instead, George remembered something Sherlock Holmes used to say, which was to the effect that every obstacle has its own solution built into it. George looked closely and found the solution to this obstacle: energy orbs.

George created a short video called "Watch What You Think," now posted on Youtube, in which colorful energy orbs bounce around him to illustrate the self-chatter that nearly every human being experiences in his or her own head. George and Kasanoff believe such chatter makes it very hard for people to focus on what is really important.

Each energy orb lacks a mouth, eyes, ears or any appendages. Each one is quite small. The result is a set of characters that can be animated in much less time than traditional animated characters.

There's a trade-off, of course. Simpler objects are faster to animate. But it is also harder to make such basic objects look alive. George solved this problem by employing a wide variety of strategies - some would call them tricks - he has picked up in his productive career.

Kasanoff recalls getting his first glimpse of the energy orbs when George was about halfway through the project. "My jaw just dropped to the floor. I knew Jim would come up with a workable solution, but I had no idea the result would be as entertaining and touching as the video turned out to be."

George does give credit to his partner for coming up with the title. Admits Kasanoff, "Jim created the whole video. It was the least I could do. Literally."

The pair now plan to include energy orbs in the presentations they give to organizations around the country. Explains Kasanoff, "The energy orbs represent a very simple way to illustrate the difference between allowing conflicting thoughts to chatter away in your brain versus focusing all your energy on one goal that matters the most to you."

The energy orbs also remind us of the basic truth that simple solutions are often the best.

The Goal Mine's video, Watch What You Think is now running on Youtube.

The Goal Mine helps individuals and organizations pursue their dreams. The firm offers motivational workshops and seminars, and it also has a series of five audio programs that help people focus on getting exactly what they want from life.


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