Today’s technology-related business areas are changing at a rapid pace. The stock market for animation templates is no exception. In the conditions of market formation and rapid changes, Taras Riabokon built a successful career and created a large company for creating video templates, ready-made animation presets. Taras’ company “FX MONSTER” today is one of the flagships of the market, and its creator is a professional with vast experience and excellent entrepreneurial skills. We talked with Taras about professional priorities, major cases of the internal structure of work.
The field of animation template creation is relatively young, but it has already undergone a turning point. Taras, tell us how you managed to notice the trend in time and enter the market?
Here both interest and curiosity played into the hands, so to speak. The turning point in the motion design industry was the period from 2013 to 2014. Then stock platforms began to actively develop, which strongly forced large studios out of the market for one simple reason: the cost of a one-minute video from the studio was about $5,000, and using a specific template bought on stocks and finalizing the video began to cost customers about $100. Now the industry is arranged in such a way that there is a certain ready-made graphic template for a specific purpose. I noticed this trend, decided to try myself in this direction and in 2014 uploaded my first animation template. But when I realized that this direction was promising, I became very interested in it and left my job, concentrating on this kind of design.
Tell us more about the format in which you work: do you take projects to order or just upload templates to sites?
We are only engaged in uploading our templates to the sites. We only sell through them. These sites function like marketplaces: the author registers and sells his projects. We only need to prepare a template and upload it to the site, and then it can be bought from us an unlimited number of times by an unlimited number of buyers. It all depends on the relevance of the template. Initially, we worked as several people who registered on such a platform, worked for one account. Gradually we attracted new employees and our team grew. We basically do not take work to order, we work in a different direction.
Why don’t you take projects to order in principle?
This is always an insane amount of edits, long timings, the project can drag on for 1-2 months. Back in 2015, we decided that we would not work in this direction. If we report only to ourselves, we manage to make much more products in the same time frame and use the same forces.
However, the world’s largest brands use your templates. Did they all buy them on stock markets?
Quite right. But here I want to add: from the very beginning of my work, I focused specifically on the global market, studied trends and tendencies. He specialized in FX-animation, created various special effects. In this style, my products were in huge demand from companies for their commercial videos. Yes, and I like this animation more: such animation looks visually cool and makes any video live, natural.
In the videos of which major companies can we see your animation templates?
Here the list will be very long. From “Google”, “Ebay” and “Coca-Cola” to “Bank of America”, “PayPal” and “Huawei”. In general, more than 50 large companies have used our templates. If we talk about countries, then our templates are most popular in the USA, Korea and Japan. US buyers are those who deal with commercial videos in the first place.
Taras, tell us what distinguishing feature your company has. What gives you the opportunity to stay on the lists of industry leaders?
I can highlight two main points. First, the constant desire to develop and improve the product. And this is not only about hard skills, this is a very complex issue: you need to see and feel the market, predict events and trends. Over the years of experience, I have developed this sense of the market, which helps to make important strategic decisions. The main feature of my company is a team of professionals, without which we would not be able to take our current position and develop. And, as the practice of today has shown, we would not even be able to exist without an excellent team. We have very well established work processes: each department does its own thing and develops in its own direction. This allows us to scale together and do it at a very fast pace.
Taras, can you tell us how fast your company is growing?
We are steadily doubling about every year. In terms of the number of released projects, we are greatly increasing the pace and today we are seeing exponential growth in this indicator.
What processes are employees responsible for?
We have certain requirements for the final product. First, of course, it must be worked out in detail. Second, it needs to be easy to customize. Thirdly, it should be ready for use in all major video editors. As you can see, such processes are quite difficult to go through alone, so only a highly qualified team is currently moving the company forward.
What is your current role in the company?
Initially, I am a designer. I used to cook and draw all the animation myself. Today I am the art director of the company, I manage all the processes and, of course, follow the work of the animators. I also face the tasks of strategic planning of the company’s activities. Sometimes we plan some processes for a year or two ahead. I do a lot of work on market analysis and on finding ways for development and scaling.
Taras, what do you think is the future of the industry in the coming years?
I think that all the authors working alone will leave the market, because they will not be able to earn in the conditions of competition with large studios. We are preparing for this and are trying to use such market conditions to our advantage. In terms of the creative specifics of animation, it is difficult to say, we will follow the trends and adjust our actions.