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In bizness fo yoself

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

In bizness fo yoself

Postby Charles » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:58 am

I was making my rounds the other day seeing what's happening in animation overall when I saw a commentary by the union's business rep on the Guild's blog about 'Employability' (Steve Hulett - September 25, 2012) about struggling to stay in animation. Here's correspondence he received...


I have been slowly breaking into the biz of animation since I graduated in 2009. I kill myself almost everyday looking for work and I always come up empty-handed. I got lucky at [blank] last year and worked on a new show for 5 months. After being laid off I feel the same thing is going to happen: 3 more years of looking for work so I'm quitting the boarding business and starting my animation studio.

I have tried soooooo hard to break into the union but I feel let down by the community, it's all about themselves, and emotionally, I'm done with it. ...


Jeez, that person could've talked to me about it 3 years ago and I could've spared them the agony of finding out for themselves what this organization and their community is all about.

In any case, Mr. Hulett goes on with plenty of marginally relevant suggestions as he usually does in situations such as this. Here's my advice folks. When it comes to tips on making in the studio system in LA, why are you turning to a writer who hasn't worked in a studio since at least 1989 and who's been sitting behind a union desk with a cushy contract all that time?

Guys, only 21% of union artists bothered to vote on their own union contract with the studios last month in August. They don't care about each other, why would they care about someone trying to break into their group?

You know what's missing from the dialogue folks? Not only at the Guild but at virtually every animation and art school I'm aware of.

The idea of going into business for yourself.

Everyone is training you to be an employee. Especially the Animation Guild. It makes no financial sense for them to have you working outside of their studios on your own. The schools too primarily focus on getting you ready for studio jobs. I've heard virtually nothing coming from these sectors of animation that encourage artists to think about developing an INDEPENDENT ECONOMY for themselves.

Not only is it hard for many ol timers to stay in the biz, it's getting harder for newcomers to stay in as well based upon what I'm reading above. If the only thing you're preparing for is studio employment, then that's the only option available to you.

How many artists breaking into the biz today will be able to retire with union benefits?

Start thinking early on about developing alternative paths in your career. Ones that can supplement your studio employment and the experience you'll gain as time goes by. Hold on to your original artwork as much as you can. Some 20 to 30 years from now you'll be able to sell it for added value. Explore self publishing and take advantage of all the things that new media offers. Develop your community. Keep working on improving your art. How about your own projects and intellectual properties?

There's many ways to go in addition to studio employment and thinking that the union is going to be there for you. These guys have let down so many people. My own experiences with them have convinced me that they're a corrupted organization. And with very few artists participating in their union on the most basic of levels, you can expect more lip service from people who don't care.

To survive in animation for the long haul, I highly recommend developing your INDEPENDENT ECONOMY as I've been admonishing students and peers for many years.

And to seal the deal, KEEP CREATING! That's the surest way to ensure your creative future.

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Re: In bizness fo yoself

Postby Greg B » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:17 pm

Only 21% voted?

That's abysmal.

After all the labor battles of the past 12 years you would think the animation community would be more proactive. When their asses were up for grabs they were piling into AN for help. Now they've dropped down to sheep again?

Starting your own business isn't as tough as in the old days. Sure the business credit and personal credit sources are tougher to get but crowdfunding is proving a great way to not only get money to start your business but fund an entire project.

I work in crowdfunding but on the medical end. One thing I'm seeing is that the Chinese entrepreneurs are gearing up to fund projects. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

So the new animator out here at least has the audience of the internet to reach without the old boy network of distribution in the way. Just make the right moves and you'll get your shot.

Even if you foul up you can start all over again. It's all about knowing internet marketing and I do admit it's a big learning curve but once you get the hang of it you can expand.

Good points all Charles.
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