Posted by Charles on October 26, 1999 at 23:58:38:
In Reply to: Getting in at an entry level animation position posted by Kevin Simnacher on October 26, 1999 at 07:03:11:
Animation is a tough business to break into. Your skills have to be very strong. It's very competitive.
If you want to get into Disney Features, you stand a better chance if they know that you are willing to relocate to Florida or France. Disney is a very big company. Lots of corporate layers. It takes them a long time to make a decision or to move things along. They get inundated with portfolios from all over the world, as I'm sure you can well imagine. You have to have patience when you are dealing with them.
Specialize in an aspect of production where a demand exists. There are opportunities in pre-production design for TV animation. Character designers, background designers, character layout, etc. Always a demand for good storyboard artists. Some background painters are having a tough time of it right now.
Strive to be a great artist first. Become fundamentally strong. If you want to get into animation, keep in mind that you are competing against some of the best artists in the world. The major studios don't have training programs per se. If they do, I'm not aware of it. Most abandoned them years ago. Although there's some lead time to adjust to the situation, they want artists who can hit the ground running.
A degree is helpful, but not important. Your portfolio and/or demo reel is your degree.
Animation is hard work. Long hours, sometimes impossible deadlines. Professional satisfaction can be affected by the project one is working on. Working conditions vary. Dreamworks offers free meals. Some studios are nice, others are cramped. It all depends.
Union benefits are good, but a high level of disatisfaction with leadership exists. Salaries can vary, but jobs generally pay well. Employment stability depends on who's buying what from whom, the budget, the degree of idiocy of a studio's management, how much is going to Canada or Korea, etc.
Takes a great deal of dedication and focused effort, especially in the present environment. Be prepared for rejection. Perseverance will pay off if you really want to do this for a living. You have to have a great love of the art. Otherwise, find something else to do.
Hope this helps.
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