Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tips to Break Into the Animation Industry

While Tiina was having a great time exploring Anime Expo this year, I was roaming around having a great time too.  In the midst of cosplayers, anime video rooms, and an exhibition hall that had no problems accepting money from me, were a number of educational workshops including one I attended called "Breaking Into the Animation Industry."

The panel featured  Will Feng (moderator), Lori Lane (recruiter), Brianne Drouhard (Teen Titans), Jay Oliva (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Justice League), Valerie Fletcher (South Park, American Dad), Alan Wan (Ben 10, Teen Titans), Irineo Maramba (Transformers: Animated, Teen Titans), and George Krstic (Downtown, Megas XLR, Star Wars: Clone Wars).  (Panelists named in photo from right-to-left)

The panel opened up with introductions of each panelists (each of which were followed with gasps and cheers from the fan geek audience) and stories of how each came to be involved in the industry - from art to recruiting to directing and producing.  The following are tips I gathered from the panel - some amusing, some inspiring, but all informative:

  1. "Don't stalk people."
  2. "It's important to continue to draw [everywhere]."  (Note: Lori Lane stated this as Brianne Drouhard was drawing beside her)
  3. "Do research for whatever you apply for."
  4. "Take advantage of portfolio reviews."  (Note:  Reviews often occur at conventions like Anime Expo and Comic-Con.  Check schedules and see if there's one occurring at an event you're attending.)
  5. "Keep working."
  6. "Know what you're applying for."  (Note:  For example, if you're applying for a specific kind of show, know that show's style.)
  7. "Keep putting yourself out there."
  8. "Don't limit yourself."
  9. "Put yourself on deviantart."  
  10. "Be a jack [or jane] of all trades." (Note:  This will make you available to work in different areas to get yourself into the industry and get where you really want yourself to go.)
  11. "Be able to distinguish what's good and what's bad."
  12. "Just be open - be open to criticism."
  13. "Core element: dream your own dreams.  The industry needs that.  Just keep fighting for these dreams."
  14. "Don't give up."
  15. "Get into animation without drawing...get an internship, learn the process."
  16. "Not only is there the artist aspect, but there is the production branch...don't just limit yourself to just the art."
  17. "[Know that] animation is a team effort."
 Good luck to all interested in getting into this industry!

-Charity Tran

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