How To Get Into The Animation Industry
Hello everyone and welcome to The Storyboard Room, where I share with you tips, tricks, and advice from industry professionals in the animation field. My name is Eric Bravo and today, we’re going to be talking about a question that I get asked a lot, how do I get into the animation industry. Stay tooned to find out.
So you want to know how to get into the animation industry. Whether you’re an artist or someone who just loves cartoons and want to be apart of the industry in some way, Im going to be sharing with you 6 tips to help you get your foot in the door.
But before we start, a little bit about myself. My name is Eric Bravo and I’ve interned with Warner Bros, Nickelodeon & DreamWorks on the movie Penguins of Madagascar. I recently made a cartoon short with Nickelodeon called The Outsiders as the creator & writer as part of their shorts program. Click here if you’d like to see it! And I am currently in my dungeon (the process) of coming up with more ideas for cartoons.
Now that you know a little bit about myself and my background, let’s begin!
Tip 1: Can’t draw? No problem!
One common misunderstand is that people assume in order to be in the animation industry, you have to be able to draw, but that’s just not true. You don’t need to be an artist to be in the animation industry. Like myself, I can’t draw to save my life, but I still ended up making a cartoon short with Nickelodeon as a writer.
There are plenty of non-artist jobs. You can be a producer, or a writer, or a production manager, or a vault manager (where you manage all of the old assets, which is fun!) There are plenty of paths to getting into the animation industry if you’re not an artist. Check out my blog post on the types of non-artist jobs, but here are a couple (have star wars intro with non-artist types of jobs).
Tip 2: You don’t need a college education
Most jobs in the entertainment industry require just a high school diploma. If you have the talent you don't have to go to college.
I don’t think could have gone this route personally, but I’ve meet people who have and are doing well! If you’re a motivated, know that animation is for you, and want to get started ASAP, go for it. BUT, before you do, consider tip #3.
Tip 3: (If you’re a student) Apply to internships!
Although a college education isn't required to get a job in the animation industry, it really does help. It’s hard to apply to an entry level job without any experience, and internships is what gets you experience and an opportunity to network. This tip only apply if you are a students, but this is by far the most prospering way into the animation industry. Internships, if done right, can lead to a job. and by done right, I mean you treat it as a job. You’re always on time, always asking if someone needs help, dress like you mean it, and just think of it as the longest interview ever, it’ll open so many doors. In the animation industry, they like to hire from within, and they like to hire someone they know. (I should know as during the interview process with Pixar, Lucasfilms and DreamWorks, I did not get the job due to Great for networking.
Tip 4: Be willing to re-locate
I’m sorry to say, but it helps so much if you are close to the action. Yes, we have the internet now and face timing, but unless you have 20 years of animation experience under your belt, it’s best to re-locate.
Best place for animation is LA specially in Burbank. Then next would be the Bay Area and New York.
Tip 5: Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a gold mind! Use linkedin to connect to industry professionals and send them messages to see how they got into the industry or a job that you want. Also, research recruiters and ask for an informational interview. Say something along the lines of, “Hey Im a student or a person who’s really into animation and would be a dream to work at DreamWorks. If you’re free, can you tell me what it takes to become an employee there.
There’s your in. There’s two benefits to this. First, is you’re learning what they are looking for. Second, If they like you, they might keep you in mind for a job opening.
Tip 6: It’s never too late to join!
In my nickelodeon internship class, there were interns (not getting paid) that were 30+ years of age. One of them was even a firefighter who had a change of heart and loved cartoons and wanted to pursue that.
So if you love cartoons and always dreamt of being a part of making cartoons, go back to school, apply to internships and try!
Thank you for reading! If you like this article, please share it! If you have any questions, feel free to write it in the comment box below! I’ll do my best to answer them!
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