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The Career Coach: Producing Animation

Are you wondering what to give someone, who works in animation or aspires to this holiday season? Well, wonder no more. The Career Coach has the answer.

pam.gif Pamela Kleibrink Thompson

Traditionally, this is a time of gift giving. If you are wondering what to give someone, who works in animation or aspires to do so, the book Producing Animation by Catherine Winder and Zahra Dowlatabadi may be your answer. Producing Animation gives a fabulous producer's overview of the animation process, but it is not just for producers. Anyone who works in or aspires to work in animation would benefit from this book. The writers are both experienced production people and remind us how important attitude is and why it's essential to establish a sense of mutual respect for everyone involved on a project. The way people treat each other matters.

An early chapter is devoted to descriptions of the producer's role by a wide variety of industry veterans. From director Brad Bird to supervising animator Andreas Deja, each person gives a different but similar perspective on the important attributes of a producer.

The writers describe the roles and required skills of the crew. Terms are defined as they are used and the reader becomes familiar with the entire process of animation production, whether for 2D or 3D, features, television or direct to video.

Producing Animation

provides a comprehensive overview, which is exactly what a producer needs. One of the best parts is the Producer's Thinking Map -- a visual guide for the main steps involved in any animated project. The writers give practical ideas on how to put together a production plan from script to post-production, give tips on selecting a production team, and describe what is required of each person on the crew of an animated project.

Producing Animation

provides examples of budgets, schedules and ways to track the progress of a project. Anyone who wants to set up and run an animation studio should study this book so they can optimize the talents of their crew and staff, and minimize wasted efforts. The writers guide the reader through the complex and often frustrating process of producing animation. Those who already run animation studios or independent animators may find it useful for planning, creating and distributing their work.

I wish this book had been around when I was a production manager on The Simpsons. It would have helped me a lot. Producing Animation is an invaluable resource for students, executives, artists and live-action producers who may dream about producing an animated project. It will help anyone who is entering the business understand how and why decisions are made and give insight into the entire process. It describes how production problems develop and how to avoid those situations or come up with practical solutions. From preparing a pitch through final release print, everything one needs to know about producing animation is discussed.

For more information visit www.producinganimation.com or www.focalpress.com. Plus, watch for selected excerpts from Producing Animation, which are being published exclusively on AWN. You can already read several by visiting our magazine archives.

Pamela Thompson is a career coach and recruiter, who had nothing to do with writing

Producing Animation, though she wishes she had.

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