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So you want to be an Animator? Here's what to expect.

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So you want to be an Animator? Here's what to expect.

I am only in High School and i have always been into animation. I take mostly advanced level art classes in school.

I Want to become a 3D Animator but i dont know what i can come to expect in this career.

I just need some advice on how to go about getting a job in 3D Animation

im 24.
not saying im bad, saying im working on getting better or trying to catch my hand skills up with my computer skills ;)

Hi,
im 22 years old an Graphicdesign Student in my first semester.

I dont have a lot of drawingclasses, so im trying to make the most of it.

currently i have perspectiv drawing and anatomie, next year i'll take a comic class which im allready planing and creating character sheets for.
That comic shall become the basic for an animation for my Bachelor-project.

If things go according i would graduate with a Bachelordegree at age 25.

is that to old to start in the biz? to me it seems like all the last generation animators started with 19,20,21...

this is not about passion, desire or workethic but age.

I mean, i did my a level with 19, did my military service for 1year, 6months praktikum for my application and started with 22.
At most i could have started with 21, but even thought it couldnt be avoided, i feel old.

I don't think no matter what you want to do that you can ask for any sort of guarrantee. I still have to draw and paint, no one pays me to do it, it's just something I have to do. I never ever ask any one to guarrantee me a source of income doing it.

Why do the new young people want guarrantees. Life is what it is..there are no guarrantees, face up to that. It's hard, but it's something that you'll run into time and time again.

Unless you go to school and become a doctor, then you have guarrantees.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Does everyone agree with me that Ken should write a book?

I definitely second that. Not only would it be a great resource for anyone trying to enter the business, the incoming money would fund some of the projects he has on his "back burner" easily. I say do it, man. :cool:

Order my book Jesus Needs Help on Amazon or download on Kindle.

You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

Yes, it DOES happen. Its just not that common.

My guess is that one in ten studios have sufficient work-flow year round to keep talent on staff for periods as long as that.
Most studios operate "seasonally" though, and might hire "employees" for a projects term, but treat those people as essentially freelancers when the project ends and lay them off.

This is VERY common and thus newcomers should be aware that this is how they will likely be treated.

Something else to consider: I've had colleagures lured to high paying jobs with indefinite contracts at big companies by head-hunters. These were plum jobs with pay over $150K+ a year and very prominent projects.
I'm talking Microsoft and Xbox games.

And these same folks were summarily permanently laid off when corporate politics decided to just "end" the products/projects they were creating.

The folks I know moved their familes, even changed citizenship moving to new countries for these jobs that lasted..........maybe a year.
It can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Just wanted to say this thread got me to register. It's an inspirational and highly informative thread. Thank you for this and changing my idea of what to expect from animation. Unfortunately, I got hit in the head far too many times in my life to say no. :p

Let's see:

- Jumped off bed and landed on head as a young girl
- While skating at the local rink as a kid some kid pushed me down and I fell on my face, cracked one of my front teeth in half. Half of that tooth is fake now. :D

People might get the impression that this is the only industry that is like this. It's not. It's just life. We are specialists, and specialists always get paid more. If you stick with it long enough the money will come eventually and you can make a great career.

www.MattOrnstein.com
Character Animator - Lucas Arts

I completely and totally agree with Ken. Don't get into animation unless you're 100% sure that you want to do it and are very passionate about it. Once you get started you will need to work as hard as humanly possible to succeed. Set extremly high standards (like having feature quality animation by the time you graduate:D) for yourself and work as hard as you can to ge there. Even if you don't quite make it, chances are you'll end up being good enough to get a job somewhere.

Anyway, I dont think Ken's post was gloom and doom at all. It was great to see the honest truth about this industry without any sugar coating. I agree that if newbies think what Ken said is harsh, then chances are animation isn't for them.

"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane

Unless you go to school and become a doctor, then you have guarrantees.

"Kevorkian; paging Dr. Kevorkian" ;)

Desire of security is a part of youth, and even a part of being human. It's not just "new young people." But then, how can I speak? I imagine it would be equally hard to judge the "old young people" from an inside perspective... :D

One thing's for sure, I learned quickly not to make expectations of anyone but yourself and as a result I earn what I get. And I know I'm not the only one.

Can not wait to see your work.

"Kevorkian; paging Dr. Kevorkian" ;)

Desire of security is a part of youth, and even a part of being human. It's not just "new young people." But then, how can I speak? I imagine it would be equally hard to judge the "old young people" from an inside perspective... :D

One thing's for sure, I learned quickly not to make expectations of anyone but yourself and as a result I earn what I get. And I know I'm not the only one.

True Scattered, it's not just the young'ns. Some of us old farts look for security to, but like they say there's nothing sure but death and taxes, unless your last name happens to be Bush.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

One of my animation teachers at school summed up the animamation industry very well. He told us we'll basicly be migrant field workers. Go to one studio, harvest their crops, then move to another studio and do the same. He was pretty much dead on.

Aloha,
the Ape

See more of The Ape @ http://onetwoclicksmile.blogspot.com/ and https://vimeo.com/40270147

"...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Animation, the Myth and the Reality....

A couple of times now I've made mention of a cartoon that speaks of the "myth and reality" about the animation biz, and was never able to actually show it......until now.
In packing up for a move, I found the image in question, and have now scanned it and linked to it for all to see.
I have to speculate that the authourship is by someone from International Rocketship, possibly my colleague Dieter Mueller. (Any Vancouver area locals want to confirm or correct me on this?)

Really, in all this thread, nothing really speaks more pointedly in my mind about the animation biz than this cartoon:

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I'm gonna reveal something scary...........like WEALLY SCAWY scary.

I used to joke to my classes about those of us in the biz that had, at one time in our childhoods, sustained some kind of head injury. Y'know....anything from an actual head trauma to just wacking your skull on something and having blood drawn.

I used to joke about this, and asked how many had sustained such a thing.........until I started noticing that the students that said "no" or were confused by the question were the ones that didn't make it in the biz.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I have to say I'm a long ways off, and thanks to Ken I got the spark back. I want to have professional skills before even entering animation school. I'm working a job that for a year and half while practicing my drawing, researching, before I even apply.

What I'm currently working on.

http://i.imgur.com/OMCvDBW.jpg

This piece is a struggle in some ways. I'm learning a lot from it and growing while I do it. For instance, the lace. Drawing lace is harder than you think. Ken said to do keep working on it so you CAN draw it and finally solve the puzzle. I won't be satisfied until I can draw everything.

I know for a fact I don't have the skills required, but I gotta keep going. I'm decent at humans, but I suck at environmental design. So I'm working on doing art with backgrounds more now, on top of still life and life drawing.

I'm going to start tracing my favorite pieces from favorite artists like Ken said. Emulation is king! I already do that with photography.

I'm really big into the classical art training methodology I grew accustomed to emulating.

Quick sketch of Eugene Delacroix's famous painting, Girl Looking in a Cemetery, my favorite painting. As you can see, I concentrate on the face only. That's that niche talent Ken was talking about. No background or anything. I spit on that, I need to correct that and do the entire thing.

http://i.imgur.com/0atNaEU.jpg

Portrait done in black and white acrylic, this piece is trash. Look at the shoulders and turtleneck.

http://i.imgur.com/XyX4PsV.jpg

My first digital painting, I copied a photo of Rashida Jones. The skin is flat. I don't like this piece at all.

http://i.imgur.com/Qllk80v.jpg

I know my pieces stink, just posting it because I like sharing. Unfortunately I have to work from scratch because I've lost my old portfolio.

A preview of my artistic process:

http://i.imgur.com/7ccp8Yh.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/qcEwBO7.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ppm5r.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/EoT3mu9.jpg

I need to finish that cowboy piece. Forgot about it. zzz.

I am also concentrating on mastering each body part. Here's an eye.

http://i.imgur.com/SYflcgq.jpg

Unlike Ken's advice, I WILL be showing gore/horror and erotica/porn art when I do them. :mad:

Questions for an Animator

Hey Ken, you definitally seem like you know a lot about how to get into animation, and what to do once your there, so i was wondering if you could answer some of my questions. I would like to know, what colleges do you think would be best for starting in animation, and what kind of computer is best for creating animation? Thanks so much if you, or anyone else here, could answer my questions.

I used to joke about this, and asked how many had sustained such a thing.........until I started noticing that the students that said "no" or were confused by the question were the ones that didn't make it in the biz.

I wonder if getting your eyeball scratched by your sister counts?:p

"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane

Very good point, Matt. There's hardly an industry these days where people aren't constantly looking over their shoulder to see when the next layoff/headcount reduction/redeployment (my personal favorite description) is coming. Job security really doesn't exist anymore.

So keep those resumes up to date and that portfolio polished. Sooner or later, you'll probably need it.

Mine was in the eyes too! I was crawling out of a doggie door in our front entrance and my sister and her friend were running by with a boombox. Slammed into my right eye and there's a cyst behind it now which over time latched onto my brain.

Umm..Score! :)

Great thread

i was wondering if you guys had any advice on getting your foot in the door.

Right now i'm half way done a 2d animation program. I'm motivated, draw all the time etc etc.

Do you just pick up the phone and start calling companies? If so, what do you say?

Does anyone have any advice on getting summer internships?

Thanks!

Hi Everyone

Hi guys, first of all I'm new on this forum and I'm so glad that I found this site by coincidence.

Well, I'm so confused about something. I really love animation and video games a lot, one of my biggest dreams is working at game companies in the future.
I'm thinking to go to Sheridan's Animation program but also there is another program called Game Design (Bachelor).

For example, If I take Animation program am I gonna be able to work in a video game company as a level designer or game designer as well ?
I know sounds silly, you will tell me '' If you wanna work as a game designer or level designer why you wanna take animation instead of game design program.'' but the thing is which program do you think have more diversity in job field ?

Thank you...

Geez, you guys flatter me!

Well......the thing is that I'm a notorious procrastinator. It'd be a while ( 6 months minimum) before I'd get something done on this, and a whole book..........well.........

Probably what would be sane is a booklet, at least at first and it wouldn't be all encompassing, it'd just be my old-fart opinions.

I'll mull this over, but in the mean-time y'all can help out with this process but doing a lil' something to fuel this idea:

Ask your questions.

What would you want to see/need to have answered in such a tome?
Work culture? Mindset? Money situations? Pre-reqs? Books to look at? Things to be afraid of?
What colour socks to wear? Tater-tot recipes?
You tell me ( or we, because ANY "seasoned" pro could write or contribute to this.)--hell, maybe this should be a "pro-blog" or something?
( and I swore I'd never have anything to do with something called a "blog"--ick.

So if people really want this kind of thing, gimme a bone to start chewing on, let me know what you need to know.

Mind you, I DO have back-burner things I want to at least get underway, so something like this will have to wrestle for time amongst that and any ( inevitable, sigh) freelance stuff that happens.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I was never at all interested in 3D computer animation until I saw The Incredibles on DVD last month. Instead of putting me to sleep like most 3D, I couldn't get it out of my head when it was over. So, I watched it five more times and soaked up both commentary tracks. I'm a believer!

I know that's not a question, but I think it pays to not be stubborn and narrow-minded about things like that.

Those commentarys on "The Incredibles" DVD are fantastic, I have ran the animators commentary five times and took notes. They also talked a little about the reality of working in the industry.

Hi guys, first of all I'm new on this forum and I'm so glad that I found this site by coincidence.

Well, I'm so confused about something. I really love animation and video games a lot, one of my biggest dreams is working at game companies in the future.
I'm thinking to go to Sheridan's Animation program but also there is another program called Game Design (Bachelor).

For example, If I take Animation program am I gonna be able to work in a video game company as a level designer or game designer as well ?
I know sounds silly, you will tell me '' If you wanna work as a game designer or level designer why you wanna take animation instead of game design program.'' but the thing is which program do you think have more diversity in job field ?

Thank you...

My suggestion would be to contact Sheridan itself and ask the question. Their counselling department should be able to provide you will info that can help you decide which direction will work best for you. Also ask to be put in touch with the alumni for both programmes, as they can tell which is more effective for either career path.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Hello there,
I just finished reading the entire thread.
I'm a high school freshman and I'm pretty sure I would like to pursue animation as a career.
But, if I do pursue full-time animation would I have no chance of having a personal life/family?

Hey Ken, you definitally seem like you know a lot about how to get into animation, and what to do once your there, so i was wondering if you could answer some of my questions. I would like to know, what colleges do you think would be best for starting in animation, and what kind of computer is best for creating animation? Thanks so much if you, or anyone else here, could answer my questions.

Pick one.

I really cannot adequately answer those two questions because it really comes down to a apples or oranges situation.

Honestly, I don't know. :(

One college might be exxcellent for you, and another might not be--and it might not be due to any deficiencies at one college over another--but instead be due to things like tutition costs or location.
There's MANY reputable, excellent animations schools talked about here. Read the forums and get a idea of which ones seem to get the most press--that's probably the best answer.

Though guessing about your question--the best colleges are those with competent industry-experienced ( more than 10 years in) instructors, good facilties, minimum 2 yr program covering BOTH 2D & 3D--with emphasis on drawing/artistic skills and entertainment values along with the technical info.
IMO, a good school as a portfolio requirement
Add an affordable tutition ( if you can find it!) and a nearby location and that is how I'd define "best".

As for computers......again, whatever powerful system that can crunch numbers the best and has the graphic capabilities should be suitable.
Some perfer Macs, some PCs, some folks probably use an abacus......( wait'll you see the animation that comes offa THAT! :rolleyes: )
So many platforms offer so many similar features and performance that you could go with almost anything and get some good results.

I'm a 2D guy though, and have taught at only 4 schools/colleges, thus far.........both the things you are asking about end up sort of on the periphery of my "expertise".

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Your school should provide some assistance in landing internships. Check with your department office.

Hello there,
I just finished reading the entire thread.
I'm a high school freshman and I'm pretty sure I would like to pursue animation as a career.
But, if I do pursue full-time animation would I have no chance of having a personal life/family?

The personal life/family issue is the same as with ANY career choice. You throw yourself into it early on, then ease back a bit once you have gained your footing. There's time for a family and personal life in there somewhere.
Animation (actually, cartooning) is NOT my life--its my livelihood--its a distinction that works for me.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

The personal life/family issue is the same as with ANY career choice. You throw yourself into it early on, then ease back a bit once you have gained your footing. There's time for a family and personal life in there somewhere.
Animation (actually, cartooning) is NOT my life--its my livelihood--its a distinction that works for me.

Okay, thank you very much. Animation is my passion and I am willing to work my ass of the achieve in it, I just don't want to be 40 and look back and realize that I never had time for anything but animation.

A couple of times now I've made mention of a cartoon that speaks of the "myth and reality" about the animation biz, and was never able to actually show it......until now.
In packing up for a move, I found the image in question, and have now scanned it and linked to it for all to see.
I have to speculate that the authourship is by someone from International Rocketship, possibly my colleague Dieter Mueller. (Any Vancouver area locals want to confirm or correct me on this?)

Really, in all this thread, nothing really speaks more pointedly in my mind about the animation biz than this cartoon:

sweet....you make it sound so much like....oh whats the word...hell...

Pov

Hi Ken! I'm am super green in this field but I like the realistic POV it helps me out a lot and makes me excited about what's to come. I am discovering that even though I am in school a lot of the things I need to know are going to be self taught, which is fine because I think it's fun. But I already feel a sense of accomplishment when people ask "you made that?" :D

Everyone is dealing in such absolutes, you have to be "%100 sure!". College is ABOUT exploration, and finding out what you want to do. I have a bunch of friends who went in for animation but found out they were great at modeling, or TD, or whatever! Again I am not saying it isn't hard work, because it's a ton of hard work. But it is ok to try something and decide it’s not for you. If you are in high school you should especially not know exactly what you want to do!

Again all this talk that it is impossible to work anywhere in any long term fashion is absolutely not true! I work with people at my studio that have been there for 8 + years, and don't plan on going anywhere. So yea it's possible to find steady employment at a single place, it's not all that rare. And before everyone jumps on me I am admitting that this industry does have substantial "migrant worker" side to it. But that's practically every industry. Also if you work in say LA, Bay area, or NYC (places where most of the industry is centralized), even if you find yourself looking for a job, you end up working almost down the street. You also make so many connections so quickly that it tends not to be earth shattering. Point is, don't be discouraged, it's a fantastic career and not all doom and gloom. Most people change majors in college at least once anyway, so it's not an all or nothing deal.

www.MattOrnstein.com
Character Animator - Lucas Arts

Hi,
im 22 years old an Graphicdesign Student in my first semester.

I dont have a lot of drawingclasses, so im trying to make the most of it.

currently i have perspectiv drawing and anatomie, next year i'll take a comic class which im allready planing and creating character sheets for.
That comic shall become the basic for an animation for my Bachelor-project.

If things go according i would graduate with a Bachelordegree at age 25.

is that to old to start in the biz? to me it seems like all the last generation animators started with 19,20,21...

this is not about passion, desire or workethic but age.

I mean, i did my a level with 19, did my military service for 1year, 6months praktikum for my application and started with 22.
At most i could have started with 21, but even thought it couldnt be avoided, i feel old.

http://forums.awn.com/showthread.php?t=12112

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

So games are a bit more secure than features? Do you find there are more "8 years" -ish people there or more short-term people?

Games and feature are similar, a lot more alike than different, I think.

I know a few fellows at Sony who have been working at Imageworks for 4/5+ years.

I knew people in games who stay on for one project then leave.

It all depends on what you want out of it.

Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst.

You can make it as an animator. (: Monetarily, socially, artistically, whateverly. It is possible. (: Example: Matt and I are doing it. As are a plethora of other animators, modellers, TDs, artist.

Don't be disheartened at all, but you still gotta keep yourself on your toes.

I remember a little over a year ago being scared out of my mind I wouldn't have a job before graduation. But ... luck, fortune, hard work, all fell into place and it worked out.

So it is possible.

Keep the dream alive. (:

Its a sweet hell.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Some thoughts, some advice;

So there you are, working away.....and "life" intervenes.
Maybe you get sick, take a bump, family has some drama, something just gets into your head.......and you blow it. Can't get the work done in time--you blow the deadline.
And not just by a day or so......but, maybe a week late. Or more.
Most places can forgive it a time or two, if you have a sound excuse........but sometimes, the "problem" just lingers.

And the job ends......and the phone doesn't ring again for you.

What do you do?

Well, this part starts with a simple idea: keep the faith.

Life happens, okay.
Things happen.
There can be times when you fall into a head-place that can be tough to get out of, and it can affect your career, and your life.

Do what you need to do to survive--make that your priority. You WILL survive, as long as you keep trying. If you need to leave the biz for a time, to gather your strength, regain your ground, do it.
Do whatever it takes.
If the reason you are out is because " you aren't good enough"--then take this time to work on getting better at what you are weakest at.
The problem is likely more in your head than in your hands, so keep working on your head, so that your hands can work better.
Stick with it, don't give up. Try different things, go back to the very start, the very basics and re-build from there. Make things simple.
Don't wallow in shame, or guilt , hurt or distress.
Shit happens. Move on. Sometimes we have to snip off a branch to keep the tree growing.
Don't be afraid to try something else.
Taking a pause is not giving up. If you don't let go of the idea......no matter how far afield you go from that idea, you have not given up.

Sometimes you just don't feel like doing it.
I think that's okay.
Being always "on" is tough. Some artists can do it, some can't.
Sometimes sitting at the drawing table is pointless......its okay.
Try again later.

You might ask now" "why bother if the studios stop calling??"??
You might be sitting there thinking they hate you, they see your name and a frown crosses their faces, that they laugh at you and your failings behind your back.

Well, here's the thing: they don't stop calling.
They very likely don't laugh at you or think ill of you. They seldom take your screw-ups personally--its just a job after all.
If you are good at what you do, if you bring something to the work......they'll NEVER stop calling. You can blow the deadline, probably piss people off too--but if you can be worked with, if you are good at what you do........they'll call again.

Second chances happen. Third chances.
All the time.
As long as you don't, like......murder someone at the studio, you'll always be able to redeem yourself.
Be humble.
Try to be professional. Accommodate. Ingratiate/co-operate. Rebuild trust/ confidence, not only within you, but in you.

Just be good at what you do. Get better.

And let's end this with the same simple idea: Faith.
Have faith.
Things WILL change, they WILL go from bad or worse or however things are now, to better. You'll get a second chance, or a third, as long as you keep the faith and don't give up .

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Thanks for the informative messages, I just have a few questions if anyone can find time to read or answer it would be appreciated.

Do you need to be an animator to work in animation? Do you need to animate to be an editor, do you need to be an animator to be a producer, do you need to be an animator to be a director? I will work in Animation somehow in the future but I want to make sure that I can work in animation without being an animator.

I have a strong design background and see my self as a cel painter, or an editor, possibly a producer or director. But would I would be just as happy working as a janitor in the animation studios, Money is not important as long as you are happy to tell people where you work.

To all who have been or will be part of the animation world, Thanks for all the hard work.

Professional 3D animators often pursue careers in the gaming and film industry, but opportunities are available in other industries as well. The type of jobs that animators can actively pursue includes concept artist, animator, character animator, storyboard artist, special effects animator, visual effects artist and game designer.

I just had a buddy sign a 4 year contract with Dreamworks, one year out of college.... thats some job security right there.

www.MattOrnstein.com
Character Animator - Lucas Arts

If you think 1000 of Ken's words are worth something, you should see his drawings. That would be the meat of the book.
Not just any department in animation but any style and technique in the sequential arts.
The thing is; guys like him are usually the ones too busy actually doing the work to usually write a book.
The real deal, yes, indeed.

..especially if you start drinking (heavily) RIGHT NOW as a student...get to the point where you're hiding it in your coffee and eating jello shooters at your desk...should make the whole affair seem less depressing when the layoffs come
....hope this helps

It is more a matter of working on the craft, almost daily. Keep a balance life while learning animation and I think you will do well.

Superman

The History Channel did a piece on Superman last night. They talked about how the industry worked and some times failed to work. It was sad and scary to hear about the hard life a lot of artist had. If you can, you should try and catch this show.

Oh and on a side note, Spiderman 3 hit 148 million this past weekend. Keep the rights to your work, one never knows what is in the future.

I have a question, say i have 1000+ ideas for cartoon series

I finally get enough animators together, and animate a pilot episode

Who do i send it to? How do i know these companies wont steal my idea and recreate it with different characters? Copywright it?

Accept any deal a studio gives? Do's and donts??

Professionals help please :)

Four years! Jeepers...Does he have work online?

Out of 1000 ideas (any number really), most will be really bad, totally unsuitable for production and able to be picked apart and criticized into oblivion. Never even get to stage two. Even of the ones that could work, most won't be commercially viable for the very idiosyncracies that make them interesting.

If you were to send it to anyone, send to the people that are already involved in the style of work you're creating, just like in book publishing. Copyrighting is always a good idea, but the companies either won't accept outside solicitation for the very reason of protecting their own asses, or they won't even take a glance or open an envelope before they get a signed statement from you releasing them from liability if they all of the sudden come out with something that you feel might be close to your idea. If they've come up with Thirtysomething Radioactive Capoiera Gators and it hits screens a year after you sent them Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that'd look pretty suspect on their part even if they did it independently and by coincidence looks pretty damn close. They just don't want the legal hassle.

I have a question, say i have 1000+ ideas for cartoon series

I finally get enough animators together, and animate a pilot episode

Who do i send it to? How do i know these companies wont steal my idea and recreate it with different characters? Copywright it?

Accept any deal a studio gives? Do's and donts??

Professionals help please :)

What you are suggesting there is kinda like this:

You open a restaurant, and people file in, and they get handed a menu, and then you proceed to make them food.
Note that I did not say they order from the menu--you just went ahead and started making something.
What if it is not to their liking? That would be an awful waste of time and resources only to have those customers just walk out the door because its not what they wanted.

See what I'm driving at?

Now a pilot is probably more sensible than having a whole series in hand, but you'd still be looking at a proper outlay of about $100-$200,000 to get a full 22 minute pilot done.
Better is a short......about 7 minutes, for maybe a 1/3 of the price, and even better is a 30 second to 60 second promo, for a 1/10th.
Creating a very short promo and a pitch package puts more oomph into a smaller easier to assemble bite that you can then hand the networks to see if they nibble. Once they express interest, then you can talk to them about YOUR project, or something else.
Now, you can ask the networks what they are currently looking for, or set up a service shop to help out a production already underway, or for one farmed out whole to you.
You can build up your cachet with the networks that way, but it can take years before they see you as more than a factory.

To do the deals themselves....having an agent to shop your property around, and a lawyer to guide you through the negotiations are what I would consider to be essentials. Doing it on your own is like walking over a firepit on a tightrope........blindfolded in a windstorm. Unless you are incredibly savvy and experienced, its very easy to be suckered with a deal that doesn't favour you.

Every deal is unique. I've seen some where the property was literally handed over entirely to the network, and some where the principals had some controlling interests.
Typically, when a studio is going to open its cheque-book for you, they are going to really want something in return, and far more than a even split. Most creations get participation, but seldom get final say. It all depends on how good you are at negotiating.
As far as copyright or trademarks go, that is where the lawyer or agent can come in handy.

One last thing about 1000+ ideas.
Blunt and honest, the studios do not care.
They can make up their own ideas without you on any given day.
The ONLY idea they care about is the one that'll make them money, the rest are just white noise to them. That is why ONE good idea need be carefully considered and prepared. Save the rest for when you can truly indulge yourself.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

im 24.
not saying im bad, saying im working on getting better or trying to catch my hand skills up with my computer skills ;)

If you look at Incredibles vs Shrek . The former involves a lot of 2D artists converted to 3D and a 2D director creating a system to draw over 3D frames , the latter was more just regular 3D artists that were not so focused on 2D drawing skills and everything done purely 3D . What you get with drawing animation skills is a stronger control of movement , posing and action because it is easier to work your thoughts out . A 3D model is limited to what is build into it so it helps to know what you need to build into it. Drawing can help you visualize that.

Drawing is helpful, great motion analysis and acting skills are the best.

i miss my school days

im a 2d animator working for disney productions here in Philippines.
currently working on little mermaid 3.
i'm only 25 years old,
and i stopped schooling because im lazy and wanted to go working instead.
and luckily ended up animating.
so here's how i got lucky;
i was only 17 years old back then and im on my 2nd year in an aviation school.
i really didn't enjoyed that course.
so i always do not attend classes, then go somwhere else for past time.
it just happened when i went to a comicbook shop, and read an ad from an animaton company that they are looking for animation trainees.
so i went there imidiately and passed all that is required.
i wasnt expecting anything from that company cause i thought they were looking for fine arts graduates.
but then they called me, giving me a schedule for the test.
i didnt know anything about animation.
so i did what is asked for me to do in the test.
700 applicants were there.
and only 30 passed, and that includes me.
and so they trained us for 2 years for us to work for that company.

and so my career started without even graduating college.
i worked on several shows for disney.
animated series, direct to video animations, and feature animations.

and now i know a lot about 2d animation,
i wanted to do more on 3d.
but there aren't enough good digital arts school here.
so im thinkin of working overseas while attending crash courses on 3d animation, or going on a university there.

now im testing my luck,
if i can find a job overseas.

i really miss going to school.

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