The current state of the "business of animation," wage levels and areas of opportunity were just some of the topics discussed at the fifth annual Animation Nation meeting held April 1, 2003 at the Pickwick Center in Burbank, California. Organized by Animation Nations founder and inspirational leader Charles Zembillas, the annual meeting provides a forum for discussion on a wide range of topics concerning the animation community. Though by all accounts tame compared to more rancorous meetings in the past, this years meeting nevertheless managed to touch on a number of important industry issues, highlighted by local Animation Guild 839 president Kevin Kochs comments about current hiring and wage trends, possible permanent loss of many traditional 2D jobs, significant growth of work opportunities in CGI/3D animation and growth in the Guilds industry reach. Several people, well known to the crowd by their prominence within the Animation Nation forum hierarchy, each spoke openly and honestly about how they have been coping with and meeting the challenges presented by the tough job market. Dan Sarto, AWNs co-founder and publisher, spoke for a few minutes, as did Antran Manoogian, president of ASIFA-Hollywood, and Jodi Bluth general manager of ANIMATION MAGAZINE. Also discussed were future Animation Nation plans for upgrading the technology and software used to serve the Website, as well as options being considered for the implementation of an ecommerce paid subscription system that will help provide for the site operation as well as donation of money to different charities. Animation Nation is one of the foremost Websites that provide animators a robust and highly trafficked online discussion forum where they can communicate on any desired topic. Though often contentious, the Animation Nation online community regularly addresses common industry concerns and issues from a variety of perspectives. You can find Animation Nation at http://www.animationnation.com.
For a bit of historical perspective on Animation Nation, read Animation World Magazine's article "Shifting the Paradigm: Charles Zembillas' Animation Nation" by Heather Kenyon.