My name is Lonney McDonald, and I am hoping, over the next few years, to be attending school in Vancouver with the eventual goal of finding work in the field of 2D or computer animation. I was advised to send out a few interview questionaires to some employees in the local animation industry, to help me better understand the field, and to properly direct my choices for school.
The following questions were prepared by an outside advisor, so not all may apply. But it would be very helpful to me if any of you could take a few minutes to answer what you can. Emails or PMs are fine if you would prefer to not answer directly on the forum.
Name of company you are employed at:____________
1. How long have you worked at this job?
2. what are the duties and responsibilities of your position?
3. did you recieve on-the-job training in your position? Y/N
4. Did you attend a training program to become skilled in this occupation? Y/N.. if YES, where (and which courses did you take, or which programs did you attend?)
5. Are there opportunities for advancement in your position? Y/N
6. What do you enjoy the most about your job?
7. What do you enjoy the least about your job?
8. If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
9. How is your job different from how you expected it to be?
10. What is the current starting wage?
11. What are the working conditions of your position? (ie. noisy, fumes, hot, cold, pysically demanding, shift work, etc.)
12. Are there any special clothes or tools required for this position?
13. What resource information or books should I obtain or read?
14. can you refer me to anyone else I should talk to?
I would like to thank you again for your time and attention. Your answers will be very helpful to me! Great Site!!!!
Yeah, Cap College is definatley my 1st choice so far, have heard nothing but the best about it. Van Arts seems decent as well..
Trying to get any of these questions answered is tough though..
Let me go through these, and see if I can help:
I'm currently freelance, not employed by any specific studio--though I have done work in the past year for Studio B, Atomic Cartoons and Bardel Animation. I have worked for almost every major (and a few minor) studio in Vancouver at some point in my career and fully expect to have worked for all of them by the time I'm done.
I'm currently teaching storyboarding at Art Institute and am on staff, but not teaching at VFS.
1. I have been "at the job" meaning in the industry for over 20 years--started in 1985.
2. I've done a lot of different tasks, but as a storyboard artist, I'm responsible for the creation of storyboard art based upon a provided script, voicetrack recording and designs of characters, props and locations. I'm required to meet deadlines and prepare the work in a apppealling and usable fashion.
3. Yes, as I'm essentially self taught. I must qualify this though, as I was given my on the job training back when I started in 1985. This was a unique situation as back then the industry was very small in Vancouver. if one were to start now, there would be VERY LITTLE on the job training--you need to apply as a trained artist to get work.
4. No, as I'm self-taught.
5. Yes, always. I can become a supervisor, director, or studio owner if I chose. I can move laterally into other tasks, just as layout artist, animator, comic book artist and related jobs.
6. I guess its contributing my own ideas about how something should be depicted, and seeing the reactions on screen and with an audience.
7. deadlines and low pay--the bane of my existence.
8. I'd take training at schools like VFS, AI, Cap College etc. I'd focus on a stronger classical artistic background--with things like some painting and sculpting. there's a lot to be said for having time to pick up skills in a non-profit situation--that is not while having to earn a pay cheque.
9. the job is diffrent in the respect that work can be unpredictable in coming.
There can be intense periods of near constant production and lots of offers and then disquieting periods of work drought. Those times are not fun.
10. starting as a storyboard artist usually can be anywhere from $500 a week to $1000 to $2000 a week or more.
11. Working conditions can vary. Most studios are comfortable, but the desks and chairs can range from excellent to rickety. The locations of the studios are often in areas where real-estate is cheap--meaning not "good" areas. I've worked in dives and I've worked in places I'd consider to be palaces.
12. Tools would be the standard tool kit of any average pencil artist. Pencil and paper are king. the rest of the stuff typically can be had at any decent stationary store. You could spin off and upgrade into computers and scanners and all kind of other gadgets.
13. Read everything you can get your hands on. Animation, cartooning, perspective, design, comics art, game design ---everything. Books on film theory, how movies and effects are made. Become a sponge and never stop.
14. I'd refer you to the to the counselling departments of the schools you plan on attending. They can put you in touch with staff ( who tend to be industry pros) and alumni ( who can ALSO tend to be industry pros) and start from there. Aside from them, reading forums like this can put you in touch with folks, like myself, who are just here to contribute.
"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)
Very interesting answers!
More responces are always welcome too!
While you're waiting to get into an animation school you should be practicing your drawing. If you need a program to test your animation try DigiCel FlipBook.
The animators at Disney, DreamWorks, Universal, Warner bros. and every school mentioned in this thread use DigiCel FlipBook so it should be an easy choice. It starts at only $99 and you can download it at www.digicelinc.com.
Yup, I've been working on my art ( didn't draw for many years while I was working, but it's all coming back), and I should have some good display pieces for my portfolio.
I will definately check out the Digicel program, sounds awesome!
I'm not a pro yet, and have no answers for the above questions.
But I am going to Vancouver Film School for animation in the fall (Aug 28th) and I looked in to several schools. If I were a Canadian, I'd seriously consider Capilano College's animation program. It's dirt cheap if you're a citizen, and they have a lot of workshops and things. I might end up doing a comic book workshop if finances allow.
I also play the theremin and am hoping there's some kind of weird music scene up there!