As many of you know, I work both as a writer and an animation artist. I usually do assistant character animation, or as known in the industry, “clean-up”. I also do storyboards, character design and concept art on the rare occasion. I have been in animation since 1995 and 100% of my income has come from that-well the odd royalty on one of my novels and last year 25% of my income was from writing on a TV show-and part of this year-but for the most part, I make my living in the animation industry.
(In the last five years, I guess 90% is animation and 10% is writing, consulting, script reading, etc.-but you get the point.)
My point-I know this business and seems like so many people out in the world, especially writers just have no idea.
I almost cringe when I am at a WGA event or other writing class and someone says, “What’s your day job?” or as soon as I give them my business card their eyes light up and they say, “I have an animation project you could animate for me” Oy vey!
A few years back someone who claims to be huge in the industry-I won’t say more than that for fear of some of you knowing this person was all excited when they met me. This person met me because they needed a comedy writer, I wrote a sample on request for them. They loved it, they googled me, they found out I work in animation and BOOM! The project they were originally interested in me for was out the window and I was going to animate their feature film for FREE and in 6 months or less, in my “spare time” because it’s “just drawing”. When I explained how long it takes and why one person can’t do it, they said I wasn’t serious about my future as a writer-yeah writer, so in order for me to be serious about being a writer, I needed to animate a feature film by myself in 6 months of less for free-yeah, whatever!
Also you know, I’ve been in this industry for 17 years, in what universe do I need another credit? Credit is not the same as PAY!
But I digress-
Sure it can be easier to break in as a write in animation on an animated TV show, if your connected right and work in animation already, but it is not something you chose to write because you think it will be easier to sell. On that note, it costs a lot of money! A long and it takes a long time to do.
Maybe FLASH can go faster and you can get a minute with color out of a professional experienced person in a week or two, but that’s it.
I am constantly asked to “animate” a film for free by writers who meet me and I am always shocked. I try to explain that one person can’t animated a feature by themselves and that it takes a long time and how expensive it is and they don’t get it.
24 frames per second. That’s between 12-24 drawings for one second. The drawings have to be animated, then cleaned up, then scanned and colored and maybe even FX before color and then composited onto the background and into the film-this takes time. Maybe departments and days and days and days of work for just one second. Are you starting to get it?
Even CGI takes time. The characters are in a computer, but they still have to be animated, someone has to move them and do the acting.
Toon Boom, TV Paint, DigiCel-traditional animation on a computer? Yay no scanning-but that’s it! That’s the step that is saved, scanning.
Flash is the fastest, but it isn’t the same as traditional and when you have seen it look like traditional, someone drew it into Flash that way.
I constantly am bombarded with people wanting me to draw and I constantly see ads like this one.
ANIMATION ARTIST (LOS ANGELES)
- Location: LOS ANGELES
- Compensation: $250.00
$250? For a MINUTE of composited in color animation and in 5 days? Honestly. This happens all the time. It’s so insulting.
Also if you wrote a film and are pitching it as animation do NOT ask your friends who draw to animate it-it’s not possible and the studios won’t use that work anyhow, unless you are planning to raise 50 mil and do it yourself and if you have those skills, you should be a producer not a writer.
It’s beyond insulting that people think that an animated feature is an “easy in”. A good animated feature still has to have all the story elements of live action-just ask Pixar.
Animation is the medium the story is told in, not an excuse to write a throw away script and slide your way into the industry. Have some respect for the people like me working 100 hours a week sometimes for your few seconds of entertainment.
If you love animation and you want to write it, go ahead, but just tell a story and make sure that is your focus-the professionals will take care of the rest.
That said, if you have a friend who works in animation as an artist, you could work with them for character designs and some boards-suits love visuals, but just spend a doy on Google and learn about this business, please. I. Am. Begging. You.
More ridiculous ads
We are looking for a young, creative animator. Preferably passionate about music. Must be ambitious, hard working and capable of creating a high quality animated video from start to finish. This is an opportunity to create an animated music video for a Hip Hop/Rap song that features three Def Jam recording artists. The video will be 3 to 4 minutes in length. Due to the notoriety of the featured artists, this video will receive a great amount of media coverage.
Please contact via email. Serious inquiries only. $150
Animator/storyboard artist with experience
Hi all. We are developing a cartoon series. We have characters roughly designed and many stories written.
We are looking for a storyboard artist and/or a 2d animator to be part of the next step in production. Preferably the artist will have a portfolio that has comedic elements and characters. We prefer an artist who is versed in either flash, toon boom or photoshop. Payment will be negociable on wage/percentage of the project.
- Compensation: wage/percentage deferred
Producer seeking freelance animator for a series of web shorts. This project is going to be simple 2D animation. We will be making five shorts that are approximately three minutes long each. This is a great project if you’re a young animator trying to build up your portfolio. It could also be a good job for a freelance animator who is currently between jobs. The budget is ultra low on these first five shorts, but this is a great opportunity that could lead to other things.
Please send resume along with links to your animation reel, or any projects that you have animated. I must be able to see a sample of your work. It’s fine if you send me links to shorts on youtube or any other platform
Animation artist needed, must have reel, experience in Flash, Maya and traditional, for a feature film, no pay, can you finish by August 10th? Email for more info.
Animator needed-Disney style for 5 minute teaser, must be completed by July 28th, no pay but credit and possible more work in future. Only people with Disney on resume will be called back.
Strong Animation/Motion Graphics skills in Adobe After Effects, including moderate proficiency in Character Animation using layered/parented character rigs, as well as layer masks/mattes.
Ability to efficiently organize project compositions to allow for animation revisions.
Knowledge of layering/asset organization in Photoshop and Illustrator.
Familiarity with basic expressions, time remapping, and animation presets is helpful.
Additional skills we’d like to see:
Photoshop and/or Illustrator drawing skills
Ability to draw digitally/comfortable using WACOM tablet
Comfortable making minor edits to audio tracks, if needed
We pride ourselves on providing a fun, laid back, interactive work environment – complete with ping pong and M&M’s. So send us a copy of your resume and a sample of your work and maybe we’ll get our game on.
Please respond to this post with your resume and a sample of your work.
$10.50 per hour