Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why Can't We be Happy Making Animation?

Nothing much has been going on yet I've been quite busy with a lot of things. Since 2011 is creeping up, I've been having these urges to clean the house inside and out and throw away a lot of junks. Since my husband and I are in animation industry, we do have a lot of papers hanging around. Plus, I like to keep boxes of receipts and bills.

Speaking of Animation Industry, Check out this article!!

They pretty much talk about the problems in Vancouver Animation Industry.

It is 6 pages of texts. Yes, I'm sure most of you will read couple paragraphs (or sentences) and close the window but honestly, if you got some time and patience and are in animation biz, it might be interesting to read.

These are the quotes that I find it very interesting.

"And this past spring, two big U.S. studios, Pixar Animation Studios and Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc., opened satellite offices in downtown Vancouver, which combined are expected to introduce more than 100 new jobs to the city.

This growth is no doubt a testament to the skill of Vancouver’s animators, talent either developed in local schools or attracted to the city by Vancouver’s reputation as a mecca for the creative class. But the industry’s success is also based on something far less glamorous than brilliant artists – namely, massive government subsidy in the form of provincial tax credits worth roughly 50 per cent of a production’s labour costs."

"This side of the business, the art, is the company’s biggest challenge. Without success here, no business plan in the world will succeed. And none of it is easy. “It takes a long time to gestate, develop and find the character, find their arc, put the structure of a story together and find a look that works with it,” says Winder. “All those things can’t be rushed . . . and not everyone can do it.” "

"animators are attracted to companies that are producing their own titles because they offer a chance for artists to play a bigger role in the creative process."

"At first glance, it would seem strange that there should be a skills shortage in Vancouver at all, considering the number of B.C. schools churning out animators every year (Capilano University, Vancouver Film School and the Centre for Digital Media, to name the key ones). But Ernst Young’s Clarance says he’s heard of companies that bring in 20 to 40 employees every year from outside Canada for lack of local talent. That’s because a swarm of fresh grads isn’t what a company such as Rainmaker needs, explains Winder. “Not everybody’s good,” she says bluntly. “There’s a lot of junior talent, but it’s that higher-level specialty talent that everybody wants.”

However, there’s also a strong case to be made that the studios themselves are partly to blame for the shortage of experienced talent. “It’s cause and effect,” says Rosenpigs creator Aaron White. “If you have a skills shortage, look at the lifestyle of the people in your industry.” A culture of long hours and tight deadlines prevails in the local sector, he says, and it’s damaging: “It’s not sustainable. What you wind up with is an industry with very few experienced older people to teach the younger people, because they burn out.”

The tough conditions are compounded by uncertainty, he adds. An animator finishing up one contract often doesn’t know when the next one is coming. It makes it difficult to, say, put down money on a mortgage and start a family, things experienced animators in their 30s are likely to be interested in. “It’s incredibly hard to stay put when you can’t get steady, full-time work,” White says. “The most talented peers I have, they’ve moved out of animation.”

What do you think about this article? I feel relieved that someone said this out loud and it's been published online as an article. This is something everyone talks about without a doubt. And I am aware that this is no one's fault or to be blamed since this is how it's been and it is what it is but can this be changed? I can only hope. I got to say that I've only been in this industry for 3 years and I'm already feeling burnt out. Am I weak? Maybe. But I think this article says a lot about being in Animation Industry in Vancouver. Don't you think?


Erik Andersen said...

It's funny, Marina and I were talking about this just today - how the animation industry is tough! Great to read this blog post for more reasons why. I wonder what could be done to fix this.

miran said...

There are lots of ways to fix this but because it can be a risk to a lot of studios, they aren't willing to do it. That's why I think young small studios should start something new and take a risk at making some changes to this industry. Older big studios are just too scared because they came this far and they are afraid to lose what they have right now but not realizing that that's what's keeping them from becoming a better and even bigger studio. And by being this way they might actually be losing more of what they have right now. Aka. Money and talents. Lol.

Corey and I are hoping that one day we could open a studio here in Vancouver and make those changes with the help from talented ppl all around us. A lot of studios don't seem to know how to make good use of the talented people.

Kailyn said...

Miran, I say go for it! Open up an animation studio and I'll manage your human capital. I'll figure out the right ways to retain, motivate, engage, develop and experiment with your employees. hehe

miran said...

You are hired!!!! Lol! But at the same time over qualified! ;) it's really awesome to know that not just you but a lot of other ppl want us to open a studio. And they all want to be part of it n work with us! :) hopefully one day we will! N we are working on it just that we gotta get lucky too haha