Profiles and Interviews with Leading Animation, Design, Gaming, and Media Firms:

Programs to consider:

Interviewer

Animation Career Review has had the great fortune of being able to interview some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people in the animation world.  Below is a list of companies, schools, and colleges that have conducted interviews to date.

Women in Animation, Multimedia and Gaming Series:

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Top 100 Most Influential

After eight years of writing about video games, I wanted to take the pulse of the game industry. I organized this list with the criteria for influence being: how long since a studio’s last release, how many releases they had in 2013 and 2014 combined, how many copies were sold, how many people still play their games today, what do they have coming out in the near future, how unique are their games, and how much competition from other studios do they have?

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In this age of blockbuster animation and unreal CGI, it’s easy to overlook the small and midsize studios creating some of the best animation this side of your high def TV. If said studios happen to produce programming for kids, the second fiddle status is all but given… unless Toronto-based Brandon James Scott and Guru Studio has anything to say about it.

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Best 100 Animation Studios thumbnail

I’ve been writing about the animation industry for nearly a decade and last year I assembled the rankings for our 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Video Game Studios and 2014 Top 100 Most Influential Animation Studios. This year, I want to create a comprehensive list of the one hundred best studios to work at across all animation industries.

To help research the constantly evolving landscape of the job market, we sent surveys to hundreds of schools asking which studios actively recruited their students as well as which studios most often employed graduates. When choosing which of the hundreds of companies to include, I also considered what projects studios were working on, and even the quality of life at those studios regardless of salary. Studios are listed in alphabetical order:

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NCSoft - Career Profile January 22, 2015

NCSoft

What does it take to get a job with NCSOFT? What is it like working at NCSOFT? ACR takes a look:

About NCSOFT

Established in 1997, NCSOFT Corporation is a publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online role-playing games or MMORPGs. In addition to launching Korea’s “first highly popularized internet-based online game” titled Lineage, the company has produced popular titles such as Lineage 2, Aion, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and Blade & Soul. Lineage is NCSOFT’s flagship product. Since the development of NCSOFT’s flagship product—Lineage,  the company’s games have attracted millions of subscribers in Korea alone, plus millions more worldwide.

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A few years have passed since I wrote my Top 100 Most Influential Animation Studios of All Time list and I wanted to take the pulse of the current animation industry. I organized my studio rankings with the criteria for influence being: how many releases they had in 2013 and 2014 combined, how many people watched their new animations when they were released, how many people still watch their older animations today, what do they have coming out in the near future, how unique are their animations, and how much competition from other studios do they have?

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Kickstarter is full of extravagant claims and hyperbole, but when Toonocalypse promises that it’s “one of the most unique alien invasion movies ever made” it absolutely delivers when you scroll through its funding page. It’s an apocalypse tale that’s as big as Cloverfield but with the cartoon injected art style of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In all of my years in the art industry I’ve never seen a hybrid art project quite like this. Fans of big action movies will enjoy it and fans of old point-and-click adventure cartoon games like Toonstruck will be obsessed with it.

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Have you heard that Ed Schofield, Mike Dietz, and Doug TenNapel – some of the brilliant and talented artists who made Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood – have teamed up once again to work on a point-and-click adventure game with a clay animation stop-motion art style? Even if this project didn’t have the legendary Pencil Test Studios names attached to it we’d still be keeping our eyes on it, but knowing it’s in good hands means you should check out their $900,000 Kickstarter funding campaign.

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Animation

Animation is young.  How young?  Well, before Film was possible or even thought of, Peter Roget presented a paper called “The Persistence of Vision” that explained to the British Royal Society that a succession of images could induce the illusion of movement and life.  That was in 1824- less than 200 years ago.  One year later, to test his theory, the Thaumatrope optical toy is used to demonstrate and confirm Roget’s idea.

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Think Tank Training Centre

Vancouver’s Think Tank Training Centre caters to very driven animation students who seek a studio-like environment to learn the ropes of the industry. And do they ever find it! When the school was founded in 2005, it became a beta tester for the then-new Mudbox, the 3D sculpting tool used by Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital.

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