What Does an Animation Director Do? Where Does an Animation Director Work? ACR Takes a Look.
|Brigham Young University||Provo||Utah|
|California Institute of the Arts||Valencia||California|
|Cleveland Institute of Art||Cleveland||Ohio|
|DigiPen Institute of Technology||Redmond||Washington|
|Kansas City Art Institute||Kansas City||Missouri|
|Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles||California|
|Minneapolis College of Design||Minneapolis||Minnesota|
|Pratt Institute||Brooklyn||New York|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette||Indiana|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy||New York|
|Rhode Island School of Design||Providence||Rhode Island|
|Ringling College of Art and Design||Sarasota||Florida|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester||New York|
|San Jose State University||San Jose||California|
|Savannah College of Art and Design||Savannah||Georgia|
|School of Visual Arts||New York||New York|
|The DAVE School||Orlando||Florida|
|The Ohio State University||Columbus||Ohio|
|University of California Los Angeles||Los Angeles||California|
|University of South Florida||Tampa||Florida|
|University of Washington||Seattle||Washington|
What Does an Animation Director Do?
Animation directors recruit and coordinate animation teams. They lead each team from the beginning to the end of an animated film production. Animation directors typically have years of experience in the art and animation industries. For this reason, among others, animation directors are the most sought after professionals in the entertainment industry.
In addition to recruiting, coordinating and managing animation teams, animation directors work with the director (the person managing the production overall) by interpreting briefs and communicating them to the animation team. During the production process, animation directors review all work produced by animators and assistants. They answer to the production department on longer projects regarding schedule, budget, and output.
It is the animation director’s job to make sure the creative desires and production requirements are met, which means, the animation director must be able to negotiate with both departments to reach the best agreement for the good of the production.
Where Do Animation Directors Work?
Animation directors work in a variety of settings such as animation studios, television production studios, film production studios, gaming companies, and advertising agencies. Some animation directors work on a project-to-project basis as independent contractors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the largest employers of animation directors (producers and directors) are:
- Motion picture and video industries, 30%
- Radio and television broadcasting, 20%
- Self-employed workers, 16%
- Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries, 8%
- Advertising, public relations, and related services, 6%
Most animation directors can also be found in five states including New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Georgia.
Other Animation Schools to Consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Is Animation Directing a Stable Career?
Employment for directors and producers is expected to grow 12% for the 2016-2026 decade. This is faster than average for all occupations. The salaried workforce currently consists of 134,700 artists. By 2026, this figure will increase to 151,200. The BLS says, “some job growth in the motion picture and video industries is expected to stem from strong demand from the public for more movies and television shows, as well as an increased demand from foreign audiences for U.S.-produced films.”
“Consumer demand for reality shows on television is likely to increase, so more producers and directors will be needed to create and oversee editing of these programs. In addition, the volume of TV shows is expected to grow as the number of Internet-only platforms, such as streaming services, increases along with the number of shows produced for these platforms. This growth should lead to more work opportunities for producers and directors.”
How Much Do Animation Directors Make?
The median annual wage for animation directors is $71,680. The lowest 10% average less than $34,450 per year and the top 10% average more than $163,540 per year. Note than salaries vary greatly by company, geographic location, and even employment status (i.e. salaried, freelance, independent contractor). For example, independent animation directors have the second highest average annual salary of the top five industries for this occupation. They average $118,190 annually, while New York- and California-based directors earn the top two highest salaries in the industry at $115,610 and115,080, respectively.
How Do I Become an Animation Director?
Animation director is the highest position in the animation industry. Talent, creativity, and management ability are essential, as well as a bachelor's or master’s degree in animation, film or related area. The right degree, talent, and management ability are just the beginning.
Animation directors usually have a minimum of five to seven years’ experience in the industry before advancing to this position. Because they must be familiar with how all departments work, animators on the path to becoming animation directors will likely perform tasks in all departments ranging from in-betweener to entry-level animator and up.
Awesome Animation Fact: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) was one of the earliest promoters of animated films. Two of their in-house animators—icons William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, launched the Tom and Jerry films in 1940. The now famous films won a whopping five Academy Awards. Later, the duo created a considerable collection of characters that went on to become some of the world’s most recognized animated figures. Just a few include the Flintstones, Scooby Doo, the Jetsons, and the Smurfs. - Encyclopedia.com