Animation Careers in Hawaii Overview
Hawaii is famous for stunning scenery, breathtaking sunsets, historic sites and natural wonders you just won’t find anywhere else. These are just a few reasons why filmmakers have flocked to Hawaii to shoot blockbuster films such as Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates, The Descendants, Tropic Thunder, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Survivor, Hawaii Five-0, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Because Hollywood makes frequent trips to Hawaii and the Hawaii Film Office welcomes it with open arms, the film scene here is a healthy one. This means there are opportunities for people that work in all areas of film and video, this includes animation.
Employment and Salary Trends for Hawaii Animators
Hawaii is home to 9,280 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations. This includes around 50 salaried multimedia artists and animators earning an average salary of $56,450 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many animators and multimedia artists are self-employed, so the population of multimedia artists and animators in Hawaii is likely higher and it is likely that they earn more.
According to the BLS, the “Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers” group has the second highest concentration of employment in this occupation. At an average annual salary of $75,150, this group is also the fourth highest paying “industry” for animators and multimedia artists. Nationwide, the mean annual wage for animators and multimedia artists is $69,410 and overall employment for this group is expected to increase by six percent for the 2012-2022 decade.
The top five highest paying states for animators are:
- California ($82,170)
- Washington ($75,740)
- Massachusetts ($73,470)
- New York ($70,660)
- Idaho ($69,450)
The top paying industries for animators and multimedia artists are:
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers ($81,760)
- Other Information Services ($80,310)
- Software Publishers ($76,090)
- Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers ($75,150)
- Motion Picture and Video Industries ($73,950)
The states with the highest employment levels for animators and multimedia artists are California, New York, Washington, Texas and Georgia. In Hawaii and across the U.S., the industries with the highest levels of employment are the Motion Picture and Video industries, Computer Systems Design and Related Services, Software Publishers, Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services, and Other Information Services.
Animation Career Opportunities in Hawaii
As mentioned, employment opportunities for aspiring animators should be easy to come by in Hawaii. Some options in the film industry, advertising, and other creative agencies include:
- Core Group One, Honolulu
- Element 8, Honolulu
- Harris Agency, Honolulu
- Hawaii Animation Studios, Honolulu
- Home Baked Entertainment, Honolulu
- Hyperspective Studios, Inc., Oahu
- Matsumoto & Clapperton Advertising, Honolulu
- Mix Plate Media, Honolulu
- MVNP (Milici Valenti Ng Pack), Honolulu
- Team Vision Marketing Agency, Honolulu
- Wall-to-Wall Studios, Honolulu
As you can see, most job opportunities for aspiring animators are in Honolulu—Hawaii’s largest city. This does not mean all other cities are off the table. Pearl City, Hilo, Kailua, Waipahu, and Kaneohe are worth exploring.
Hawaii Animation Training Programs
Hawaii is home to a number of four-year colleges and universities, and community colleges that offer courses, certificates, or degree programs in animation and related subjects. Some popular options include:
- Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu
- Honolulu Community College, Honolulu
- Kapiolani Community College, Honolulu
- University of Hawaii at Manoa, Academy for Creative Media (ACM), Honolulu
- University of the Nations, School of Digital Filmmaking, Kailua-Kona
More Animation, Design, and Game related programs to consider:
Awesome Animation Fact: Although the Looney Tunes and Disney cartoons were competing properties, Mel Blanc (the man behind Bugs Bunny, among others) appeared in two Disney films. -Quora