Animation Careers in South Carolina Overview
The State of South Carolina has been hosting film productions for nearly 100 years. According to The Augusta Chronicle, one of the state’s earliest films, The Arizona Bandit, was shot on the bluffs of the Savannah River in North Augusta. The year was 1920. Scenes from movies such as Asylum (2008), The Notebook (2004) Radio (2003), Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), The Patriot (2000) Rules of Engagement (2000), The Abyss (1989), Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), The Longest Yard (1974), and Deliverance (1972) were filmed here, and dozens more are set to be filmed in cities from Conway to Charleston. Hollywood productions and others come to South Carolina to take advantage of the states’ beautiful landscapes and the South Carolina Film Commissions’ numerous television and film incentives.
The Commission also offers training and education for artists of all kinds—including animators. The state is also home to 75 Title IV colleges and universities, and dozens of other schools and centers that offer programs for artists and designers of all kinds. This means that in addition to an active production scene, aspiring animators in South Carolina can expect to find a variety of training programs that lead to a degree. Most top employers prefer to hire animators that hold at least a bachelor’s degree, while others may accept an associate degree for certain entry-level positions. Overall, in addition to having more job opportunities, animators that hold a degree tend to earn more as well.
Employment and Salary Trends for South Carolina Animators
South Carolina is home to 110 salaried multimedia artists and animators. They average $50,660 per year, up from $49,300 in 2013 when the state was home to 50 salaried multimedia artists and animators. 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
Animation Career Opportunities in South Carolina
In South Carolina 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. ‘Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers’ has the second highest concentration of employment for animators and multimedia artists, along with an impressive average annual salary of $75,150.
Job opportunities for aspiring animators in South Carolina can be found at agencies and studios such as:
- ADCO, Columbia
- Digital Hyper Studios, Rock Hill
- Fuzzco, Charleston
- HOOK, Charleston
- K2 Productions, Charleston
- Levelwing, Mount Pleasant
- Moondog Animation, Charleston
- The Brandon Agency, Charleston, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach
- Wingard Graphics & Animation, Columbia
While it is possible to find employment in many cities across the state, most opportunities for aspiring animators can be found in major cities such Columbia, Charleston, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and Rock Hill.
South Carolina Animation Training Programs
South Carolina is home to a number of schools that offer top-rated art and design programs. Just a few include:
- Art Institute of Charleston
- Art Institute of Charlotte
- Clemson University, Clemson
- The School of the Arts of the College of Charleston
- University of North Carolina-School of the Arts, Winston-Salem
The Art Institute of Charleston offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production, while the Charlotte location offers a BFA in Media Arts & Animation. Clemson University offers a BFA in Art that can prepare students for a career in animation and cartoons, illustration or design. The school also offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a BA in Computer Science with a Minor in Digital Production Arts for Animation and Game Design.
The School of the Arts at the College of Charleston offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Computing in the Arts, which allows students to create new forms of animation and digital media, among others, while the University of North Carolina-School of the Arts offers a BFA in Animation and Production Design.
Animation related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Students interested in earning a two-year degree or certificate have a variety of technical colleges from which to choose. Horry Georgetown Technical College and Trident Technical College are just a few.
Awesome Animation Fact: These days, films are completed weeks, months or even years before they premiere. Disney’s Fantasia, however, was completed four hours before premiering in New York City on November 13, 1940. The final scene to be produced was flown to New York on the day of the premiere and edited into the film in time for its first showing. -Ten Facts About, UK