Getting the J-O-B: Five Key Things You Need to Storyboard Professionally

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OK, this is probably the kind of post most people struggling to ‘get in’ want to read about.

I’ve been very fortunate in my career to not have to pound the pavement too much to land my next gig. So I don’t have all the answers. But I can give some advice from the observations I’ve made from working, teaching and knowing people in the industry. This will be a series of five posts with each one covering one of the topics listed below.

Here are the main things you will need to get work in the animation industry. And most of them are needed for the film industry as well (but there could be other factors…like union stuff…which I will give more information on in the near future):

  1. Training
  2. A strong portfolio
  3. Professionalism
  4. Contacts in the industry
  5. A good attitude

Not necessarily in that order. But I’ll begin with:

1. TRAINING

As I mentioned in my last post, the forum at AWN has a very long thread listing and comments on many animation and art schools at this link. So I’ll elaborate on that last post and tell you why training is valuable.

If you want to storyboard for animation, you need to understand animation. Knowing how much work is involved in the whole process from script to screen, is important when storyboarding. If you’re unfamiliar with the limits, possibilities and terminology of animation, you cannot storyboard for it effectively.

Read moreGetting the J-O-B: Five Key Things You Need to Storyboard Professionally

Why I Didn’t Get to Work on ‘The Lion King’

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As I wrote in my ‘about me‘ page, I used to be a graphic designer. I had always loved animation but there wasn’t much available instruction back then in Montreal. And there were hardly any animation studios, so I hadn’t pursued it. But I was always a big fan of Warner Brothers and Disney animation.

It was the early nineties and the big re-boom of animation was happening. One day in our local paper there was a big, full page ad from Disney Feature Animation. They were looking everywhere for animation artists and needed people to work on their upcoming features ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Pocahontas’.

Whoa.

How cool was that? They had a list of jobs they were looking to fill and one was for ‘layout artist’. Well, I do layouts in graphic design, right? How different could it be? I went to college and studied Illustration and Design. I was a professional. This could be a my big break to work in animation and at Disney.

So I called the number.

Read moreWhy I Didn’t Get to Work on ‘The Lion King’