HOW TO BECOME AN ANIMATOR IN SOUTH AFRICA
Your dream is to become a world class Animator but you haven’t a clue where to start? Our easy step by step guide below will help you along the way and introduce you to the power players, renowned studios and other interesting resources.
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STEP 1: JOIN THESE LOCAL ANIMATOR SUPPORTERS
STEP 2: JOIN THESE LOCAL FACEBOOK ANIMATION GROUPS
STEP 4: SAY HI TO THESE LOCAL STUDIOS
STEP 5: Create FREE Animator Profiles
Part of staking your claim in the world (even if you are a local) is to get your name on the internet. You need to create a profile…nay a list of profiles to build followers. Gaining followers isn’t just to motivate you but it also gives your work exposure, which could lead to great opportunities on a global scale! (Ruan Smit : Digital Marketing Experience 6 years )
STEP 5:Prep for Interviews, Portfolios and Reels
As you can imagine, planning and preparing your personal profile takes a lot of work…but it pays off! Creating a portfolio,business profile and preparing for interviews start as soon as you step into the world of animation. Here are a few tips from local senior animators and a digital marketer with 5+ years experience on improving your stock in the industry 😉
Baws at Mike Scott Animation
Animator at Modus FX, Animation Supervisor at Axis Animation & Animation Director at Sunrise Productions
3D Lecturer at Prestige Academy
Works at Triggersfish Animation Studio
You have to be proactive. The harsh reality is that for a lot of people the reel you put together in collage won’t cut it. For some it has and yes they walk among us, but I know for myself it was not enough. The skills I learned in collage were invaluable but I realized I was competing with a lot of people for a limited few jobs back then, so there was not the luxury to stop working after collage and just wait for a job offer. Keep creating stuff! Share it on online communities; create an online presence for yourself. When I talk to an animator that finished collage 5 months ago and he has no new work to show for himself since then, generally that’s not a great sign.
A guy once asked me advice on getting a job in the industry. He finished collage over a year ago. Put his reel online and expected companies to come flocking without ever having to call or email anyone. Aint gonna happen like that I’m afraid. Work hard, there will be rejections, but they can’t slow you down, keep working, and if you are really passionate about what you do and your work reflects it, you will get that job! Your first job in the industry might not be the one you dreamed of, but keep working and keep improving. You will learn a lot working at a studio yes, but also keep working on your own stuff! Find online competitions to participate in. For animators 11 second club is great and a lot of fun. That’s it, go create something!
30 years in the Animation Industry
There is a huge difference between:
- an animator (someone who can create “life” in a character and that the viewer can connect with)
- and a person, who is a modeler/vfx/ matte painter.. etc..
Animators.. animate.. be it on paper/models/computer.. animators should study motion and acting.. ballet.. in reality.. animators are bringing themselves to life through their characters.. User groups, are great to say hi.. but.. where are the real workshops.. who’s doing that.. South Africa is a very challenging country, in which to become an animator.. There are no companies here who can truly take an aspiring artist and grow that talent… Disney/Dreamworks all have incredible intern programs.. In SA we pretty much expect our talent pool to be ready to work out of college.. and that’s not a reality.. In a studio like BlackGinger/Luma etc.. It takes time for the new artist to be productive..We have incredibly talented people in this country.. But, not enough mentors who have the time or the will to impart their knowledge.
Lead Animator at Triggerfish Animation Studio