Your admiration for Disney’s and Pixar’s films goes beyond their touching stories and catchy songs and
even extends to the physical design of the characters and their movement. Yes, you know in your heart,
you want to be an animator.
Before enrolling in Animation school, naturally you would consider if there’s any future for you in the
industry. What do you need to know? What skills must you possess? What courses should you take? Will
you make a lot of money doing animations?
What is animation?
For starters, anyone can get into animation. According to Dane Romley, iACADEMY’s Creative Director
and former layout artist and designer for The Simpsons, a career in animation needs more than just the
ability to put pen into paper. What it really takes to get into this industry and excel is the passion and
continued desire to keep learning. “Skill and technique are nice things to have, but it really needs to
come from the inside. Passion works. Passion keeps you working,” he said.
Would it pay the bills?
Let’s say your heart is in animation. Great! But will you be able to make a living out of it?
Unknown to most people, animation is a growing industry in the Philippines. Animation work from
Germany, France, Australia and the United States are outsourced here in the country. According to an
Inquirer article, in 2011, the animation industry generated total revenue of $128 million or roughly P5.3
billion. But for the adventurous types, graduates of animation have lots of work opportunities outside
the animation industry. For instance, they can opt to work for television shows, movies and they can
also do commercials, ad campaigns, and graphic design. They can also venture into videogame
development, work in the magazine industry, or try illustrating books. Getting a fulfilling job is not a
Where should I go?
Passion – check. Work opportunities – check. Next step is choosing a school. When choosing an
animation school, what’s the first thing you need to consider? “Potential students should be looking at
the curriculum and what kind of connection the school has with the industry,” Romley said. After
college, it would be a huge help for graduates to have something set up for them in the real world.
For instance, iACADEMY offers internships with animation studios in the country. The school also
encourages students to enroll in international internships with Disney and similar companies. This is the
kind of education experience that iACADEMY can offer. Its teachings are grounded on both traditional
and digital design. Even if the school boasts of having the latest hardware and software in animation and
design, Romley believes the computer and other gadgets computers and gadgets are just tools, and that
in the end, the fundamental skills are still the most important.
These fundamental skills do not only include an eye and skill for design but also a knack for storytelling.
According to Romley, in the end, animations are judged based on their stories and characters. For him, it
is not enough to have visually appealing characters; these characters must have dynamic personalities to
support the overarching story. To help students achieve this, iACADEMY offers animation scriptwriting
classes where students can learn how to write good stories to go with their skills for design and
So you see, the next Pixar hit could very well be tucked inside your head. All you need is the guts to see
it through. ##