So ya came to L.A. to get into showbiz, didja? And things ain’t goin’ the way ya thought they would? According to the Los Angeles Daily News that’s because you’re looking in the wrong showbiz niche. Animation’s the future, boys ‘n’ girls. Here’s the scoop on how to join the parade:
by Bob Strauss
It used to be something of a Mickey Mouse business. But an exploding desire for animated entertainment content – supercharged but not entirely due to the expanding new medium of streaming services’ constant need for product – is turning cartooning into a rewarding career for, perhaps, more than ever before.
“It seems like a lot of studios are eager to capitalize on streaming and technology in general to present things in totally different formats than we used to,” observed Danny Ducker, who’s been drawing storyboards at The Cartoon Network’s Burbank headquarters for the past three years. “Which I am super for, whether or not every single experiment works.”
Southern California’s drawing factories have never been so busy. The Burbank-headquarterd Animation Guild (IATSE Local 839) reported an all-time high of more than 4,500 artists, technicians and writers currently working under its agreements, up from 4,200 individuals employed a year ago and around 2.400 in 2008.
“It’s a really, really exciting time for animation over here, and it’s an exciting time for animation worldwide,” said Mike Moon, an animator and studio executive for three decades who currently oversees Netflix’s adult animation operation. “I’ve been in the business almost 30 years now, and I don’t ever remember a time when the studios in L.A. were as busy as they are now. That’s not just because of us, it’s because of everybody. It’s a great, great time for the artform and there are so many different options for animators now.”
As it is in most other aspects of streaming, Netflix is spending big on family, adult-oriented, Animeand other types of cartoon content. Soon-to-come-online will be streaming services from such traditional studios as Disney, Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal, all of which own massive animation operations and intellectual properties ripe for new, on-demand iterations….