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Director or Series Director (Animation)

Industries:
Animation
Personality type:
Creative
Departments:
2D computer animation | 2D drawn animation | 3D computer animation | Stop Motion

The lowdown

  • Providing the vision and creative leadership for an animation project
  • Determining and guiding the narrative content and visual style of a production
  • Having creative responsibility for the entire production team 

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • be creative, imaginative and have artistic flair 
  • possess storytelling skills and film literacy
  • have project management and leadership skills to direct and manage the story, design, layout, animation and technical teams
  • have excellent communication and presentation skills, including tact and diplomacy
  • be able to meet deadlines and stay within budget
  • be able to help the team balance their creative desires with the requirements of the production

What does a Director or Series Director (Animation) do?

Directors provide the vision and creative leadership for an animation project.

They determine and guide the narrative content and visual style of a production, and are sometimes the creator of the original designs. In the early stages of a production, they work closely with the Producer(s), Scriptwriter(s) and Production Designer.

In principle, the role is similar for all techniques of animation although certain technical skills may vary.

Directors are responsible for the creative planning and design of the production and for the quality of the final delivered product. They must be aware of any restrictions that might affect production and, in conjunction with the Producer, can be involved in both schedule and budget management.

They have creative responsibility for the entire production team and may be particularly involved with creative choices in relation to the design, storyboard, layout, animation and post production departments. They may be involved in crew selection and technical choices, although they do not necessarily have a technical background themselves.

It is likely that the Director will be active in all aspects of the soundtrack, including casting and directing the actors and guiding the musical direction.

On smaller productions they may produce the storyboard and either animate themselves, or direct other Animators.

Will I need a qualification?

To become a Director/Series Director, it will help you to gain a degree in animation, art, computer animation or another relevant subject.

If you are considering taking an animation or art and design/graphics course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the industries and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a creative career:

Animation courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

Art and Design, CGI/Graphics courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

What’s the best route in?

To achieve this senior role, you will need to have gained a lot of professional experience and a strong track record. You will also need to have proven leadership skills. You will need to understand all aspects of the production process.

Interested? Find out more...

Websites

  • Animation Magazine - a US magazine about the business, technology and art of animation and VFX
  • Animation World Network - production news, interviews, jobs and a big archive 
  • Shooting People – community-driven site, founded by filmmakers, and providing opportunities, news and animation jobs 
  • Skwigly Animation Magazine - the longest running UK based animation magazine and community. Offers news, interviews, reviews, podcasts, videos and tutorials 
  • Toonhound – website about cartoons, animation, comic strips and puppets in the UK
  • Own-it - offers intellectual property (IP) advice, information and learning resources for the creative sector 
  • Animation Nation - Animation industry news and useful links
  • 3D World Magazine - international magazine for CG artists, covering the fields of animation, VFX, games, illustration and architecture
  • Computer Graphics World - magazine covering innovation in computer graphics technology across various industries
  • Cinefex - quarterly magazine devoted to motion picture visual effects

Books

  • The Art and Science of Digital Compositing by Ron Brinkmann (pub. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers)
  • Digital Compositing by Steve Wright (pub. Butterworth-Heinemann)
  • Visual Effects in A Digital World: A Comprehensive Glossary of over 7,000 Visual Effects Terms by Karen Goulekas (pub. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers)
  • How to Get a Job in Computer Animation by Ed Harriss

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