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  • Writer's pictureTFU Studios

The 'Industry' Situation

Updated: Mar 3

I'd be hard pressed to describe myself as being part of the 'animation industry' anymore, but, there's just too much happening around me not to say anything. I don't think I've ever witnessed this many people remarking about having 'nothing lined up', or, actively now looking for any sort of job or handy work. And, these aren't newbies in their 20's saying this. These are mostly seasoned pros who are usually in senior roles.

To explain this, I'd say a few things are happening:

The first is just the changing reality of media distribution. 6 short years ago, Netflix had 1 billion dollars JUST to spend on content. They opened an entire department of animation. That billion is gone now along with the emergence of an endless amount of streaming options, not even factoring the elephants in the room. YouTube and TikTok. The waking hour share of attention that JUST those two get is just getting bigger. And, those platforms dont need a team of writers or a production company.

The second is what I call the 'academic industrial complex'. In other words, armies of youth taking out 50k loans to follow their dream of being a 'studio animator'. For some reason, this goes unmentioned but I feel like these institutions have some responsibility in at least preparing these grads for the reality they face. They'll likely not encounter an industry as it was even 10 years ago. And yet, these kids are on the hook for a loan they'll never pay off. Criminal.

I don't see this changing anytime soon, and even, possibly accelerating. If there's one thing I would teach students, is, get used to the change and be flexible. This discipline will take you in many possible directions, but, it won't likely look anything like it did a few decades ago.

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