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Is Animation Mentor expensive?

Posted on November 11, 2007  5 Comments
Filed under Animation Mentor, Education

[update May 2013]

This post seems to have attracted some attention lately so I feel I need to to make an update.

I graduated from Animation Mentor in 2008 and haven’t had much contact with the school or the current AM community for a very long time so take this article with a pinch of salt. I haven’t caught up with the recent changes at AM, well I have but I just couldn’t understand the new syllabus (actually it is not that hard they just made things appear more complicated when they announced the AMP pipeline).

Back in my days, AM was a great foundation course from which a lot of people went on to get feature animation jobs and build an incredible network of professional animators friends. This probably still applies in 2013.

If you already have plenty of animation experience though, I might direct you to other online or on-site animation schools like Animation Collaborative, AnimSquad, Ianimate and AnimSchool since those are only taught by senior feature animators and even supervising animators from top studios.

The way things are going, if you don’t go to one of those recent “polishing schools”, I don’t thing you will be able to break into feature animation nowadays.

AM logo

People around me know that AM has been for me a love and hate relationship all along and unlike some other students I didn’t get caught in the “everything is awesome” bubble that wraps most people as soon as they join AM.

I did my fair bit of bashing in the past and nearly gave up in the middle of Class 5 but like fine wine, the school is gradually getting better and better and that’s amazing for a school who has been in business for only few years. Today I wanted to share a comment I posted on the Splinedoctors blog since I have more audience here than they will ever have. Just kidding.

Is Animation Mentor expensive?.

Well that s an interesting question that deserves to be answered.

I would be tempted to say yes but looking around, how many cheaper options do you get if you are not french, already ultra talented and selected by Les Gobelins animation school?

What else do you get for those $15,000 and ultimately, how long would it take you to pay back that money if you got this animation dream job?

Personally that money was my savings to pay the deposit for a mortgage but since I was working while doing AM I could have quickly recovered the cost of AM with my new animation job. Now I live in UK, I have no clue if this applies to other countries, the dollar is at it lowest level since 1982 I am told.

After 18 month at AM and without any animation experience previously, the students who reached the upper classes, apply for jobs where we are in competition with people who had been through 4 to 5 years of university!

Foundation course: 1 year
BA: 3 years

Some guys who applied for the same job I was applying for even had Masters or Post graduate diplomas!

Does one realise how much it cost to spend 4 years at university? Think about the tuition, the housing…. Let alone the fact that most people can’t move city and have to do AM on top of a full time job.

Now don’t get over excited ;-) This doesn’t mean that you just need to pay your $15,000 AM tuition to get a job. Your mentors won’t animate the shots for you and you will still have to work realllllly hard to polish this Showreel that will get you where you always wanted to be!

Animation is hard, no matter how much you paid or what school you went to but AM gives you access to a crazy community of people who love and live for animation and if you make the most of it, you will definitely reap the rewards of it.

Animation Mentor might seem expensive at first glance, but it is not.

[update] at the moment, the Short film has been removed from the program. I am completely against the idea and I just hope they bring it back very quickly.


5 Responses to “Is Animation Mentor expensive?”

  1. Doctor Cerebro on November 12th, 2007 09:47

    that is cool, man. actually i wanted to email you or something asking you about this subject. i think that when i have the money i’d love to apply.

  2. Olivier Ladeuix on November 12th, 2007 11:23

    hehe so here it is man!

  3. The Downfall of traditional education :Animation with a moustache on May 16th, 2010 13:58

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  4. Leon on May 31st, 2010 17:09

    I Know this is an old post but I found it interesting. I would say no based on my previous experience with school and searching for animation schools, I paid almost double when I went to “Animation School” ( I put it in quotes as it soon turned from an animation school to a game design focus due to the success of video games which in turn destroyed my eduction, long story)
    For me I had wasted money at my previous school although we had great teachers that were working in the industry the structure of the school would not allow them to teach the way it need to be and when the games boom happened they decided they wanted to pump out generalist and even got rid of the 2d program that a lot of us tried to fight, and it hurt a lot of my peers, as they did not find the transition to 3D as easy as I did. I was considering Cal Arts, but did not want to pay that much money or time again, and I was skeptical about Am, but it all worked out. Now I came after you so the AM had made a lot of changes based on a lot of the earlier graduates, so that why I may have a different view on this subject, but it is a great topic, and I hear this question all the time, my old school charges around 80.000 now I believe which I think is sickening, two times more then i paid. I base the cost on the education, and what I learned here is worth the money but at the same time I think my experience at the other school also helped.

  5. Olivier Ladeuix on June 1st, 2010 16:20

    $80.000 how crazy is that….. thanks for your comment Leon

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