The UK animation industry is being taken over by Animation Mentor. I don’t have exact figures but I have the feeling that 3 out of 5 animation graduates hired in UK come from Animation Mentor. In few years, 50% of the animator in the industry will probably come from the online animation school.
Why is that?
Animation Mentor has been offering the industry, the exact kind of profiles it was looking for.
In 18 month, they create more job opportunities to graduates than what traditional education would provide in 4/5 years.
In UK it is usual for students to do a foundation course, followed by their 3 years degree. The problem is that very often, after a fruitless job search due to their poor showreel, those graduates end up going back to university since they can’t find any stable jobs.
Where it gets even worse is that after those different degrees and post graduate diplomas, they often end up as interns or runners at 13k a year when Animation Mentor students directly snap Junior animation or even Animator position. I have also seen loads of those graduates eventually going to Animation Mentor for 2 more years of education and even bigger student loans to repay but finally getting better chances to break into the industry.
Now Animation Mentor is not the only new form of schooling taking over traditional education. Escape has also been providing (at a very high cost) the kind of employees Soho VFX house are looking for but I just found some other US schools providing alternative training.
Gnomon has been in business for years in California and offer great training if you are into monsters and SciFi, admittedly I am not.
Future Poly. A school aimed at the video game industry in the Seattle area.
I won’t go in length trying to understand why those courses are so successful but one thing we can notice rightaway is that the mentors/lecturers/teachers are all professionals still very active in the industry and even online.
Rad Sechrist http://radhowto.blogspot.com/
Joe Pikop http://vimeo.com/somuchmonsters
On an other hand, traditional education is still regarded as one of the best form of schooling in Europe, when talking about 2 french animation schools, Supinfocom and Gobelins and it is not rare to bump into those graduates in Soho, not rare at all. Most VFX houses actually go to the graduation ceremony of those two schools to snap the best talents.
[update] Having worked with several graduates from animation schools and university, I came to realise that a lot of them didn’t have a clear idea about what they wanted to specialise in when they joined their school and felt a generalist school was less risky. Also, traditional schools diplomas are recognised by Immigration laws and can help to get Visa to work abroad.
Is Animation Mentor expensive?