Jobs in Animation - NonArtistic Roles
When I started on my journey, I wish I had known about all the other job avenues in animation. If I had, I'm not sure if I would have chosen the same path.
To work in this industry, you don't need to know how to draw. You don't need to be a creative. All that is required is passion.
Like my last post, these are just a handful of the possible jobs, there are many more.
Assistant (PA) -
Lovingly referred to as PAs, Assistant is the most entry level of all jobs. PA's are exposed to alot of the pipeline and interact with alot of people. This job is one that can lead to art opportunities, but usually it just leads to moving up the Production ladder. Job duties include whatever is needed, yet typically they are note takers, communicators and follow uppers, etc.
Shoutout to the awesome Eric for making this video explaining PAs.
Coordinator (PC) -
Next level up from PA is a PC (Production Coordinator). Coordinators tend to oversee the PAs. You can fall into a few different buckets as a PC. In television, there are PCs who support "episodic" and those who support "Assets". Episodic tends to mean things related specifically to an episode. So tracking storyboards, animatics, shipments for episodes. Asset/Design is more on the design team and those requests. Of course all the PCs need to communicate because there is overlap. Also, these job roles are different studio per studio and from tv to feature. In feature animation, PCs support departments, so you could have a Modeling Coordinator, or a Lighting Coordinator, etc. The job is the same though, helping the artists and leads in your purvue hit their deadlines and schedules. Reminding them of things that come up and orchestrating it all.
Script Coordinator -
This tends to be a job for people who want to become a writer. Usually someone starts as a PA, then moves into a Script Coordinator position. What this job does is help out the writers and make sure the correct drafts are going to the correct people. They track changes, make sure updated dialogue makes it to records, and essentially is dedicated to the writing team.
Recruiters are the people who actively source talent and do the initial phone screenings of candidates. This job requires outgoing individuals who enjoy talking to others and asking questions. They attend conventions and do outreach. They review portfolios and they are advocate for talent coming into the studio.
Talent Management -
While recruiters focus on bringing in talent from the outside, Talent Managers focus on the talent already at the studio. They help move people from team to team and focus on career development. Think of Talent Managers as creative cheerleaders within the studio. There is HUGE value to keep creatives from project to project, versus hiring new people for every show or movie. This is something that Talent Management focuses on.
Development Assistant -
Something I never knew about until I started working was Development. Development is the entire timeline of a production before it is "greenlit" and a full team is hiring to start making it. A Development Assistant is like a Production Assistant specifically for this team. They help read scripts, manage concept art and communications. They also help take pitches for new ideas and give their input as well. This is a great job for someone who wants to be a Creative Executive. Giving feedback on pitches and creating connections with writers and artists is alot of this job.
While this doesnt explain what Development is, its with a bunch of people from Development.
Executive Assistant -
Rather than supporting a department or show, an EA supports a specific person or several people. This is the job you want to take if you want to move into being an executive one day. Helping with scheduling and communications for Executives, this person sits in the room usually with the executives and gets to overhear how a studio works on the highest levels. Typically, this job requires amazing written and verbal skills, as well as a level of social awareness. You need to understand what sort of actions are appropriate when.
That's alot of words!
I hope this was helpful. Let me know if there are any questions or if you think I missed something big!