Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Animation Outside Animation Land

Tom Sito's deskartist: Tom Sito

A couple of months back, I had a long conversation with a CGI artist about animation employment in Southern California vs. employment Elsewhere. His point to me was: There's just more stuff going on in So. Cal compared to other places, and from his experience, that makes L.A. workplaces more employee-friendly than elsewhere.

I think the two things are linked. I'm not saying L.A. is some kind of worker nirvana, but when you have more employment opportunities, employers tend to be "nicer" because employees can often pick up their marbles and go someplace else. They can't be total creeps because there's somebody down the block who won't be.

Then there's another wrinkle: When you have a heavily unionized workforce, which is the case in L.A. but not Elsewhere, non-union companies often have to get within hailing distance of union wages and benefits to attract seasoned talent.

Which leads me to yesterday's article from the L.A. Times that details how job opportunities for animators are expanding:

Throughout Southern California, digital artists weaned on Walt Disney, "Star Wars" and video games are bringing their wow factor to scores of companies outside of entertainment that have discovered what a powerful business tool computer animation can be. It used to be that if you were an animator, you pretty much worked in movies, TV, commercials and video games. Now 55 industries nationwide use digital artists, a study by Los Angeles-based Entertainment Economy Institute found.

It's Adam Smith's old law of supply and demand. There's a big talent pool in Los Angeles, so companies come here or start here to tap into it. It's not just about movie or television cartoons anymore.

As the premier training ground for animators, Southern California is creating a rich talent pool spreading through the workforce in such diverse fields as aerospace, toy manufacturing, forensics and biomedicine.

Which is why when you talk about animation, it's way more than the definition of forty-six years ago, when "animation in Southern California" meant Disney and Hanna-Barbera.


Anonymous said...

LA is a dump!


Anonymous said...

Rufus, I know what you mean! They really should clean up all the unwanted sofas and graffiti.

Anonymous said...

Hey at least L.A. is the undisputed champion and title holder of worst air quality in America.

Anonymous said...

you forgot to add one of the highest OVER PRICED HOUSING markets.

You gotta love L.A.

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