Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Books: Your Career in Animation

Since I read a lot of books, and thus have a relatively endless supply of books to post about on my blog, I decided that I should probably just start labeling these blog entries with the title of the targeted book. Why I didn't just do this to begin with, I have no idea. But regardless, I just finished a book yesterday that I thought I should promote.

Title: Your Career in Animation: How to Survive and Thrive (David B. Levy)

Who should read it: Animators and related fields, some film production people.

Why is it awesome?:

I knew this book would be good the moment I saw the cover. Samurai Jack fighting Aku? This book has to be amazing! Just be careful when you open it, though, because you will be instantly buried under a veritable landslide of information about the animation field of work. I was impressed at how much this book covers in just 235 pages. Your Career in Animation explains what looking for work might be like, how to effectively network, how to play nice in the workplace, how to pitch, how to be successful in animation, how to freelance, how to make a living doing indie films, etc. Honestly, if I listed all of the information it covers it would go on for a paragraph or two, so I'll spare you the text wall. (A few of my favorite sections include When Creators Attack..., The Three Nevers, and the Animation Career Strategy Survival List. If you ever pick up a copy of the book, keep an eye out for those segments.)

Apart from the sheer amount of information you get from Your Career in Animation, the author also includes quotes and advice from animation titans, photos and stills of animated shorts, and stories from the industry that further illustrate, clarify, and expand upon the information in each chapter. Also helpful is the breakdown of different jobs in the animation field (such as directing, sheet timing, story boarding, etc.) that helps to explain what people are looking for and what you should be prepared to show a potential employer. And possibly the best feature of the book is the Appendix. You know, the part of the book that most people skip? Well, go back and take a look at this one, because it lists festivals, events, schools, and other resources that animators should be aware of. Really, the word "goldmine" pretty accurately sums up this book for anyone interested in animation as a career. Pick it up, read it, and then re-read it. If, when you finish, your book refuses to close because of how many placeholders and dog-eared pages you put in there (like my copy), you can consider this book well worth the purchase.

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