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October 25 2011 3 25 /10 /October /2011 13:56

Getting a job in the U.K. animation industry is difficult but not impossible. You need to know how to qualify, how to gain experience, and how to find your way in. This article explains the basics.

Animation qualifications

At university, study one of a range of degree programmes such as animation, fine art and design, digital design, computer graphics, engineering, computer science with mathematics, film production or general film studies. A personal project show reel and/or a dissertation with an animation focus will look good on your CV.

VFS Classical Animation: Digital Ink & Paint

Vancouver Film School Classical Animation


Gain experience

Making show reels for film festival competitions is valuable experience, as is attending the festivals and networking with people in the industry. Work experience and internships while a student is invaluable. The USA Associate Program is a way of working for no wage. However, this gains college credits which is being developed by some university and industry partnerships in parts of the U.K.

VFS Classical Animation: Digital Ink & Paint

Short-term jobs

The Animation Skills Council U.K. define and set government skillset criteria to be applied in the best colleges and training facilities. Skillset.org website has suggestions for job titles and their descriptions to help you decide where to try to make your way in to the workforce. A highly recommended first job is as a runner, a temporary job which brings you into contact with many different workers and aspects of animation creation.

Aardman Wallace and Gromit Cracking Ideas exhibit at the Glasgow Scien

Wallace and Gromit on set

Finding jobs


Networking, work experience or internship can all open doors. When qualified, make sure that you have registered your details on employment sections of animation company websites, so that they can notify you of forthcoming opportunities. Moreover, look at major industry-specific magazine jobs pages, such as Mandy.com, Creativeheads.net and Grapevinejobs.com. You may also wish to find out about working in other aspects of film.


stop-motion animation

Morph from clay stop motion to digital animation

Job applications

Animation companies, however large they may have become, tend to be run like family businesses, with executives multi-tasking and including the hiring and firing in their workload. They give out very specific instructions with their job application advertisements and forms, and you will not get short-listed if you do not attend to every tiny detail. Be literate, concise and honest in filling in application forms and make sure your show reel of under six minutes has your best work first on the disk. Here are some tips on how to apply for a job in animation production.


Debbie Reynolds Auction - Mitchell Model DC-70 70mm motion picture cam

Classic (obsolete) Animation Camera

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Published by Dr Val Williamson - in Film Education
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