Open Menu
 Image © MAF

What We Learned from Animated Answers #MAF2019

The fun and frenzy of Manchester Animation Festival 2019 has sadly come to an end for another year!

As the official industry sponsor, we partnered with MAF to bring festival attendees an insight into working in the animation industry. We gathered a panel of experts from across the UK to answer your questions in a series of panels titled 'Animated Answers'. 

The panels gave those looking to work in the animation industry a chance to pitch their questions to the experts themselves. 

If you were unable to attend do not panic as here are the top things, we learned at MAF’s Animated Answers!

“There is more than one path to get to your dream job.”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director

It was apparent from our panellists’ stories that it is unusual to follow a straight path into Animation, and that’s what is great about the industry. Our experts began their careers answering phones, working in dairies and illustrating children’s books before they landed their dream roles. 

Giedre is one of those panellists, she started her career as a 3D Generalist but eventually decided to pursue her passion and what she loved doing the most, 2D Design and Visual Development. She joined Brown Bag Films as a Background Artist on Nella The Princess Knight. Over the course of four years she worked her way from a Background Artist, to a Background Lead to Assistant Art Director. For the past 2 years Giedre has worked as an Art Director supervising a very talented team of artists at our Manchester studio.

Don’t be hung up on a title.

Sometimes you just need to get your foot in the door, your dream may be to become an Animator or a Director but don’t turn down that entry level role as you never know where it will lead. 

“Tailor your CV and Showreel to the job your applying for.”

- Cliodhna Lyons, Episodic Director

Cliodhna has a wealth of experience when it comes to curating a showreel and regularly reviews applicants for Brown Bag Films. Her top tip was to make sure you tailor your CV and showreel to the job. If you're applying for a job as a compositor, make sure that the content in your showreel is tailored to that role. Even if that means you need multiple showreels for different roles. 

When applying for jobs make sure you pay attention to the detail. 

It sounds simple but it is important that you cross the t’s and dot the i’s, sometimes your CV could be rejected because you didn’t provide a cover letter or maybe you didn’t include the password to your showreel.

Make sure you read the job description and provide everything that is asked for.  A good tip is to showcase your work on a website, that way you can organise and separate your content onto different pages. Once your work is organised you can link the relevant page to your CV.

Personal projects are important you never know where they will take you. 

Working on a personal project is a great way to practice or show what you can do. A lot of our panellists work on personal projects in their own time.

Instagram is the best place to find out what our Brown Bag Films experts are working on in their own time, follow us over on @brownbagfilms for a great overview of all our studios artwork.  Also, keep an eye out for our Instagram Spotlight posts, like this one from layout supervisor and panellist Francisco Ruiz!

“Use the software you enjoy using.”

- Erica Lack, Head of 2D UK

Erica answered the classic question “which software should I use?” and her answer was simple… use the software you enjoy using. When she used Toon Boom Harmony for the first time, she explained that there was a very instant click. She also went on to say there is no wrong software and that if you know how to animate in one software it is just the case of learning a new interface. 

Surround yourself with creatives.

A lot of the businesses who spoke at Animated Answers are based in creative hubs and locations. Our Manchester studio is located at The Sharp Project.

The Sharp Project is home to over 60 digital entrepreneurs and production companies specialising in digital content production, digital media and TV and film production which is the perfect place for our Manchester studio to thrive. If you dream of working in the Animation industry a good place to start is networking with other creatives at social events or by hot desking at locations like The Sharp Project.

And finally…

“Remember to enjoy working in Animation! We're making cartoons, you need to remember why you’re doing it.”

- Sarah McQuire, Director of Operations UK

Rachael Rothwell

We Love Animation®

Brown Bag Labs is an exciting online space, brought to you by Brown Bag Films. We share great content for families as well as behind the scenes fun and tutorials from the Brown Bag Films team.