View Full Version : Animation Mentor, or something in town?

09 September 2011, 06:39 AM
Hi guys,
I live in Vancouver, and was looking into Think Tank ( - I'm not sure about what to do though!

Think Tank - I visited it last summer, it's a great environment. The program is a year, and teaches all of the basics, then lets you specialize in something specific (in this case, animation).

Animation Mentor - has a similar mentor program to Think Tank, but these guys are from a lot of great companies. The animation reels from AM seem much better - I love the way their characters move, and the program is a year and a half of JUST animation. That's it. I like that.

Now, the problem is that Animation Mentor is in the USA, so in theory, I would be gaining contacts and networking with people in a country that it isn't easy for Canadians to work in. However, if I was able to work down there, a lot of the companies are amazing, where Vancouver seems to have smaller studios, or smaller versions of the bigger companies.

So - do I learn, theoretically, more about animation in a longer time for less money, at the cost of making real contacts in the city I live in? I mean, I'm sure a reel could speak for itself if its good enough, but there's a lot to be said about getting your foot in the door. Am I missing out on that much by doing an online school vs the real experience of meeting people in real life?

10 October 2011, 04:42 PM
hmmm, i dunno, my personal feeling is not think too much about contacts and networking at first and to just make your work as good as possible, That way you just find things happen organically anyway.

Thats not to say that networking isnt important. Its just getting your priorities straight.

also look at it like this. networking is more necesssary if you have less to sell. i have seen people who focus more on networking and less on work. they might fluke their way into some job somewhere but in the long run if their skills arent good they get found out. people want to employ people primarly who have good skills and can animate well, then aslong as you can communcate not too badly and hold yourself together day by day you'll get along ok. Also if your work is good other people will generally respect you. If your all talk and no trousers people start to distrust you.

I remember a guy whose work wasnt very good at all but he endlessly networked. He gained a reputation of being a faker and everyone was aware of it. Maybe on meeting someone who didnt know him for the first time they might of thought this guys ok, but as soon as he sends the reel he's busted and in the long run the bad reputation grows.

there are plenty of people doing animation mentor imagining it like a foot in the door. Mixing with the right people, all be it online. Don't imagine anything like a foot in the door other than your work, primarily. Its the wrong industry for that. There are plenty of industries where being good at communicating is the prime skill and you can go along way by mixing with the right people but animation i dont think is one of those industries.

Im not saying it isnt important to get your work seen by the right people and present yourself as a likeable and friendly person and to make contacts. It is important. its just that aslong as you are an amicable person and communciate relatively ok that will happen anyway once you have got your foot in the door with a really good reel.

personally i would suggest animation mentor as it is very likely the quality of the education will be much bettwe, and that is the most important thing. And although its online you might be surprised that you can make pretty good connections.

10 October 2011, 04:18 PM
I think matmonkfish hit the nail on the head re: networking. It seems that the biggest decision you need to make is if you want a very specialized education (AM) or to learn the basics of a CG pipeline before specializing (Think Tank).

Also consider what kind of learner you are (webinars vs. classroom), and how conducive your home environment is to studying.

Good luck!

10 October 2011, 03:25 AM
That was probably the single most influential thing I've witnessed since I originally saw the AM Showreel. Thank you, that's an amazing way of looking at it, and I couldn't feel better about the application that I just sent off, thank to this :)

Thank you, seriously!

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