New Animation School Opens Across the Street from Pixar

Animation Collaborative

The Animation Collaborative is a new series of animation workshops that take place in Emeryville directly across the street from the Pixar campus. While not affiliated with the studio, all of the school’s teachers work at Pixar. In my opinion, the class prices, which range from $1,400 (8-week summer sessions) to $1,900 (13-week fall sessions) are too steeply priced for a school that has no official accreditation, so you’re essentially paying a celebrity surcharge for learning at a school run by Pixar artists. On the plus side, class sizes are intimate (8 people) and if you stand outside of the school long enough, perhaps John Lasseter will wave to you as his chauffeur drives him home.


  • Jason

    Well the bigger problem is the price of schooling in general. Animation Mentor is incredibly expensive as well as any state university or specialty school. Even though this school isn’t accredited it’ll be recognized by the industry which is all that matters for animation students. Animation Mentor isn’t accredited either.

    Money talks but at least there’s still websites available for those who don’t make much who want to be animators.

    • amid

      Andrew Gordon, who is one of the people involved in the school, also provides a valuable service for those who can’t afford to attend by running the Spline Doctors podcast. Classes help, but remember that many of the greatest animators are self-taught. It ultimately boils down to your passion and dedication to the medium.

      • Greg

        Passion doesn’t get you a job in animation. Animation Mentor does. I can think of anything more meaningless than the school’s lack of accreditation. You are learning from amazing artists who do this stuff everyday for a living. That’s what matters!

      • Jason

        The greatest animators came through in an age which talent like that is grown and animation was taught by all. Good luck getting an animation job today if you happen to ‘draw well’ like you could’ve back in the day. Actually good lucky getting an animation job even if you’re good at animating. Especially if you’re a 2d artist who doesn’t know 3d, flash, etc.

        In the world of animation today, it’s all about networking and learning off of the best directly. Of which schools like these have in spades.

        When was the last time you heard a story like Deja who applied to Disney with amazing lifedrawings and not much else? I honestly want to agree with you but I have yet to meet folks that have gotten into animation that did it completely on their own like in the old days. Aside from Deja and friends that is.

      • Greg

        Over the past 5 years, Blue Sky has hired anywhere from 15 to 20 Animation Mentor students. Several of which, had no animation experience at all prior to taking AM. Having good, experienced, professional teachers teaching you animation is the best bet for anyone who wants to become an animator. Of course, you will never succeed if you aren’t hard working and dedicated, especially in such an exclusive field like CG animation. But learning from the best is certainly the way to go. AM, as well as these classes, are a great opportunity for those who want to learn from the best, and are far cheaper than art school. I just find it irresponsible to be discouraging anyone from taking these amazing courses because they are too expensive (which they are not) for lacking accreditation.

      • http://AnimationIdeas.com Phil Willis

        I 100% agree with Greg.

        Most “accredited” schools offer animation education.

        But to get a job you really need animation *training*.

        Animation Mentor and other artist-run schools do a superb job of teaching the specifics of animation and produce employable graduates.

        Who would you rather learn from? A world-class practitioner? Or a well-read academic?

      • John

        Greg must work in the AM marketing department or is part of the AM mafia.

  • http://kandjcomic.com/ John S

    Lasseter has a chauffer now? Is his Limo a stretch Lightning McQueen replica?

  • http://kandjcomic.com/ John S

    Oh, right, the topic.
    I went to school to learn how to animate and make films. I never cared about whether or not I earned a degree or a certificate. When going for a job, NO body cares whether you went to an accredited school or not. All we care about is whether or not the applicant is GOOD.
    That said, the guys at Pixar are good teachers. $1,400? In classes of 8? Taught by some of the best animators in the world?
    Yeah, I’d say it’s worth it.

  • Markus

    Except from maybe cal arts I don´t really know of any “official” accreditation from any school that will help you land on any particular animation job. The ONLY thing that matters is your work and how good you work with others.

  • John L.

    I don’t see a problem with the pricing. It’s as Jason says. And even the greatest animators did not learn everything by themselves. Being in a creative environment helps

    @Amid you don’t like Lasseter much do you? Do you even know if he has a chauffeur?

    • http://www.onanimation.com Daniel Caylor

      Watch the day in the life special on Apple. He has a driver, among many other things any one of us would have if we were in his shoes.

      • Bud

        According to artists at Pixar, John usually drives himself or rides with a friend to work. But during the end of the making of Cars 2 he broke his arm in a couple of places and needed a driver. I mean, it’s obvious the guy likes cars.

      • Sardonic Tuba

        “But during the end of the making of Cars 2 he broke his arm in a couple of places and needed a driver”.

        The official diagnosis was: “Compound Fracture Resulting From Excessive and Repeated Self-Back Pattage”.

      • tom

        Or even excessive hugging of employees!

    • http://www.chadtownsend.com ChadTHX1138

      Fake John L. busted himself. :)

  • http://www.animationcollaborative.com andrew gordon

    Thanks for the post Amid… Actually we are not technically a school. These are workshops. We offer no degree and dont have any accreditation. We are just trying to find the best instructors to teach the workshops. So far we have some amazing people willing to teach and we hope it will do well. We only have 8 students per workshop. Thanks again for the post.

  • http://www.animationcollaborative.com andrew gordon

    By the way, The class prices are cheaper by about $1100 bucks than a place like the academy of art. We are trying to be fair with the pricing. You could of course go to a big fancy art school and get taught by people that don’t really know what they are doing..We are not doing these classes to make big money. We are basically just trying to keep the lights on. Obviously Amid thinks that having a certificate over your desk means more than having good work and qualified teachers… Just my two cents…

    • katrav

      did you guys know what you were doing when making cars 2?

      • Rob S

        Feature films, especially at a major studio, are director/producer driven. The world’s opinions on Cars 2 has little blame to be laid at the feet of the talented animators, story artists, technical artists, etc who worked on the film. While each individual brings their unique perspective to a given shot, sequence, or character, their vision ultimately needs to serve the greater vision set forth by the director and producers (and especially whatever company is bank-rolling the whole production).

        In short — that’s an unfair comment to make toward Andrew. The crew knew just what they were doing (crossed with what they were told to do) on Cars 2 the same way they did on Toy Story 3, Ratatouille, or any other Pixar film that you might love.

        The school looks amazing, if I was in NorCal, I would totally be there. Thanks for injecting more fire and passion into the education of animators, Andrew & team!

      • Mike

        Thanks for that dose of perspective. (“fresh out, I presume?” heh heh…) For all the hate that is put on Cars 2, there is tremendous, incredible talent evident in the technical and animation side of the film.

      • katrav

        I agree that it’s an unfair comment, but it’s to bring them to a ground reality of things that they are like anybody else but a little better, instead of boosting their already inflated egos who say only they know what they’re doing!

      • TS

        I totally agree that the artists at Pixar shouldn’t be held accountable for Cars 2. Like you said Rob, they are essentially doing a job, doing what they are asked to do. Kind of like what animators on Polar did. Or Mars Needs Moms. Just sayin…..

      • Jim

        @katrav: Not cool dude. Not cool at all. Comments like that won’t get you anywhere in this industry.

      • katrav

        @Jim: I went to Academy of Art, and I took the pixar classes few years ago and I’ve learned a lot. And those classes are the reason I even have a job! It was a sarcastic reply to a comment which showed a tinge of ego. And if you’ve ever personally interacted with some of the big name animators at Pixar, you’d see that even more!

    • Kyle

      I’m currently attending the Academy of Art and I have to agree with your comments on the place. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stay, but am very much interested in being apart of these workshops one day. It seems like it would be a neat environment where students are taught by the absolute best.

  • eeteed

    $1,900 is cheap for 13 weeks.

    tuition for the first year at the joe kubert school is over 18k. the kubert school is also unaccredited, and its teachers are uncertified.

    so i’d say if you really have talent, 2 grand and 13 weeks of your life is a good investment. you’d be learning from pros, making good contacts, and after the 13 weeks you’d have a good idea if you are right for the field and if the field is right for you.

    • http://braveandboldbackgroundpaint.blogspot.com/ William Joseph Dunn

      The Kubert School is that much now? Damn!!! Those heated driveways don’t come cheap I guess (inside joke for ex-Kubies).

  • Michael Hughes

    Isn’t this like what they do at the guild?

  • Erin

    Honestly sounds like a pretty awesome investment to me. You get to learn the finer points of what you love to do from other amazing people. If you already have a degree or that’s not your priority, then this is perfect! Besides, art isn’t about the best degree, it’s about having the strongest portfolio and good connections. And this sounds like its catering to just that.

  • Sam

    I’ve seen the student works coming out from some of these teachers… And I will have to tell you, they learned a lot for sure and got a lot out from them. Comparing to some of the ‘accredited’ school in the region, the education you get from the teachers are worth every penny, and are a lot cheaper.

    Sure, it’s pricey, but the teachers themselves went out of trouble to get the class together, and offering students and professionals out there who would like to gain extra knowledge on animation. What more, the teachers themselves get paid the price they are actually worth for. Or they feel how much they are worth that the students would be willing to pay. What’s bad about this? If you think the price is too much, you don’t have to take it.

    There are plenty of animation schools out there now, but extremely few are actually worth going for. I for one learned really little from my ‘accredited’ school which I will not name which. And being in a class of 18 students, 3 hours, was crap. I had to resort into finding animators online back then, and some were surprisingly nice enough to respond.

  • Anon

    13 weeks isn’t enough time to learn to be an animator, but if you have some experience and want to get better it’s a good deal. I’d like to know what I’d get for my money. Lectures? Hands on critiques? A chat over coffee before the Pixar animator rushes off to dailies?

    • Sam

      Yes, 13 weeks isn’t enough. But what you learn from these classes will follow you until the end, being in a class of 8, and 3 hours! That’s a LOT of time given to each students. Removing rest time, say.. 20 minutes, each students basically get 20 minutes of the teacher’s attention. You really can’t get that anywhere else these days.

  • anonymous

    The faculty commute must be a killer…

  • Michal Makarewicz

    I appreciate all the positive comments that our workshops are worth the price. On top of having small class sizes, we also offer Lectures, a guest speaker, and LIVE demos (I personally work on shots LIVE in front of the students as they sit and ask questions about workflow) IN ADDITION to the workshops students attend.

    We also hope to record many of our guest speakers and demos, to build up a library that any student attending the AnimC could sit and watch. That is a lot of information we want to share.

    We also want to empower the students. If we don’t offer a workshop you like,….get a list of people interested and we will get the workshop you want. Is there a person you would want to study under? Send us a list of other students that are also interested, and we will do the best we can to recruit that person.

    I’ve taught at 3 different schools, and I believe I learned a lot about educating in this field. Especially looking back at my very own education. So I finally left the school system and went private. I’m proud to say that a lot of the students I mentored have found jobs in the industry, and they are extremely appreciative of everything we offer. I know the AnimC offers some of the best animation education out there, and it’s more than worth the price. The reason I’m so sure about this. My students tell me, and their opinion is everything.

    Thanks for the support everyone.

  • DHaynes

    I’m also going to chime in and say that whether or not it’s accredited should have no bearing whatsoever on whether or not the school is worthwhile.

  • Ace Weems

    Wow Amid! Why so bitter? There are dozens of schools, colleges, studios & individuals offering this kind iof programing. I didn’t see you complain about Bill Pymptons School of Animation. Or Richard Williams $1000 weekend Master Class. Summer animation programs “starring” recognized “animation masters” have been happening for decades. VanArts, Gobelin, Don Bluth to name a tiny few. Try googling it. Over million hits.

    You remind me of the hippies in 1970 that wouldn’t pay for the rock concert tickets when their favourite band was playing. “Dude, music should be free.” Amid, Quit smoking the cabbage and stop banging the” John Lasseter is out of touch with real people” drum. If John wants to fly home on his own helicopter who cares. Take a happy pill and leave your bitterness back in 1970.

    • amid

      Ignoring your nasty attitude for a second, let me point out that Plympton’s class was $1,000 for 14 weeks, which considering Bill’s accomplishments, is a bargain. Williams is teaching decades worth of knowledge in his masterclass gathered from recognized masters like Art Babbitt, Milt Kahl and Grim Natwick.

      If the market can bear these superstar prices for teachers who are talented but not legends by any stretch, more power to them for charging this amount. But based on my personal experience taking classes, I find the prices to be very high and I have every right to point that out. I also feel justified in pointing out the school’s vicinity to Pixar because the Pixar cachet is clearly one of the reasons they are able to charge a premium and an element that is promoted by the school itself.

      • Jonah Sidhom

        The Spline Doctors are legends in my book. They’ve shared their valuable time and tons of knowledge about animation in their blog for absolutely free. To me, that says they are not only masters at what they do, but they also care deeply about the art form of animation and want to further it by giving out free resources that cost students wanting to learn animation absolutely nothing.

        All things considered, $1,400 to $1,900 is worth every penny. If I wasn’t stuck in Tennessee, I’d jump on this opportunity in a flash.

      • Trevor

        So what price point would you set to learn animation from Pixar animators?

      • eeteed

        $1,900 = superstar prices?

        i think in california $1,900 = dinner for 4

      • Chris Webb

        Without a tip!

      • John

        Wow eeteed. You really need to start eating somewhere else.

  • Trevor

    Since when is accreditation a big deal for learning animation? I don’t think any studio I’ve worked at has cared that I took a 7th grade level math class.

  • http://www.vitaminsteve.com Steve Flack

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, "Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted."]

  • http://www.animationcollaborative.com andrew gordon

    Amid,

    First off, the word superstar and animator don’t belong in the same sentence. We do not consider ourselves superstars. I’m just an animator who enjoys teaching. Lets face it, animators are less famous than morning radio jockeys. As for the prices, this is what we feel is fair. Like I said, many schools charge 1000 per credit plus fees. The reason we put it across the street was so it would be easy for people to teach there. If we wanted to rip people off we would just have opened the classes up to more students. Obviously you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. If we don’t get any sign ups, we will obviously have to close the doors…

    • amid

      Andrew, I was only responding to the previous commenter who questioned why directors like Plympton and Williams can command high prices for classes. Their status as directors with 20-40 years of experience and Oscar noms/wins does make them as well known as somebody in this industry can be, in other words, “superstars.”

    • Anonymous

      Though the instructors all know their animation, this seriously takes advantage of eager students who want in at Pixar. The thinking is “do well here, and that might give me an opportunity”. Pixar animators teach all over the bay area and RARELY do their students ever get hired there. For the 98% who don’t, they end up spending thousands upon thousands of extra dollars chasing those expectations.

      Watch out for yourselves!

    • grouchy snob

      “We do not consider ourselves superstars. ”

      With all due respect, I’m not sure I believe this. And for what it’s worth, working at Pixar is about as much of a super star as one could be in this medium.

      To be honest, I’m sure these classes are going to do well in nurturing talented folks, but the degree of schmoozing and “networking” that’s going to happen at this place is going to be epic. Admins, feel free to delete this comment if you found it too rude but I feel like it’s worth mentioning.

  • http://thisisonlya.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I can’t blame the animators for wanting to extract some value from their reputation. Musicians have been doing it for centuries. Being a member of a major symphony is pretty much a license to attract a horde of students and charge them a lot. And they do.

    My observation from years of being a music student and an animation student… fine artists do not always make fine teachers. Some “get” teaching, some do not.

    I was a student at “a leading animation school”, as they say, and recall asking one faculty member why he absolutely needed a certain procedure to get a result. I thought it was a fair question since his rant was contrary to the process the school had been teaching us.

    His answer: “That’s just the way it is in professional situations.”

    It was more important for him to swat me down and make me appear naive to everyone else than to actually answer my question. He did not “get” teaching.

    • Optimist

      While you’re right that not all professionals are cut out to be good instructors(this is absolutely true), is it possible that his reply was actually simply the truth as he knew it and not an attempt to “swat [you] down or make you look naive?
      Fact is there are a lot of things that are done differently on the ground in the real-world pro environment than what’s taught at schools.

      • http://thisisonlya.blogspot.com robcat2075

        Fact is…the whole school is run and taught by “on-the-ground, real-world” professionals. The school’s stated goal is to teach real-world studio process.

        “That’s just the way it is” might be the simple truth (I remain doubtful since all the other real-world professionals were teaching something different) but at $2000 per quarter the students aren’t paying for simplistic non-answers like “That’s the way it is.” I can get that for free on the internet.

        For $2000 a quarter you’re paying for cogent explanations and feedback, which most of the faculty was entirely able to do no matter how naive the inquiry.

        This guy’s rant didn’t pass the common-sense test and when I tried to explore that obvious discrepancy the only out for him was to shut down the conversation.

        That’s someone who doesn’t “get” teaching.

  • http://jasoncampbell.com Jason Campbell

    I’m studying at iAnimate.net right now which is also an unaccredited workshop instructed by animators that are currently working in the industry, primarily, but not exclusively Dreamworks animators. I pay $2000 for 14 week workshops, and while it is an impact, I feel it is worth every penny
    (I don’t really have) and I am thankful for it being an option.

    I believe that what these guys are offering is something I would do in a heartbeat at the rate they advertise, if only it were here in LA. I think being in a room live with them, at such a small student to teacher ratio, I believe I could quite possibly grow at a tremendous rate in such an environment with even sub legendary talent such as this. ;)

    Of course it isn’t cheap, and really the industry isn’t paying the wages of the mid to late 90′s anymore, and you may find yourself chasing a job to Canada, India, or the UK, so I can easily understand someone’s perspective that this is a premium price to pay to learn animation, but as the saying goes, everything is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it and even if it’s because I have a, perhaps irrational, love for the medium and a pipe dream to feed I would be willing to pay that for this so I say its worth it.

    If only it were here and not there. ;)

    Best of luck guys.

    J.

  • Rob S

    As an alumni of Animation Mentor, I have to agree with what Jason said that “everything is worth only what someone is willing to pay.” Some people say AM is expensive, but for the superior education and networking I received and still enjoy to this day, I say it’s a bargain!

    Looking back, the lectures by Andrew Gordon and Michal Makarewicz at AM were some of the most enlightening and powerful ones the school has to offer. So yeah, the chance to sit with those guys in person — plus other talented teachers as well — is totally worth the price of admission for anyone looking to take their animation to the next level.

  • http://www.spungella.com Jean-Denis Haas

    “Passion doesn’t get you a job in animation. Animation Mentor does. I can’t think of anything more meaningless than the school’s lack of accreditation. You are learning from amazing artists who do this stuff everyday for a living. That’s what matters!”

    I have to disagree a bit about that one. Just because you went through the Animation Mentor course doesn’t mean that you will automatically get a job. The above statement is too simplified and misleading to me. If there is no passion behind your work, it’s visible. So passion is a big factor to me in getting a job. A school or class is not an immediate ticket to it.

    But I agree that it doesn’t matter if you go to a school that’s accredited or not. As a foreigner a school mattered to me because I need a degree for the VISA, that’s all.

    I was a student at the Academy and I’m with Andrew Gordon. Already back then the prices were high and some teachers had no idea about the subject or were not interested at all in teaching. The fact that AnimC exists can only be beneficial to any animation student.

    I don’t really see why Amid has to add things like “celebrity surcharge” or make snarky comments about Lasseter’s daily schedule. I know Michal and he doesn’t prance around demanding celebrity status nor does he have a mindset of taking financial advantage of students. He, as every other member of AnimC, is passionate about animation and wants to share his knowledge.

    Amid has every right to his opinion about pricing, but the rest of the post is just disrespectful and paints Animation Collaborative unfairly in a negative light.

  • http://blog.camilovanegas.com/ Camilo

    Amid, I’ve been mentored by Michal Makarewicz for the last ten months. and now I’m part of AnimC.
    I don’t think I could have found another school or mentor with this level.
    the Live Demos in Maya always blow my mind! there are not many teachers out there with the guts to sit and animate in front of you for 3 hours. That is gold.

  • david

    non union pixar studio employees have to work side jobs as teachers to compete with john lasseter’s winery and hawaiian shirt collection.

  • Louaye Moulayess

    I went to school in the bay area to study animation. It was a great experience and I learned a great deal. But when graduation was getting near, I felt I was getting more of a generalist education rather than an advanced education in 3d character animation. So I looked for an additional education, something more specialized than what I was being offered. Friends told me about professional animators offering private workshops. Cheaper than a class at my school with much less students in it (which means more individual time). I was impressed by the quality of work coming out of those workshops so I signed up to build up a strong demo reel.
    Because the workshop is unaccredited, all the other students were extremely dedicated and more importantly, the workshop did not impose a curriculum, which enabled us to learn at our own pace and sharpen our skills more accordingly.

  • Anthony M.

    Before AnimC started I had the great pleasure to study in a private workshop with one of its founders. To put things into perspective, the workshop was my first introduction to animation. I had a bouncing ball test prior to starting but learned everything in the workshop i took.

    After the first semester of taking said workshop, I was able to take an Advanced Animation course with a demo-reel requirement, at the Academy of Art (my first animation course at the school). Had it not been for the workshop I would still be trying to figure out how to make a ball bounce.

    The instructors at AnimC are really talented, hard working professionals who care about the medium in not only does it reflect in the work of their shots, but also in the work of their students.

    Knowing what I pay for the Academy of Art, and the lack of Quality education that I have received there, AnimC is a breath of fresh air. Rather than focus on everything but animation, I feel like this workshop gives aspiring animators the chance to actually learn the craft, and position us better for the future.

    I say this all purely as a student, who got to learn from some of these guys first hand. My comments reflect my opinion only, but I cannot find a bad word to say about this program. I love what they are doing and it make me happy to know that there are people in the industry who will go out of their way to share their knowledge of such a great medium, and help students to become better artists.

  • http://www.dragonboythemovie.com Bernardo Warman

    Hi there!

    I was part of Mike’s first workshop back in summer 2009, something very similar in structure to what AnimC is.

    I assure you the price is fair for the level of comments, critiques, lectures and guest speakers offered in return.

    I am sure that not anyone can afford it, but in case you can and you want to learn from good professionals I would recommend it.

    Regarding awards, you are not going to have Academy Award winners teaching, but you will have Annie Award winners animators such as Mike Makaraweciz mentoring you on a very friendly enviroment.

    Also, Mike’s critiques and lessons were a big part of my Student Academy Award winner short film, Dragonboy. So in “technical” way, I owe him that ;)

    Cheers!

    And good luck to the workshop members,

    Bernardo Warman

  • http://www.matthewpetyo.com Petyo

    From the perspective of a former animation professor at a private University I can say that Animation Collaborative is without a doubt a great value. Comparatively, AC charges half the price of a private institution, they have no lab fees ($600 in the animation classes I taught), their class sizes are tiny, and you will you get your work lovingly torn apart by pros. (not celebrities… professionals)

    At the end of the day degree’s are important, but having the opportunity to work closely with people who are at the top of their game in a small class environment trumps. Milt Kahl; Les Clark; Ward Kimball; none of these guys had degrees but the impact they left on animation is undeniable. hard work, talent, and opportunity make people great, not a diploma.

    I disagree with you on this one Amid but I love the blog, thanks for keeping the conversation going.

  • Josh

    The networking alone makes it worth it.

    • Thedude

      They’ll forget about you the second class ends ;)

      • Sam

        No, they wouldn’t. I did an online animation school once with all the big studio animators that was the same price and that’s what happened to me. So I know what you mean, but these teachers are not the same. One of them gave free feedbacks to my friends once at Siggraph, and remembered my friend even after. Goes to show you don’t really need to take their class to even see how they do care about helping others.

  • http://www.poorwightboy.com Ricky

    Seems like the lesson to be learned here is to do your research before posting a subjective opinion on the value of an education. Regardless of how you feel about the price of the classes, there is no online or accredited school that you can go to that will give you the same learning experience as being in the same room as these guys. And as far as the location, what better motivation to work hard and strive to be better than to see the gate of Pixar every time you go to class? Reminds you what you’re there for.

    I took Michal’s class after I got my animation degree. My diploma from my “accredited” school is sitting on the floor of my house somewhere under my desk… at least I think it is because I never actually opened the envelope. It didnt’ get me a job. Michal’s passion for teaching and personal investment in his classes and students gave me the drive and skills I needed to succeed. He always gave more than he needed to make sure that we really understood the things that he was trying to teach us. He didn’t just go through the motions. He cares. No it’s not free, and I worked my ass off, but it’s the best investment I’ve ever made for myself career-wise.

    Amid I understand your skepticism, but you should have tried contacting the school to see what they are offering before just basing your opinion on numbers and the assumption that they are just charging a “celebrity surcharge” for the Pixar name. I think you would see that it’s well worth the price of admission. And then some. And if not, then hey, at least you would have had an informed opinion.

  • anim girl

    I am one of Michal’s former students. In my opinion, $1900 is more than a fair price to have him as a teacher.Besides that price being comparable to Animation Mentor or IAnimate with a smaller class size and in person mentoring, I will tell you why.
    Being good at animation doesn’t necessarily make you a good teacher. Not only is he a gifted animator, but he is a gifted teacher as well. That combination is key.He pushes you. He explains why something is working, and why something isn’t. If one of your acting choices isn’t working, he won’t spoon feed you what to do, but he encourages you to explore different options. He takes the time to point out little things, that before having him as a mentor, I didn’t even know to look out for. You get to see him work and him telling you why he made that particular choice . He cares. He’s obviously passionate about teaching, and it shows.
    I have been working professionally for over two years now. It might be a coincidence, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found out the guy sitting across from me had Mike for a teacher as well. Small world.

  • Fernando

    I’m a former student of Makarewicz and I’ve seen accredited art schools that stress they have teachers A and B that worked in several well-known animation companies, but forget to mention that a lot of others don’t before you enroll- and it can be very frustrating.

    Is not an accredited university, but hey, you have the certainty that all instructors have great experience under their belt.

    they are also very passionate about teaching animation. I’ve seen lectures by some of the animC teachers that showed how passionate they where in they’re craft and in inspiring students. That is invaluable.

    Not to forget you are dealing daily with people who run the school. Never underestimate lack of bureaucracy :).

  • wgan

    feel like gold digging, although that 1/10…0 might get the real gold in the end.
    don’t like this flood of animation schools at all.

  • http://www.synchrolux.com Kevin Koch

    It’s probably misleading to say that many of the greatest animators were self taught. Most of those great ‘self-taught’ animators started as assistants and learned on the job from working animators. Yes, there are a handful who figured it out for themselves, and with the many amazing animation blogs and teaching material available now, it’s never been easier to do that. But few people have the drive and the innate talent to teach themselves, and few studios today offer true apprentice or assistant positions. Passion is important, but it isn’t sufficient to make it in this game.

    It’s also silly to compare the Animation Collaborative to what Bill Plympton did (wasn’t that a one-shot course, for 15 students?). A better comparison might be to look at the cost and success rates of many of the bricks-and-mortar art schools that charge $25-30 grand a year, and after 4 years leave a student with a general (and generally inadequate) animation skill set, a six-figure student loan debt, and few job offers. What Andrew et al. are offering (like Animation Mentor, where I teach) is focused instruction by working pros, and has proven to be cost effective and successful. I’m sure their classes are already full, and I doubt they’ll have many students asking for refunds later on.

  • Kevin V (no vowels)

    Everyone with negative comments (and other curious readers) –

    Amid, and everyone who is knocking this, hasn’t attended one of these classes. You simply have only your own thoughts and opinions, which is fine. But let me tell you, that you only THINK you know what the Animation Collaborative is all about, but you don’t really KNOW. I visited the workshop last week. I live in Chicago but am in animation school right now so I was interested in what they were doing over there. I stopped by just to check it out, poke my head in on a workshop that was going on and ask a few questions. I have first hand experience of what the class is like compared to the education I am currently getting. Here are my thoughts:

    1) The workshop is amazing. It was the first day of class when I was there so each person brought in their demo reels. Mike went through each person’s demo reel, shot by shot, frame by frame, and walked them through the issues he saw, what was working, what their strengths were, drew directly onto their work using his tablet and then gave them an INDIVIDUAL assignment catered to them to help them get better at what they needed to: body mechanics, acting, etc. He even asked them, “what do you want to focus on? what do you want to get out of this workshop?” So it’s not just about what THEY want to teach you. It’s about what YOU want to learn and they give you what you want. It’s incredible. I’ve never seen that kind of individual attention anywhere.

    Now, I should say, this is just how 1 class was set up. I did not experience other teachers and each workshop/class and teacher may be different. But from what I understand, it’s all about the individual attention each student gets. No other school offers this. That isn’t to say you should quit school and go there. But every animator should have an attitude of a lifelong student…always wanting to learn. And these guys, with their various years of experience, can teach to a wide range of student skills…beginners, intermediate and advance.

    2) The price is completely justified considering what you’re getting. You have to understand, they are renting a building, with utilities and food and furnishings in the SF Bay area…EXPENSIVE! I went there and I can tell you that the place looks great, set up just like dailies at an animation studio (this is how the workshops are ran, really) and they are NOT in this for the money. You can hear it in their voices the passion of why they are doing this: to give back to the animation community. Let them teach willing animators just as they were taught or mentored by someone before. Andrew was Mike’s mentor and now they are in this together. It’s amazing. And honestly an incredibly, humble and inspiring thing they are doing. How can you judge or try to justify the price so negatively, when you haven’t even researched them beyond their Facebook page? Before even talking to them? Take it from me, someone who has attended a workshop ever so briefly, that the Animation Collaborative workshops are worth every penny and then some. If they wanted to rip you off, they would be charging way more.

    3) At The Animation Collaborative you are learning from some of the best animators in the world. You can feel however you want about Pixar or their movies, but there is no way you can make an intelligent argument about their animators sucking. They just don’t. Maybe you didn’t like a particular movie or story or elements of a story, but the animation is some of THE best out there by any studio. Say what you will, critics, about Cars 2…the animation was beautiful and flawless. I personally loved Cars 2 because as an aspiring animator, making a car move like they do in that movie, even for an advanced animator, is a challenge. Look at Aaaron Hartline’s blog (aaronhartline.blogspot.com) to read about how he struggled to learn how to animate a car. These guys are professionals in the industry. How can you pass up?

    4) A certificate? If you want a degree or a certificate to hang above your desk, I’ll make you one. It will be pretty. But a lot students attending Animation Mentor, and every single person at the workshop last week, had some sort of school background or certificate. And you know what? They still weren’t working at a major studio. That is exactly why they are going to this workshop or they attend Animation Mentor. They don’t need that certificate to get a job…they need a damn good demo reel and a lot of animation schools aren’t letting students focus on character animation. Students come out of school and have a certificate but are only just ‘ok’ at character animation and ‘ok’ at rigging and ‘ok’ at set design. This workshop will allow a student to focus on what they need and IF a student is serious and wants to put in the time and effort to learn from these animators at the workshop, their demo reels will get better and they will advance in this industry. Whether that takes 1 term’s workshop or going back for 3 or 4 more, it doesn’t matter. A good animator is a lifelong student.

    Although I am currently a student at Animation Mentor, I have a business and teaching degree. But right now, I am doing everything I can to find a job out in San Francisco (I’m a marketing and event planner) so I can go and take these workshops to advance my skills. It’s a necessity for me to be able to continue to learn and fine tune my demo reel. I truly feel like The Animation Collaboration will be the best place for me to do this and set me up for success at studios when I show them my demo reel. Their workshops don’t guarantee me a job at Pixar or any other studio, I will have to work hard and prove myself through my work that I deserve to work for a major animation studio…and one day I will.

    Lastly, this past weekend, I was at a BBQ for Animation Mentor and I told dozens of students about The Animation Collaborative. Some knew about, but I was surprised at how many DIDN’T know about it. They were all excited to hear about it and popped onto their iPhones to check out their FB page. There is huge excitement around this and it has the potential to be huge. I’m going to keep promoting it as much as I can to drive students their way. So you can go ahead and knock it before you actually know everything about it, or you could actually go out and learn more about what they actually do behind those doors and then make your own judgement. Sadly, if you decide to make a quick judgement like some of you already have, you will be the sorry ones who are missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime. They didn’t have to set up this workshop. They didn’t have to share their skills and help aspiring animators advance their own. But they did. They came outside the walls of Pixar and they are giving back. How dare any of you judge otherwise. You’re entitled to your opinion, but get your facts straight first so your opinion has intelligent reasoning behind it.

    See some of you at The Animation Collaborative some day…I won’t stop until I get there :)

    • Jim (A Fellow Animation Mentor Student)

      Comment of the week! Very well said!

      Just seeing what you’ve written here makes me want to attend the collaborative even more.

  • Beans

    Woaaaaah! Albert Lozano is teaching a class. I’m so there! Sign me Up!

  • Minyoung

    I am a former student of Michal Makarewicz.
    His endless passion about animation and teaching inspired me every single class. It was such a great opportunity taught by somebody who inspired me, so I can’t wait to animate. Go AnimC!!!! ;D

  • Out of work Grad

    I went to the Academy of Art, now look at me! I wish I just grabbed a mentor, met some animators for coffee, read a few good animation books, and head for LA!

    Stay away from Sallie Mae and AES!! You can’t afford to go to school, don’t go.

    I did get a good education and learned a lot, but that was because I pushed myself to learn more than what they were teaching.

    The Academy of Art pumped “Pixar”, and “Dreamworks” in my head on the daily basis. Here’s a fact: These major companies are looking for pro’s with 5 to 10 years of feature experience in the field. They WILL not hire you out of school, it’s possible, but rare. Try to intern however. It’s better to work on television for a few years, then maybe 7 years in they’ll let you in.

    But I don’t recommend the Academy of Art for a degree. I would only take some courses there now. They have storyboarding Cintiq classes with some good pro’s.
    DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

    Yes I would pay for the classes however. Sounds reasonable.

  • Ting

    Hi Amid and Cartoon Brew readers,

    I was one of Michal’s student in the past classes, and through personal experience, I will be extremely honest about how I feel about it. I am not into kissing up or lying, and no, Michal didn’t point a gun in my head to write these and I am entirely sincere about it.

    I think it was worth it, and some of my best learning experience ever. The goal of the class is to help students get better.. And hard as I try to self learn and study, it was not easy. When I finally got to attend the class, Michal helped me saw a lot of things differently, I had a better understanding where to go with my work than before in terms of technicalities, and am amazed at a lot of things taught that I never thought of before. I have learned how to animate faster too through extremely simple assignments.

    My peers were improving at amazing speed through the workshops, with many of them landing on a job upon graduation at the end. And these are students that gets job without even needing the teachers recommending them to other studios, it’s the student’s reel work that got them in. The result does show. There was no kiss up required, it was pure quality teachings and results. No bull.

    Aside from that, having 8 students in a 3 hour class, gives us at least about 20 minutes or more time for each student, which honestly is extremely rare to find in schools now. For 20 minutes we get to explore every idea possible for our work, actually sit there and act it out, and there was no sense of rushing at all. The teachers take their time to discuss ideas, critique, and to answer question. It’s an extremely relaxing and friendly environment. We get guest speakers, screenings of documentaries and lectures before. The teachers also constantly try and make sure the students get their money worth, by asking us what do we want for lectures, who we want as guest speakers, and such to make the class an even better experience for us. They are sincere and is open to our suggestion. We have a lot of other learning activities too aside from just critiques. And a lot of these activities requires us to be on site to really do it.

    Main point is, the students would enroll into these classes as they see fit, and if they feel it is worth it/ can afford it. So Amid, if you don’t feel it’s worth the money, that is fine.. :) You are entitled to your opinion as you aren’t one of the aspiring animation students out there to begin with…?
    For those who are students that are really plain eager just to learn how to animate better, I can vouch for the quality of the teachings. I had a good time at Academy of Art as our MFA Director is great, but without Jean-Denis Haas and Michal, I wouldn’t be able to animate half as well in 3D as where I am today.

    I believe learning from different teachers is important too. Those who can’t afford it, there’s always cheaper option, no need to trash the Spline Doctors, seriously. You just pay what you feel your money is worth. I’m more grateful they opened these classes up for there are students who really need it in the bay area.

    The Spline doctors are just some of the industry’s best animators out there and are also pure amazing teachers. So if you can go for it, definitely go for it. You wouldn’t regret it. :)

    Sincerely,
    -Ting.

  • Mikey

    I for one think it’s a blessing that the Pixar crew are taking time out of their busy schedule to sprinkle some “movie magic” on us normal folks.Toys that come alive when their owner isn’t present-that idea alone is totally outrageous and was a true game changer.

    • http://monsterrig.blogspot.com/ joe micallef

      Are you referring to Raggedy And and Andy?

    • Lilo

      “Normal folks????” Look, I love most Pixar movies too, but Pixar employees have tantrums, get sick, and pee/poop like the rest of us. We already have enough problems as a society of people needlessly fellating celebrities (both metaphorical and otherwise). Don’t throw animation workers, no matter what studio they work at, no matter how good they are, into that pot. Your sense of inferiority to them is unnecessary; if you work hard like they do, you could be one of them.

  • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ teodor

    I will disappoint someone,
    I had only Cartoon animation/not Film cartoons/ by Preston Blair, local book ‘School of cartoon’/free translation/ book by Borivoj Dovnikovic/ and fear of bad work.

    I work for 18 years

    • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ teodor

      My comment here is to encourage those who can not afford to attend these schools for any reason.

  • hannaH

    wow

    jeez, stop whining. Who cares about accreditation?
    I began studying under Mike Makarewicz in 2009 and the truth is I barely learned anything of value before him. Take a class with these guys and then decide if it’s “worth it”.

  • Bruce

    I think the prices are fine for the workshops (I’d push them higher though). Especially for the small class size and experienced instruction. In fact the whole ‘animation school market’ could use a price bump! There are WAY to many animators on the market these days. Has anyone cared to look at AWN’s list of animation schools? There are over 1160 listed…market saturation is not a good thing.

  • eeteed

    and the idea of john lasseter being chauffeured around in a limo is ridiculous.

    he drives his own car just like everyone else.

    and here’s his car:

    http://www.moller.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=57

    • Mike

      Bravo, sir. Bravo.

  • Mike Konczewski

    I’m not an animator, just an animation fan, but I’d like to point out that $1800 for a multi week workshop in anything is cheap. For example, the cost for a two day NFPA (the group that develops national fire codes) is $675. This doesn’t include travel, lodging or food. A one day class for LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) certification is $295. By comparison, these Pixar classes break down to between $160 to $200 per week.

  • Mike

    $1400 for 8 weeks or $1900 for 13 weeks is less than $200 a week. Compare this to workshops in other field ($695 for a 2 day NFPA (nationl fire code) workshop, or $295 for a one day LEED workshop), and it seems in line to me.

  • Luke

    That price doesn’t bother me much in comparison to CalArts, not like it could replace a CalArts degree. I suppose it could replace the debt…but not the degree

  • bones

    From what I’ve heard about Pixar’s wages I’m not surprised.

  • Meghana

    I was privileged to be mentored under Mike twice ..He is the best teacher I have ever come across and one of those very few, who can critique a bouncing ball assignment with the same passion as any advanced Animation clip!.His workshops which also comprise of live demos ,lectures, guest speakers – I feel it has everything an animation student needs to absorb!Its gold! Just go for it!!

  • Richie G.

    Bottom line is this:
    if you want to spend double that amount of money to go to an “accredited” school and learn half as much about animation by all means waste your money. The VALUE of these classes is much more about the REASON THEY WERE HIRED at Pixar, which is their mastery of animation, and not simply the fact that they work there. I have been taking classes with Michal Makarewicz for a few months now and I can honestly say I learned more about animating in 3 MONTHS than I did in the 4 YEARS I spent earning my Bachelor’s of Art at an accredited University.

    Amid, I realize it’s very easy to make a such superficial comments about the Animation Collaborative having never taken a class with them (especially for someone who can never seem to write anything positive if Pixar is the topic), but without these classes I could never have even hoped to get a job in animation. Their passion and willingness to share their knowledge and workflows is priceless to me.

  • chaucer

    You don’t actually learn anything till your first job

    1st interview

    - “We’d like to offer you a job as an animator!”

    - “Wow, this is going to be amazing, can’t wait to start animating!”

    1st day on job

    -”Clean up this mo-cap……oh it has to be done by tomorrow”

  • http://www.jeffsimonetta.com Jeff Simonetta

    I know that Andrew Gordon came to our school a few years ago. The serious students who attended his masterclasses had their eyes opened and they now have some great animation jobs. Our school rarely has people go off to big named places too. Talking to the students who attended, I still hear them refer and pull knowledge from his lecture/workshop years after. Unfortunately I wasn’t attending the school at the time and missed the boat.

    knowledge > piece of paper

    You can’t really put a price on it, but if you learn a lot it is worth it.

  • David Rodriguez

    I attended the animation workshop before it became the collaborative, (feb-may 2011) and had Michal Makerawicz as a mentor. Mike is one of the most gifted teachers I have ever encountered. Taking his classes was amazing and the best learning experience I could of imagined. The only reason I am not still in his class is because I got a job in the industry.

    I am also a graduate from Animation Mentor and am a massive supporter of what they are doing as well. I don’t think disparaging a new group of insanely talented people who are trying to educate others is fair or even sensible. I am a student of animation and I think The Animation Collaborative is one of the most amazing places one can go to learn animation.

    As for the price, its cheaper that brick and mortar private schools, and at the Collaborative you are getting taught by people who are some of the best in the world, and who are insanely passionate about teaching and animation. Seriously I recommend the Animation Collaborative to anyone who wants to learn animation and is in the bay area. It will rock your world!

  • Irena

    I’m also one of Mike’s previous students and here’s my two cents.

    What’s being offered here isn’t general education – it’s a skill, and a pretty narrow skill at that. What you’re paying is for someone to train you in this specific skill. How good a teacher is, is always something you should research, no matter if it’s a traditional school or a tutor or mentor.

    14 weeks is enough time for you to absorb what you can from Mike so that your animation has a good foundation with glimmerings of greatness in it. After all, Mike won’t make you a great animator, YOU will make you a great animator.

    You will also be in a class surrounded by people who passionately want the same thing you do and who will one day be your peers in the industry. And, one day you will be judged by these people and other professionals. THAT is your accreditation.

    Mike is a really good animator, and he is a very good teacher. As everyone knows, those two things aren’t always connected, so in that respect, you really are getting your money’s worth. Others have already told you a little bit of why they think he’s a great teacher, and I agree, but really, you’ll have to see for yourself.

  • http://MrFun'sBlog Floyd Norman

    I think it’s great these guys are willing to share their knowledge. We benefited from special classes in the old Disney days back in the fifties. Lucky for us, the company picked up the tab.

    In any case, I see nothing wrong with the Pixar instructors making a few bucks. Their knowledge is certainly worth something, don’t you think?

  • looniINmiami

    Right across from Pixar! how cool is that!

  • James

    I’ve taken a class with at least one of these teachers, and all I can say is it’s worth it. You can trust me when I say if you pay that much money for his class and you’re not serious about it, you’ll regret it big time. If you are serious, you’ll become more than just a better animator. You’ll look at everything with an analytical eye, you’ll make sure that your animation is more than just a bunch of moving images, and you’ll learn how to tell better stories. I don’t doubt that there will also be some neat surprises along the way. The only difference between the class I took and the one they’re offering over at the collaborative is that the collaborative classes are about 5 grand cheaper. If you really want that degree though, I’d recommend spending the extra cash at CCA about 10 minutes away from the collaborative. It’s still a budding new program, but they have a whole building full of sweet animation folks from several different backgrounds and mindsets, and the department gets bigger and better every year.

    That said, if you don’t have the cash, and you’re a passionate animator. Just don’t stop animating. Surround yourself with like-minded people that you can bounce ideas and work off of, get your stuff out there, on youtube, vimeo, 11secondclub, etc. learn how to take critiques in an open and mindful way and apply that feedback to your future animations. If you don’t get your work out there and all you have is your own perspective it really is tough (not impossible) to get better so keep pushing and “show early and often” because the people with the passion aren’t always the people with the money, but we don’t have to let it stop us.

  • joey

    I am currently taking workshops at the AnimC and have taken a workshop with Mike Makarewicz in the past. Everyone has their own way of learning, so there is no one way that is best. But for me, personally, taking these workshops has been the best experience in terms of learning animation. The fact that the AnimC isn’t an accredited school is one of main reasons why it’s so great! This allows the workshops to be more organic and almost tailored to the needs of the individual student. But the key stone, and real reason why this thing works and will continue to be successful, is the teachers teaching it. These are real teachers that also happen to be crazy good animators. Their generosity with their time and eagerness to make sure that students are learning the most that they can speaks volumes. Never once have I ever felt like I was being taken advantage of or not getting my money’s worth. If anything I feel bad for not tipping. The time and efforts that Mike and others have put into the AnimC and are still putting into it goes to show that they aren’t in it for the money or any of the other nonsense.

  • Anonymus

    I appreciate the animation collaborative and am grateful that they’re trying to help students who were condemned by the shitty instructors at AAU.

    • michaelhughes

      Before I went to CalArts instead, I considered AAU and in their materials, and their shuttle bus tours of their exploded campus, they really touted that they had pixar people teaching some classes there.

  • http://www.AnimationPhysics.com Alej Garcia

    This may be an apples/oranges comparison but according to the SF Chronicle the annual cost of going to a California State University campus (like San Jose State, where I teach) will be $6,420 next year. For that price you get about eight courses, each lasting 15 weeks. If you complete all the requirements then after a few years you get certified as a college graduate. The classes certainly aren’t small but the faculty are (mostly) dedicated.

    Again, this isn’t meant to be a direct comparison with Animation Collaborative, Animation Mentor, or any other program. There are clearly many, many differences. But since much of this thread was discussing costs and prices I thought I’d add this data for perspective. The question of *value* is far more difficult to answer.

  • http://art-candy.blogspot.com/ Andrea

    You know… people are saying you don’t need a “certificate” to get a job… But I have had animation companies ask me to send them a copy of mine. And to work out of the country you live in often requires a degree to jump hoops through the process of aquiring a visa. As far as I understand it, having at least some sort of education is a requirement for most studios. I imagine it’s possible to get a job without an education but it’s not easy.

    • TheDude

      It makes it easier if you have degree to get a visa, but if you’re really good and the company in question vouches for you, you’ll get it w/o certificate

  • http://mayberabies.blogspot.com Raven M.

    Man if I lived there, I would totally do this. I saw so many people (including myself) waste time and lots and lots and LOTS of money on AI schools. Dude, they had a classical painter teaching us Character Design.. Never in the course of his entire life did he ever design a character. He didn’t even appear to like animation… Very talented oil painter, but holy cow. Under 2 grand to be taught by actual animators? I’d snap that up in a second.

  • Soffe

    Having a classical art degree before enrolling in one of these workshops will put your portfolio in a place where this kind of refinement will be of real value to you.

  • Billy

    I am currently in a workshop at the Animation Collaborative and it is an absolutely amazing experience. I can validate other student’s comments by saying the environment and instruction is truly ‘collaborative’ in every definition of the word. The instructors encourage an open forum, where everyone contributes to each others work, as every idea is taken into consideration. Also, extra time is taken to make sure we completely understand exactly what we need to focus on moving forward. These guys show up to the workshops early and stay late to make sure each individual gets the specific instruction they deserve. What “celebrity” do you know, who would EVER do something like that for their students? The fact is they are regular people with full time jobs and families to go home to, who just happen to love teaching animation as well. I have had the privilege to learn from Andrew Gordon as well as a few other Pixar artists in the recent past and my experience has been completely awesome. Their genuine passion for education was present at another school, just as it is at the AnimC. Let’s face it…there are people who only focus on the negative aspect of things. While there are some who try to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Which is precisely what these guys are trying to do. And if they make a few bucks in the process….well, good for them!!! Money well earned. I mean…isn’t income one of many factors why we work (like writing books about Pixar) in the first place. I am proud to be part of the Animation Collaborative and feel extremely lucky to learn from such talented and devoted animators.

  • http://blog.navone.org Victor Navone

    If I may offer my thoughts:
    Michal and Andrew have put this institution together for the right reasons: because they love animation, they love to teach, and they wanted the freedom to explore new educational possibilities. AnimC is not meant to replace traditional schools (or even Animation Mentor) or offer a complete animation curriculum. It’s a highly specialized, customized workshop where students can learn what they want to learn and teachers can teach what they want to teach. It’s a big win for all involved. I don’t think any right-minded student would presume that this is a gateway to a job at Pixar, but it sure as hell is going to improve your animation dramatically.

  • http://www.jamaalbradley.com Jamaal Bradley

    I think this is good idea. If you can go to a place and have one on one access to a professional, it makes a big difference. If you can afford it….do it. You are not guaranteed a job no matter what school or extra education you get. Try your hardest to be better than you are and take advantage of opportunities…I think thats all that needs to be said.

    All the best to you guys!

    -JB

  • The Quiet Voice

    I’ll say what I’m really thinking, perhaps without full regard for all these talented professionals providing all these great learning opportunities and avenues into the industry. Again, this is very broad and not just focused on the Animation Collaborative, but this whole subsidiary industry in general.

    We’re all for teaching, passing on our knowledge and helping others, but shouldn’t we also be addressing the elephant in the room?

    Animation Mentor, iAnimate.net, Jason Ryan Animation VTS, Keith Lango VTS, Richard Williams DVD Master class, Don Bluth Online, Bill Plimpton, John Kricafalusi, Animatedbuzz.com, The Animation Collaborative and ALL of the various Universities & College Animation Degrees & Diplomas (there are 100’s) out there on top of that, as well as the one off DVD tutorials & books, etc.

    It seems that everyone & their uncle is teaching animation these days and that’s both great and worrying at the same time.

    Why? Because with so many people teaching, offering video tutorials, running workshops, tutoring at a College or Academy course or privately offering tutoring & reviews themselves, what is this really saying about the wider health of our industry and about the money we make as animators? Is tutoring a prospect that students should seriously be looking at for the sake of their financial future as animators? I hope not, & definitely not right out of any College gate.

    Perhaps I’m overblowing this, because from the perspective of an individual it’s smart to grow another arm in revenue while also offering a service where you’re teaching your passion. Hell that’s a great idea!
    That is until you turn around to see recent grads and practically ex-students walking into tutoring positions at your local College course, joining an online pool of mentors, running their own workshops or making their own tutorials etc. This phenomenon is both unsettling and unfair to current students as everything is at the risk of becoming too inbred.

    The problem isn’t with any one of these animation education services, as they’re all truly great to have. The concern is that with all these students learning animation this will lead to a point where at least some of them are going to use the animation tutor bandwagon as a means of coping in the industry, and that would be more detrimental than beneficial for everyone involved.

    This may not be happening to such an extent within any of the more reputable institutions or services, but I can assure you that it’s happening more broadly than you might think and in more places than just the ones you may be aware of.

    The Animation Collaborative is undoubtedly a good thing and I wish everyone involved all the best and thank them for their time & effort in setting it up.

    These are just some quiet thoughts on some of the things about this subsidiary animation industry as a whole that should perhaps be addressed by all of us.

    • Bren

      Amen to that.
      Look here’s more…

      Vancouver Animation Online School

      Frame by Frame – Online Animation School

      Redefining Animation Through Online Schools
      (Bizarre video with creepy robot voice narration)

      The Best Online Animation School
      (Another bizarre video also with creepy robot voice narration)

      • Bruno

        Bren,

        You can’t include Canadian Schools here, they are simply the best.

        Every canadian institution like Vancouver Animation School (www.vanas.ca) Vanarts (www.vanarts.com) Vancouver Film School (www.vfs.com) Think tank training center (www.tttc.ca) and more… are ACCREDITED schools AND regulated by the Canadian Government.

        These Canadian schools are awesome and are not “business attempts” or temporary workshops.

        It seems that in the US there’s all these guys opening companies with the word “school” as part of their business name, however they are not and that is deceiving an unprofessional.

        On the other hand I do see the need for the artists to make money on the side, let’s hope they are planning for the students their best future.

        Which brings me again to Canadian Schools, the students are protected by the Canadian government, meaning that if the school flakes out, the government kicks in and forces the school to deliver the program or a pretty good refund.

  • Kendra

    I’m sick of these ridiculous, biased articles. I used to have some respect for Cartoon Brew, but I’m definitely going to be looking elsewhere for my animation related news from now on.

    For what it’s worth, I think this is a great idea, and I know the people who attend these classes will benefit greatly from these animators. Keep it up, guys.

    • Bruno

      I agree, this is so biased!

  • Q

    I am a former student of Michal’s

    Everybody already said what I want to say about this article – Amid I don’t think you know what you’re talking about here.

    the things I’ve learned from Michal’s classes are priceless. I’ve never had such passionate, understanding, patient teacher in my life. I’ve even seen him many times taking his own time to help the students who are struggling to understand certain things, He really cares about his students, not to mention the quality of education they are providing is off the chart.

    Whatever price they charge for the classes, I do believe it’s more than worth it.

  • http://jushers.blogspot.com Jushy

    Jeez, Amidi, you have a really bad habit for startin drama…

  • Bruno

    And please stop using Pixar as part as your achievements/name/introduction.

    Unfortunately if any of these pixar artists leave pixar they are nobody. This is not to diminish or criticize their efforts or talent or participation at pixar, however please be respectul to Pixar!, in fact… Pixar should be regulating you guys from using their name.

    This is why Bill Plympton is a truly independent and a great example to follow, he has build his own name, brand,etc.