Monday, November 24, 2008
Posted by Bobby Beck at 11:51 AM
Animation Mentor: State of the Economy
This response was drafted internally here and sent out to folks who were worried about the state of the global economy and how that fared for the entertainment industry. Please, if you are interested, take the time to read this very informative and positive outlook. Even though it was written for Animation Mentor students I think anyone in the animation industry and students at other schools will be able to take comfort in these words. Enjoy!

Dear Animation Mentor Students:

Like you, we’ve been hearing the scary news about the economic downturn and how it is impacting financial markets across the globe.

Some of you have asked us how this is impacting the animation industry and wondered whether or not there will be any jobs available when you graduate.

While we can’t predict the future, there are certain facts that we do know.

1. We have an excellent relationship with the animation industry; film, television, advertising, gaming, and more.
2. We are still receiving requests from studios all around the world for well educated, character animators.
3. There are over 25 games and movies scheduled to be released in 2009 and 39 in 2010 from U.S. based companies alone. This does not include television or advertising.
4. Our alumni enjoy a 78% placement rate. That’s one of the highest in the industry. And we continue to have a department dedicated to creating relationships with new studios to increase that number.

So we feel, the answer is YES – there will be jobs. And now is a great time to get an education and ride out a year of slow growth while the rest of the economy gets back on track.

Now for some Fun Facts that Should Make your Day:

1) According to an October report, titled World Economic Outlook, created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an international organization of 195 member countries established to promote international monetary cooperation, stability and economic growth, we are experiencing a slow down in growth from 5% in 2007, to 3.9% in 2008 and 3% in 2009. Although financial and real estate markets have been hard hit, the balance sheets of non-financial companies in the US and Western Europe look to be a source of resilience for the economy. There is an anticipated recovery of the economy in late 2009.

2) According to an article called Is Your Job Recession Proof? on, employers are still hiring and certain industries not only survive, but thrive in hard times. In fact 32% of those surveyed plan to continue adding staff.

3) Even better news for future animators: the two main industries we work in are virtually recession proof: Gaming and Movies.

4) The movie industry has historically been recession-proof because even during bad times people need entertainment. They still date, spend time with family and friends, and movies at an average price of $7 per ticket are an outstanding entertainment value. After the stock market crash of 1929, attendance levels at movies grew by 58%.

According to John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners in America, in a recent interview in these pages, the numbers don’t lie. “In the past four decades there have been seven recession years in this country, and the box office has climbed strongly in five of those years,” he said. The strongest of those years was the most recent, in 2001, when US box office receipts rose by $650 million. (Source: The Times, October 16, How Will the Recession Affect Film?)

5) Just like movies, games also provide an inexpensive entertainment experience. According to an October 16 article in Reuters, titled Video Game Sales Still Strong, Despite Economic Tough Times, the video game industry is thriving.

Professor of media and technology at NYU Stern, Al Lieberman said although luxuries are often the first to go during tough economic times, the video gaming industry continues to do well.

“There have been many recessions before and there are certain things, certain elements and sections, sectors of the economy that survive straight through and electronic games is one of those," said Lieberman.

Dan Ackerman of CNET.COM said people are turning to video games for
light relief, like they turned to movies, during the Great Depression. "They say that video games are essentially a recession-proof product, kind of like movies were during the Great Depression where people still wanted to be entertained," Ackerman told Reuters.

The industry made 10 billion dollars (USD) last year, and is expected
to make 14 billion annually by the year 2012.

Although there is plenty of bad news to be heard about certain industries, we feel the future of entertainment and gaming continues to be bright. We encourage you to stay focused on your studies and concentrate on becoming the best animator you can be. There will continue to be a demand for great animators as these two recession-proof industries continue to grow.

Best regards and good luck with your studies!

If you have any further questions or concerns we encourage you to contact your student care representative.

The Team at

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