Monday, October 04, 2010

Where Studios are Located

I've recently learned of two very interesting interactive maps. One locates computer animation studios and the other gaming studios. There may be an overlap between them.

There are obvious benefits to these sites for anyone trying to find a job. However, not everyone realizes the repercussions of various locations until they've experienced them.

I'm not talking about specific cities, but I am talking about studio density. Depending on where someone is in his or her career, density makes a big difference.

The problem with low density locations (i.e. with just one or two studios) is that if you get laid off or a studio closes, you have to relocate in order to continue working in the industry. This is what happened to people in Arizona when Fox closed it's studio, to people in Florida when Disney closed there, and to people in Portland when Laika laid off the crew after Coraline.

This isn't much of a problem for people who are unattached, but it becomes a much larger problem once people form romantic relationships and have children. Uprooting other people in pursuit of one's own career can create powerful resentments.

As a result, people tend to flock to those areas with half a dozen or more studios, so that if they have to change jobs, they don't have to relocate. Of course, it means that people starting their careers often have an easier time finding work in the smaller centers as it is harder to entice people to move there.

Regardless of where you might be in your career, these maps may prove useful.


JPilot said...

Density of city/studios is only one small factor in why people move around from country to country for work. You may have a good position in a large city with a large contingent of studios on high profile films with successful box office, at the end of a project, that successful studio can still tell you to not let the door slam you on the derriere even though there is much more work coming down the pike. Other times, moving around is the only way to keep advancing in your carreer. Once you sta put geographically, your carreer may take a downward turn. That's why a lot of high positions are filled by perpetual professional nomads building a stellar resume while the family oriented workers keep losing ground where they stand.
You can put as many years of experience on grand project and have an impressive body of work in your resume. As long as you're moving, you're thriving. Once you set roots, you're winding down.
Salmons keep swimming upstream, the other fish find whatever falls at the bottom of the river.

dwilson said...

Mark, thanks for the links. Regardless of the last person's comments I'm a family man looking to create some stability and be involved in some great work. Thanks for the pointers about relocating and job pooling.


David B. Levy said...

JPilot raises some good points. Although I wouldn't simplify the argument quite to that degree. Working at different studios, by traveling to other cities or by working at several studios in the same industry hub city, does grow one's contacts and experiences.

A person who stays put in one place runs the risk of getting too comfortable. And, comfort has never been a friend of ambition. Add to this that you are seldom a hero in your own backyard, meaning that any of your successes while working for a long term stint at a company belong to the whole company. Its often only outside studios that will put your contributions in better perspective and give you the credit you deserve.

BUT, a person working a long time job can reap some of the benefits of a traveling worker, IF they continue to pursue their own artistic endeavors such as making an indie film.

Anonymous said...

There's a heck of a lot of missing studios in that map. Thank god there's a lot more than 2 in NZ (both the listed ones are weta), and 1 in Melbourne.

Paige Halsey said...

This is so helpful! Before I saw this I hadn't realized how many studios were in New England, where I'm currently living and graduating from. Thank you so much for posting this!