The Accelerate report attempts to map the changing landscape of contemporary creative animation and its practitioners, who are engaged in extraordinarily diverse activities, across and between the arts and the creative media industries. The findings will help inform the creation of Animate’s new professional development programme, Accelerate Animation, for independent, creative animators working across a broad range of cultural and commercial practice.
The report includes the findings of a survey that asked animators about their practice and their development needs and profiles based on interviews with 22 animators and producers that evidence the wide range of different organisation – studios, collectives, partnerships, and individuals – that comprise the sector.
Our findings highlight a complex sector with a highly skilled workforce of animators that is making a substantial contribution – with public and economic value – to the creative industries and culture of the UK, but which, in the absence of public policy, strategy and investment, finds itself isolated and struggling to sustain or develop.
Traditional models of production, practice and career have changed, with animators working for new platforms, in different commercial and artistic contexts, in studios, as freelancers, and in partnerships and collectives.
It is a skilled workforce, but post-graduation support for practice and professional development can be hard to locate and what support does exist is often general rather than focused on the particular or specialist needs. By far the most substantial barrier to enable people to develop independent, creative projects is a lack of funding for independent work. Animators are enjoying creative, commercial and critical success through a very broad range of activities, across commercial and cultural projects, in the UK and internationally, but without institutional recognition and support this is proving unsustainable.
Animators are locally networked, but the sector lacks a national framework and voice.
The Accelerate report identifies three related areas as immediate priorities:
• Knowledge and network
finding ways to enable the sector to consolidate, harness, develop, strengthen and extend existing networks; forging links between communities, organisations, higher education, exhibitors, and with audiences.
• Developing skills and talent
initiatives that enable established and experienced parts of the sector to more readily share experience; opportunities for people to develop their creative and business skills, particularly through independent projects; learning from the approaches taken in other sectors.
a voice for the sector that can promote greater understanding about its work, its public, cultural and economic value; to lobby for recognition of independent, creative animation, in public policy, strategy and investment; to more effectively engage audiences with the work of animators through public events and online platforms.
“The dots need to be joined. Until they are, independent, thriving
animation has no hope in the UK”. Survey response
We need to work collaboratively and in partnership to deliver these objectives, and Animate Projects has secured funding from Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts programme for some initial networking, knowledge sharing and lab activities through spring 2014.
We will work in partnership with existing networks and harness the experience and expertise of Animation Alliance UK members. And we will continue to seek dialogue with public bodies with a remit for support of creative media practice production, skills development and training, most particularly Arts Council England, BFI, Creative England, Creative Skillset and Cultural & Creative Skills.