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Report – Tips and Hits from Animated Women

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 3:36pm by Monica Siegenthaler

In spite of its longevity, the animation industry has only recently seen significant numbers of women entering the field behind the camera. This panel of female leaders in the industry spoke of challenges they have faced in their careers and the importance of bravery in the industry.

Takeaway:

  • While the number of women in the industry has grown (reaching 50% in certain fields), women still need to be supported – especially by other women.
  • When in the process of recruiting it’s about looking outside the box and not hiring where you are familiar.
  • Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there -“If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” – (Georgina Hurcombe, LoveLove Films)

Detail:

The session was kicked off by Changemaker: Anna Hollinrake, a game artist from BAFTA. Anna spoke about the glamorised pain of working in the industry and how many artists and producers from all over the industry feel that ‘if [I] don’t work constantly, I’m a failure’. Anna also stressed the point that we as an industry need to identify how to better promote self-care so as to make this field sustainable for people work in.

Session host Beth Parker, who is a senior manager for the Disney Channel, turned the conversation to the panelists. She asked them questions about how they got their start, how the industry has changed over time, what struggles women still face, and above all, for their individual Wonder Woman mantra.

Sarah Fell, an Executive Producer at Turner Broadcasting, shared her journey of moving from being an artist to a producer. In producing she found the space to not compromise on her artistic expression and be inspired by the visions on the other. She stated that a turning point for her was choosing to attend a masters programme at NFTS. Sarah commented on how the industry was very ‘male heavy’ when she entered. Now it has grown to be 50% women more or less and this was achieved over time. “With time you can really change things.”

Rebecca Hobbs, a freelance writer emphasised the importance of feeling the fear… and then doing it anyway. She shared her experiences when she had been in secure positions at different points in time and then taking a risk to do something else. Rebecca explained that you shouldn’t spend years climbing the ladder only to find it was leaning against the wrong wall.

Georgina Hurcombe, the Managing Director/Producer at LoveLove Films, shared her first failure and how it led to her starting her own company. Georgina mentioned the importance of networks such as  Animated Women UK, and putting yourself out there – “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”

JoAnne Salmon is an Animator at LoveLove Films. She spoke on importance of building up the confidence over time and the difficulty of trying to break into the industry. JoAnne said more women in the industry means more women to look up to. It’s important to be a worthy example.

All the panelists agreed that as a woman in the industry you can sometimes feel like an imposter, a fraud. They emphasised the importance of looking in the mirror and reminding yourself that you are working hard, you do deserve a break sometimes, and you are worth it.

Monica Siegenthaler

About the author

Monica Siegenthaler

Mills College, California, Graduate

Monica is a recent graduate from Mills College in California with a masters in Early Child Education. She holds two other degrees, one in Early Child Development and another in Theatre and Film Design. Monica has a special interest in children’s media and technology and has made it the focus… Read more

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