Are Animators In Demand
As an animator, you can find the right place for your services if you know where to look. If Japanese anime is something youre strongly interested in, then, by all means, go for it! Just remember that as an in-between animator , you dont have to work full-time.
Spend the majority of your working hours on projects that provide a stable income, and divide the rest of your hours into more fun projects. This is the long-held way of the freelancer, and it makes it more than possible to support yourself while doing what you love!
Answering The Big Question: How Much Do Animators Get Paid
BLS data lists the 2017 median pay for animators at $70,530 a year. Glassdoor has the national average a bit higher at $74,000. Like many other fields, compensation for animators also depends on experience: it’s not uncommon for senior-level animators or art directors to earn well into six figures.
You should never choose a job based solely on pay, but it’s an important consideration for prospective animation students. Though the field is competitive and employment is often short-term, it’s also growing quickly. If you have the will to work hard and the technical, visual, and communication skills needed to make top-caliber animations, you stand a very good chance of earning a comfortable living as an animator.
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Average Cost Of Anime Episodes
The Media Development Research Institute investigated the costs to make an anime production in 2010, finding several approximate values for 30-minute episodes that cost the U.S. equivalent of $145,214. The script costs about $2,640, episode direction totals $6,600, production costs $26,402 and key animation is around $19,801. Other costs include original work, art backgrounds, photography, sound, materials, editing and printing.
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The Box Office And Merch Sales Supported By The Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Phenomenon
Another outlier in the overall numbers is the huge hit that was Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Demon Slayer-related consumption propped up the entire market. Take, for instance, the box office revenue. Japan’s domestic box office earnings dropped by 45.1%, nearly half the amount from the previous year, but Japanese anime films alone earned 61.7 billion yen . They managed to maintain such a high standard that 2020 represented the third-highest yearly earnings for that sector in history. On its own, accounted for 38.7 billion yen , becoming the top domestic film of all time. 60% of the year’s box office revenue for Japanese anime films came from just one title.
The box office in 2020 was not in a good state overall. films performed well below their yearly average.
Stand By Me Doraemon: $35000000
Unsurprisingly, Stand By Me Doraemon is also pretty high up on this list. Like Space Pirate Captain Harlock, this film also used 3D computer-generated graphics, meaning that its production costs were likely much higher than they would have been with a more traditional animation approach. The film combines several Doraemon stories into one complete narrative, and its release was incredibly successful in Japan. It was the second highest-grossing film in Japan in 2014, following only Frozen. The money spent on production costs seems worth it, if the box office gross is anything to go by.
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In the November 5th issue of Shkan Ty Keizai, which goes on sale Monday in Japan, a special report looks at the balancing act between quality and cost in the Japanese entertainment industry. The anime section of it breaks down the expenses associated with producing a TV anime series. So how much does one episode cost to make?
According to an investigation by Media Development Research Institute Inc., a 30 minute episode of a TV anime in 2010 that totaled 11,000,000 yen consisted of the following expenses:
Original work – 50,000 yen
Script – 200,000 yen
Episode Direction – 500,000 yen
Production – 2 million yen
Key Animation Supervision – 250,000 yen
Key Animation – 1.5 million yen
In-betweening – 1.1 million yen
Finishing – 1.2 million yen
Art – 1.2 million yen
Sound – 1.2 million yen
Materials – 400,000 yen
Printing – 500,000 yen
If you suppose an average episode has 5,000 frames, the price per frame for an in-betweener is 220 yen or just under three bucks, which apparently is a rate that hasn’t really changed much in the past 30 years. Japan Animation Creators Association rep, Osamu Yamasaki, commented , “30 years ago it was said that one person would draw 1,000 frames per month, but now if you can do 500, that’s considered good.” Under these circumstances, it’s no wonder young animators are having trouble making it in the industry.
How Mangaka Get Paid For Their Series And Royalties For Anime
The mangaka for The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., Shuichi Aso, tweeted that he hasnt receivead a single yen of royalties from Saiki K. becoming an anime series, or a game, or the soon to be live-action film. While hes updated that statement now, lets go into what actually goes into a mangakas pay.
Firstly, let break down what Aso-sensei actually said, because some people are going misread what it means. Aso-senpai claims that he hasnt received royalties from the anime, or his characters being featured in video games
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Why Are Japanese Animators Paid So Little
Theres a lot of speculation as to why Japanese animators are paid so little. One theory is that the standard in the industry has long been to make as much a profit as possible. Costs for staff and production are kept low, and any potential revenue is eagerly divided among the studio executives and network. This is further complicated if the anime has been adapted from manga because then the publishing company will receive royalties as well.
In order to maximize their profits, studio executives allot very little salary or budget to the staff behind the anime. This means that key-frame animators have a heavier load on their shoulders, as they are often unable to hire assistants for coloring or other tasks. At first, in-between animators were hired alongside the key-frame animators, but even they were delegated to freelancing and paid significantly less.
With What Do Anime Studios Make The Most Money
This is a complicated question to answer. But one thing is sure, they don´t make a lot of money off the Anime airing on television or on any streaming service!
One big money maker for the Anime Industry is selling DVDs of their shows but it isn´t really the biggest income they have.
I don´t have exact Numbers here but I am going to say, that the most money, like with other American IP´s, is coming from the merchandise. So selling figures, prints and other officially licensed products from the Anime. The money made from merchandise can easily go into the millions, depending on how successful the Anime is.
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The Importance Of International Licensing
It tends to clash with the international fans dont matter narrative people love to peddle, but international licensing has become the life-blood of anime.
In 2015, licensing was the second largest revenue stream for the industry. This includes legal streaming and purchasing localized home video releases.
Licensors dont report the revenue splits , but a portion of it does go back to animation studios.
Other revenue streams for studios include theatrical releases, producing animation for pachinko, and small portions of merchandise sales.
Beginning To Animate Your Anime
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Is It Worth It To Make Your Own Anime
Well, you heard how time-intensive and complicated it is to make an Anime and also how expensive it is to make one. I personally would say: no, it isn´t!
I would stick to just drawing my own Anime illustrations. If you have a story, that you would like to share with the world, then you should start a webcomic or web manga.
It is way less complicated to do and publish than an actual Animated television show or Movie and you can build an audience that way. And who knows, maybe someone will stumble over it and decide to make an Anime TV series out of it.
That is the exact same way, that One Punch Man Started out!
So if you want to learn how to draw anime you can start with my guide on how to draw anime eyes.
How Much Money Do Anime Artists Make
Its a common misconception that anime artists, especially those based in Japan, have some deep wallets. Some certainly do, but in most cases, these artists were the original creators of their series and have struck their gold in royalties and licensing rights.
When it comes to the artists tasked with the nitty-gritty of bringing a show to life, their salaries arent so glamorous. Theres a lot of complexity to the staff and hierarchy of an anime, especially a popular one. This factors in as well. Its also important to consider that anime, in comparison to other animated shows or styles, is much costlier to produce and takes longer.
An episode of anime is produced frame by frame. A single episode may be composed of hundreds or even thousands of frames. A key-frame animator is one of the top positions available. These artists are responsible for the most important snapshots in the episode and the leading frames.
They typically work with lower-level animators, sometimes termed in-between animators. These animators handle the short frames in-between shots to animate the scene. This work is tedious and time-consuming for hand-drawn anime.
Key-frame animators are usually contracted or salaried, but their earnings dont outweigh in-between animators or assistants. Thats true even for some of the most popular animes. Even the biggest names in the industry are paying their artists a minimal amount to save costs. But this begs the question, why?
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The Life Of An Animator Is Brutal And We Shouldnt Take It For Granted
I personally feel like theres a lack of business education when it comes to creators in Japan.
If you create something you naturally own the copyrights and can even charge for it. Or set up a deal where youre paid royalties for your work.
I mean thats what studios do when their sell their licenses to American anime companies.
They charge a fee for the right to distribute their anime worldwide.
So the mindset of animators and artists in Japan needs to change along those lines. And they need to become more savvy.
Either that or they need to get louder and do something about the circumstances. Or else it wont change.
Space Pirate Captain Harlock: $31000000
Space Pirate Captain Harlock is a remake of the manga and TV series of the same name, with a slightly altered storyline to reflect more modern themes and make use of the technology available behind the animation. The film came out in 2013 and used CG graphics, a departure from earlier anime styles. Toei Animation, the production company responsible for the making of the film, exceeded the budgets of any of their previous films with this production. There are always mixed reactions with the use of CG animation, and Captain Harlock was no different, receiving lukewarm reviews from critics.
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Anime Industry Growth But Lack Of Studio Profits
How is that the anime industry posted a record 2 trillion yen revenue line, but anime studios are struggling to pay their artists? Its because the actual anime itself isnt profitable.
The industries three largest revenue streams are merchandising, international licensing, and anime-themed pachinko machines.
The three lowest revenue streams are Japanese home video, Japanese digital distribution, and anime related music sales.
Notice the trend? Auxiliary segments rake in the cash, whereas the anime itself doesnt gross enough for studios.
The challenge is trying to increase these revenue segments, which do have a large piracy rate. This is why so many studios and agency try to educate anime fans about piracy.
Frequently Asked Questions About An Anime Animator Salaries
The national average salary for an Anime Animator is $72,234 per year in United States. Filter by location to see an Anime Animator salaries in your area. Salaries estimates are based on 2153 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by an Anime Animator employees.
The highest salary for an Anime Animator in United States is $133,996 per year.
The lowest salary for an Anime Animator in United States is $38,940 per year.
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How Anime Is Produced
Anime production suffered with the collapse of the Japanese bubble economy in the early ’90s, affecting the rental market anime makers heavily relied on. Because the costs to make an anime episode run anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000, convincing a company to invest that much in one show became difficult. The solution was to form production committees consisting of companies that might benefit from a show, such as DVD publishers, video game companies or record labels looking to promote new artists.
A Public Service Announcement
Of course, Id be remiss if I didnt do the usual PSA that Im sure you have heard before. You wouldnt be reading this obscenely long and boring article if you werent a weeb already. Hey, no shame! Me too. So, if you really enjoy or appreciate anime, please consider supporting the industry with your hard-earned dollars. For example, you can subscribe to legitimate streaming services. You can also purchase your anime instead of torrent-ing it. Or, at least buy 1,000 EROMANGA SENSEI Sagiri body pillows if none of these options are appealing to you.
Another way to show your love is by supporting industry efforts for higher wages, and better working and living conditions. Really, theyre pretty darn depressing.
Furthermore, if the wacky world of anime production interests you, give SHIROBAKO a try. Its literally an anime about making anime. SHIROBAKO follows five friends as they pursue their collective dream of working on an anime together. The 24-episode show chronicles the perilous production of two major Musashino Animation shows. SHIROBAKO treats viewers to the full picture of how an anime is made.
Finally, Id like to end this article with a list of recommended reading for those interested in furthering their understanding of Japanese animation and anime production.
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Animes Slave Labor Problem
Anime is almost entirely drawn by hand. It takes skill to create hand-drawn animation and experience to do it quickly.
Shingo Adachi, an animator and character designer for Sword Art Online, a popular anime TV series, said the talent shortage is a serious ongoing problem with nearly 200 animated TV series alone made in Japan each year, there arent enough skilled animators to go around. Instead, studios rely on a large pool of essentially unpaid freelancers who are passionate about anime.
At the entry level are in-between animators, who are usually freelancers. Theyre the ones who make all the individual drawings after the top-level directors come up with the storyboards and the middle-tier key animators draw the important frames in each scene.
In-between animators earn around 200 yen per drawing less than $2. That wouldnt be so bad if each artist could crank out 200 drawings a day, but a single drawing can take more than an hour. Thats not to mention animes meticulous attention to details that are by and large ignored by animation in the West, like food, architecture, and landscape, which can take four or five times longer than average to draw.
Even if you move up the ladder and become a key-frame animator, you wont earn much, Adachi said. And even if your title is a huge hit, like Attack on Titan, you wont make any of it. Its a structural problem in the anime industry. Theres no dream .
NlSHII Terumi May 11, 2019
How Much Money Do Anime Creators Make
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Making anime seems like a dream job, right? In reality, though, your favourite shows are made possible through extremely long shifts, tight deadlines, and most importantly, keeping costs low. Today, well examine just how much money you can make in various roles involved with anime production.
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