My husband has a pretty cool job. It also happens that he loves it, is great at what he does, AND it pays our bills! How lucky is that?! I truly do feel blessed to be stuck with such a winner : )
Before meeting the hubs, I had only met one other person in real life that had a similar career. So I thought it might be fun to share snippets of what it’s actually like to have his job! Or rather, my perspective on what it’s like to be the spouse of someone in his line of work….
So now to answer the big question:
What exactly does he DO??
although his cartwheels are mighty impressive, he is not a gymnast or male cheerleader…
To keep it simple: He worked for Pixar when I first met him (his name is in the credits for Brave), and will be working for Dreamworks in the near future.
To be more specific, in simpler terms: He is in the field of 3D animation.
To be even more specific: He is an FX Animator/Effects TD
FX/Effects = Special effects (smoke, fire, explosions, giant robot fights, etc).
TD = “Technical director”. It’s a fancy name for 3D artist.
Fun fact = In the industry, people who are referred to as “Animators” are typically only the people that create the “performance” (make the characters move, create facial expressions, etc). People who specialize in other areas often have a qualifier for the type of animation they do (Effects Animator, Crowds Animator, etc).
DISCLAIMER: All of these terms and definitions are subject to change depending on which animation studio you are working with. There are no standardized job titles. Just FYI.
I could go on…
But that little segment right there will tell you everything you need to know about what the animation industry is really like.
Let’s just say the industry is like a simple, small, quintessential American “white picket fence” home. It looks beautiful, simple, and quite pleasant from the outside! Then you walk in the front door, turn down the hallway, pull book on a shelf which then swings out from the wall and reveals a stone staircase leading 200 feet underground. Once you reach the bottom, you enter a room full of revolving doors like unto the one in the Department of Mysteries*. All of the doors have solid brick walls behind them, with the exception of one that leads you into another room exactly like the first. Repeat this scenario two more times. Eventually you reach a room filled with a tropical rainforest, and you spend 274 days fighting your way through said rainforest (wild animals, quicksand, tropical storms and all) until you find a small tunnel at the back of a cave. This tunnel is directly vertical, with no ladder rungs or a rope or anything to help you climb, yet somehow you reach the top and find yourself in the backyard of the initially described nondescript house. Turns out, the backyard is also a mine field, and all entrances to the house and exits from the yard are heavily guarded, and you can’t really escape and you have no idea how you got there in the first place , but isn’t it a pretty-looking house from the front?!
AKA….it’s a lot more complicated than it looks.
Most of the time when my hubs says he can’t tell me what he did at work today, it isn’t because it’s top-secret. It’s simply because what he does is so esoteric that I wouldn’t get it. (I’m kind of starting to understand more though!) (and he might know some secrets after all…but I can’t tell you or I’d have to kill you….)
But it’s still totally, 100%, a career worth having.
I mean, how many people can say that every day they walked into work they were greeted by larger-than-life Lego models of Woody and Buzz Lightyear to one side and a case chock-full of Academy Awards on the other? Or that they had unrestricted access to the world’s greatest cereal bar in existence?? Or that they ran into JL in the bathroom a couple of times?!?!?
Not very many, I can tell you that.
I haven’t seen the Dreamworks campus yet, but I bet it’s full of awesomeness too. I’ll be sure to let you know : )
Love — Rach
have any questions about my hubs’ job or the animation industry in general?? let me know and I’ll answer as best I can! and of course I’ll solicit his help for things I don’t know much about! comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you are not familiar with this Harry Potter reference, go read the books again right this minute
**image courtesy of my awesome sister, Sarah!