Film Animation FAQ
Life After School
What can I do to help the program?
There are plenty of ways to give back to the program. For starters, always include Concordia University and the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in your film credits and thanks. Encourage communication and collaboration of the Film Animation program with different departments of the university. Get involved with different student associations, and get creative with each other. There are so many ways to apply animation to another field of study. The sky's the limit, and it will make animation and YOU that much more interesting to others within the Concordia community. The more Concordia University values Film Animation, the more likely it is to make more credits available to the program. Feel free to reach out further than just our university. Connect with other institutions and organizations or businesses. You’re in a fantastic and unique position to be doing so. Go use your animation skills to spread the word!
I like the Film Animation program’s philosophy and what it teaches me, but I feel like I need some more animation training. Where can I go?
There are plenty of alternatives to building up your technical skills, both local and on the web. Consider live-drawing sessions available at Concordia and other local institutions. Sign up for a course at an art studio like http://synstudio.ca/ or an online alternative like http://www.schoolism.com/.
I'm in the Film Animation program and I have more questions and suggestions! Where can I ask?
We have a feedback box where you can post questions or suggestions relating to the Film Animation Program. Feedback or questions for the Animation program?
Write them here!
Registration and Credits
Apparently, when it comes to registration, there are two types of students. Which am I?
You are either a 120-Credit Student that is part of the Extended Credit Program or a 90-Credit Student.
1. Quebec students who went to CEGEP before entering University or any students that have already accumulated credits that could be transferred to their Bachelor Degree, who needs to take 90 credits to graduate.
2. International students or Canadian students (outside of Quebec) that graduated from High School, who needs to take 120 credits to graduate.
I am in the final year of my degree and cannot register for required courses. Why? What do I do?
If this is the case, you may have missed your registration appointment, waited too long, or there was a bug in the system. If you are sure that your graduation is being compromised by being unable to register for this course, speak to your program head, they will make sure you are able to get that course. A student in a situation that jeopardizes their graduation in their final year due to a mix up in registration, has priority over other students when it comes to registration. Unfortunately, This may lead to the “kicking out” of a student from a course to allow that student in difficulty to take the course needed.
What do I do if I can’t get into a course during a semester as I had planned?
Unfortunately, there is a course limit, the number of students per course, cannot be changed because of the university’s insurances and guidelines. More students in one course means more work for the teachers and the TAs and it may also jeopardize the quality of education. There is no difference in compensation. A teacher cannot be expected a to accept more students (to some it is a risk). The program guarantees that by the end of your BFA, you will have completed all the courses required, however it does not guarantee that the student will be able to take courses in the semester of their choice.
How many credits is the Film Animation program?
Film Animation is a 60-Credit Program. If you’re a 90-Credit student, one third of your studies will be done outside of the Film Animation program. If you’re a 120-Credit student, half of your studies will be done outside of the program. This is a unique strength to the program, allowing students to have more than just one focus of study. Consider taking a Minor, learning a language, or taking classes in another field of study you are interested in. There are many options for this in the university, which is an amazing opportunity to diversify your education, expertise and portfolio.
How long should it take me to finish my degree?
Generally speaking, a 90-Credit Bachelor’s degree takes 3 years to finish. However, as you may know, animation takes a lot of time, and effort. Often times, not everyone has the same living conditions. Some students live on their own and work part-time jobs, some students may only work during the summer season, and there are some students who don’t need to worry about covering living expenses. A lot of students extend their degree by a year in order to take fewer classes per semester so they can spend more time working on their assignments so they can graduate with a stronger body of work and portfolio. Since a University All things considered, you work at your own pace. No one is forcing you to.
When can I register for my courses?
Check with the
Concordia Undergraduate Calendar
Registration dates are prioritized based on the number of credits you have left to complete your degree. The University has a system that prioritizes students based on how close to completing their degree they are. The fewer credits you have left to complete your degree, the more priority you have in registering for courses.
I’m a 120-Credit student, and I’m not getting into courses at the same time as some of my peers. Why?
You have lower registration priority because you have more credits to complete. Both types of students begin their degree in first year at the same time, but once registration comes around, priority goes to students with fewer credits left to complete their degree. Your 2nd and 3rd year are great times to fill up the other half of your degree, rather than to put them off for the rest of your degree. Generally speaking is that all electives feed into your animation 3 film, your graduation piece.
Do I need to pay lab fees if I’m not in an Animation 2, or Animation 3 or the 3D class?
If you are not taking one of the core animation classes: Anim 2, Anim 3, or the 3D elective, you do not have to pay the lab fees. Talk to Diego about unlocking the animation computers for you to use your usual login information.
About the Program
What can I expect to learn from my teachers in the Mel Hoppenheim Film Animation Program?
Take the time to get familiar with your teachers and their work. The basis on which they are teaching you has everything to do with their past experiences. Knowing this, you’ll have a better idea of what their strengths and expertise are and what they’ll be able to best help you with.
How does the Film Animation program fit into the University as a bureaucracy?
Film Animation is an Undergraduate Program that is part of the Department of Cinema. Other programs in this department are Film Studies and Film Production. The Department of Cinema is part of the Faculty of Fine Arts. Concordia University has four separate faculties, the faculty of Fine Arts is one of them.
I hear that the Film Animation program is very small in terms of students. Is this good?
As a growing artist, yes. Being in a small program means you get a lot more individual attention on your projects from both your peers and your professors, more than you would in other large programs. The small class sizes also contribute to a more human interaction amongst your classmates which is crucial to establishing a support system amongst your peers.
What does studying Film Animation at a University change? What’s the distinction?
You get a degree, not a diploma. That means as a student here, you should become familiar with the idea of research. You should be thinking of what your research questions are. What does it mean to be an artist who works with animation? What is your experiment? What is it that you are trying to discover? If these kinds of questions don’t come across your mind, then you’re missing out on the point of the program.If you are asking these kinds of questions, you’ll do very well as your research will manifest in the work you’re doing.
Should I be learning method, or learning to build a methodology?
In a non-university environment, you would be studying method. This means you would be following assigned specific instructions to get a certain result. Frankly, there are a lot of other places you can go to get these sorts of instructions in a concentrated form, but there are very few programs in which you will learn how to build your own methodology.
Methodology in a nutshell means, “why do I make this stuff, in the way that I do?” Film Animation at Concordia is interested in seeing each of its individual students develop their own individual practice, their own way of making films. If you can think of why you are working in the way that you are and think of what it is that interests you in animation as an artform, then Concordia is the right place.
Is Film Animation an “industry” program?
No hiring studio in the entertainment sector of Montreal asks their applicants for a degree of any kind. All they really want to see is your demo reel. They don’t have a criteria for the kind of achievement and experience you get in a university.
When we say “industry”, we tend to think of the entertainment industry that employs animators to create video-game, television and cinema content. However, there are other kinds of industry for animation. For example, the Indie Animation Studio industry which is very strong in Montreal. Some of the most successful independent animation studios in the country are run by former Concordia students. Otherwise, there’s the industry that funds professional artists in Canada. Concordia produces animation students that have the best portfolios for this kind of industry.
Also, since it is no longer possible to be employed by or do research in a university without a master’s degree of some kind, if you plan on building your career in the education industry, you will be considering graduate school. Film Animation at Concordia is a great program to get you into grad school.
In sum, the focus and philosophy behind the program’s curriculum it is to drive individual practice in students toward independent filmmaking, artist grant work, or education sectors of animation rather than entertainment.
Concordia seems to be a large university, what does this mean for a student in animation?
Film Animation at Concordia sets itself apart from a lot of other animation programs in the country. Most other animation programs tend to be offered in a college or university that focuses only on Fine Arts. Doing a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Concordia in Film Animation, features studying animation as part of your education but it is not necessarily what you’ll spend your entire degree focused on.