France has a long tradition of animation, and the industry here is thriving – with many now referring to Paris as the ‘animation capital of the world’. What is it that attracts directors here? What can students hope to gain by studying animation in Paris? To mark the inauguration of PCA’s new graduate Animation program, we spoke to PCA’s President Reginald de Guillebon to get his insight. At the head of several important animation companies in France (les Armateurs, Gebeka Films and Folimage), who between them have produced many classic (and award nominated) animation films such as Les Triplettes de Belleville, Une Vie de Chat, Brendan et Le Secret de Kells and Ma Vie de Courgette, Reginald is well-placed to understand the needs of the industry.
Thank you for taking the time to chat, Reginald. We are excited about the first intake for our new Animation program. What is it that drove PCA to create this program?
There is a desperate demand for animators internationally, and this is only going to continue growing. It is one of the only sectors in France with guaranteed employment, so anyone considering studying animation should know that, on graduating, the job prospects are endless. The animation business is well and truly booming.
Are there any benefits to studying animation in France, in particular?
Without a doubt! In recent years France has evolved into the global capital for animation. Thanks to the favorable economic terms, such as advantageous tax credits, directors are flocking here attracted by the “French touch” and quality. PCA graduates in Animation will be spoiled for choice in terms of the opportunities available to them at the end of their program. The fact that PCA students study in English, and are able to learn French during their studies, make them ideal international candidates to work as bridge makers between the French teams and other teams working internationally. The intercultural experience they will have at PCA is ideal preparation for a future working at the heart of a global industry.
What kind of experience can our future graduates expect if they work in the French animation industry?
Animation is an art form, a collective art form. Making an animated film is a very collaborative process, it’s not something you can do by yourself. Everyone has their role in the process, and there is always the opportunity to learn from others. PCA Animation graduates will be well-prepared for this, thanks to the collaborative environment of the school. The animation industry is global and projects are coordinated across international teams; the international profile of PCA graduates will make them uniquely suited to enter this world.