Program aims to address chronic shortage of skilled creators in the industry
Studio Ponoc opened applications for its animator training program on Thursday. Titled Ponoc's “Principles of Animation” Program (P.P.A.P.), the program aims to train young animators to work on feature-length animated films.
No academic record or experience is required. People of any nationality are welcome to apply as long as they can communicate in Japanese. Those who are accepted into the year-long program will be taught animation fundamentals with the aim of working as a top-class animator. They will also be given a guaranteed contract of employment with a remuneration of 224,000 yen (approximately US$2,026) per month. After the training period ends, there is also a system in place to hire animators as full-time employees.
According to Ponoc, a chronic issue facing the current animation industry is the shortage of creators. Although Japanese hand-drawn animation draws attention from the entire world, the amount of skilled creators cannot keep up with the number of animated works. If the industry takes too long to cultivate talent, then it will cause problems with capital, time, and training. Raising skilled creators is necessary for the industry as a whole. Ponoc's own solution to this problem was to start its own training program.
Alongside the P.P.A.P., Ponoc is also hiring graduating students of 2022 as full-time employees in production assistant and in-between animation roles.
For more information on recruitment and how to apply, check Ponoc's website.
Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There) founded Studio Ponoc in 2015, and the studio also employs other former Studio Ghibli animators. Studio Ponoc's anime films include Mary and The Witch's Flower and Modest Heroes.
In 2019, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) commissioned Studio Ponoc to produce an anime short inspired by Olympic values. Nishimura told the website Cartoon Brew in an interview that the IOC initially approached Studio Ponoc to produce a feature-length anime. The IOC proposed the production around the time that Studio Ponoc was working on Modest Heroes (seen right). However, Nishimura said that he did not believe his studio's animators had the particular skills required for a feature-length film about sports. The IOC then proposed a short, which the studio agreed to produce.
The short was scheduled to debut in the lead-up to the 2020 Summer Olympics, although the Games were delayed due to concerns around the new coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.