“Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen . . . for this reason girls are not considered for the training school.” —Walt Disney Productions, LTD.
Currently, women make up only a small percentage of the professional animation industry, according to alumnus Lisa Goldman ’81. Goldman, however, and the NYC Chapter of Women in Animation that she heads, hope to change that.
In an event last Thursday, Goldman was quick to point out the lack of animated female protagonists.
“Most recently, I landed a development deal on a preschool animated TV series I created with a preschool production company in London called HIT Entertainment (the producers of Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, Sam the Fireman, and Mike the Knight). See, not only do we need more women in animation, but more girl stars of the shows too,” she said.
Her new show stars a young Indian girl and her pet elephant, and “broadcasters are hovering closely.”
Goldman is one of the most passionate animators in the business; she loves her job. After all, children’s television and animation allow her to combine her two passions: media and psychology. She also has a talent for teaching, and aside from lecturing on the Frederator Channels Network, she teaches private classes on how to create animated television shows. In the past, she has also taught classes at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.
On October 29, at Woolson House, she lectured to a small group of students about key tips for finding work in the industry, including creating “pitch bibles” and spec. scripts. She also said, “the two ways for writers to get work in animation industry—working on other’s shows and creating [their] own.”
Goldman was quick to point out that all the large companies are “looking for the next Spongebob,” so one should never fear getting their story ideas out there. The most crucial skill for an animator looking for work is determination.
After all, she said, “Things take a long time in the animation industry. . . . It took nine years to sell my show.”
When asked about her major, Goldman mentioned that she changed her major several times at Rollins—and at one point she had considered the pre-med track; however, she looks back fondly at her liberal arts education precisely because of the many opportunities it offered. Her education has aided her in many aspects of her life and career, as she has many varying interests.
“I also have another business where I’m a co-founder of Tour de Forks, a culinary travel company. I love to cook, eat, and travel. It all works out to be a fun and blessed life,” Goldman said.
During the lecture, Goldman had much advice to give to students, particularly on the subject of networking.
“Networking is so important with everything you do—one of best things is learning how to network here. Running organizations, playing sports—everything that gets you talking to people is great because everything is about relationship-building, especially in the world of animation,” Goldman said.
She first learned to network, here at Rollins, and, according to Goldman, we are networking everyday. It is the networking we are doing now and will be doing in the future that will set us up for success.