Rooster Teeth, Other Texas Animators Growing Strong

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Several states in the nation offer incentives to media producers. Texas is one of those states. Through the government's support, a thriving industry has sprouted up within Texas — especially a thriving animation industry. In fact, the state itself provides a hotline for animation jobs available in Texas. Animation has become a strong part of the Texan economy, both through direst employment and also through indirect effects.

One of the best examples is Rooster Teeth, based out of Austin, Texas, and has been around for fifteen years. Originally the producers focused on video game reviews, but began to branch out into non-game content around 2003. They produce animated series for Internet viewers: popular titles include Red vs. Blue, RWBY, and Camp Camp. They even have divisions dedicated to producing games and podcasts as well. Live-action content is part of the mix too, providing a diverse portfolio of content that has garnered them incredible success - success that is only growing.

Just last week, Rooster Teeth made headlines when it announced that none other than Michael B. Jordan will be joining forces with the studio for gen:LOCK, a new anime-style series. Jordan has built up his reputation as an actor lately, and just this year appeared in Marvel’s smash hit Black Panther as the main antagonist. He commands a lot of starpower, and hints at the increasing prestige of Rooster Teeth as a studio, as well as online animation as a medium.

Rooster Teeth doesn't just attract the attention of top-notch Hollywood talent though. It has also gathered a base of devoted fans. Across their YouTube channels they’ve gathered up to 38 million subscribers according to The Wall Street Journal. Besides this free audience though, they also have two hundred thousand people who pay a monthly subscription for exclusive content, and early-access to the rest. In fact, every year Rooster Teeth hosts RTX, an annual convention devoted entirely to the studio. The event draws sixty-five thousand people annually to the Austin area. That brings people to local venues and shops, thus giving a boost to the local economy in general.

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Now not every studio in Texas has the kind of celebrity that Rooster Teeth does, but they still form an integral part of the local entertainment industry. Hundreds of jobs are created at animation studios, especially plenty of stable jobs. The Texas Film Commission has only limited resources to give out, and those resources are determined by political winds. Live-action productions might receive funding, but because of their quick turn-around time, work is finished quickly and then funding may be denied thanks to new attitudes in the state legislature. Animated productions inherently take more time though. Once the state has agreed to fund a project, then that funding persists through the duration of the production. As a result, animation is more insulated from shifting political attitudes, and more stable as an industry within Texas.

Texan animation does have some stiff competition. Besides Hollywood, Canada and Georgia have stronger subsidies for studios. However, Texas does boast lower living costs coupled with vibrant metropolitan areas. It's a strong area to consider for animators seeking employment. With such a well-established animation community already in place, the state looks to be a hotbed of excitement in the near future.