Blog: Eric Bruneau

Eric Bruneau is the executive vice president and creative director of Armstrong White. An Academy Award nominated computer animator, Eric is also an entrepreneur and award winning digital creative director. He'll be writing about why Metro Detroit is full of opportunities for people in his field.

Post No. 2

 Nurturing talent in a non-traditional media market is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of any CGI company. With the growth market, CGI companies within Detroit are always searching for raw talent and hope that after months of investment and training, the individual does not decide to leave for the West Coast.

It appears so far, this market seems to have been very successful in recruiting local talent and keeping them here. In part it’s because of the values people have in Michigan. Family is extremely important therefore people really want to stay here. Also, the quality of work is improving and becoming far more challenging. 

The unfortunate thing is that there are few remaining talented people with a specialty in computer animation in Michigan. This leaves companies with little choice but to recruit out of state. Not one of the easiest tasks for small to medium size companies. I equate it to a needle in a haystack mentality. I personally have recruited nationally and globally to find key artists and each time I recruit someone, I find it fascinating why they are excited to move to Michigan. 

There are a few great specialty schools within the Detroit metropolitan area where CGI is taught however these institutions curriculum focus on topics where students have greater opportunity on the West Coast. This is a big problem in that we lose most of our good young talented students to other parts of the country. This prevents local CGI companies from expanding as quickly as the growth of the market. When local companies cannot efficiently expand to support existing capacity, work is lost to West Coast competition.  

This is not to pick on local institutions but to make them aware of the needs of local CGI community. Local educators need to support local companies and make a conscience effort to develop curriculum that will motivate individuals to stay within the local community. This will, in turn, help Detroit’s economy and local communities will prosper.