This should, in no way, lead anyone to believe that I don't love where I work now. You'll notice that none of the places I list here are other magazines; that's because I'm exactly where I want to be, as a journalist. It's just that these other places are/will be doing very special things, and I'd love to better myself for being part of their process.
As close to a perfect brand as there is. Think about it: They've never made a bad movie. Never. They're batting 1.000. No one does animation with the same attention to storytelling detail and craft like Pixar. They follow where the story leads, and they're not afraid to fix it when it's broken. Egads, what a fella could learn from them.
2. Rockstar Games
I'm a gamer and these guys have pumped out more groundbreaking videogames than anyone. While Bungie created the defining shooter in Halo, Rockstar has done more—the Grand Theft Auto series, Table Tennis, Bully, Manhunt—and done more right.
3. Bad Robot
J.J. Abrams seems to have taken the baton from Joss Whedon and become the geek factory. He knows what people want to see before they do and, maybe more importantly, he knows how to tease them into wanting it even more. As a company, flush with Cloverfield success, they can do whatever they want to.
4. Production I.G.
I almost put down Hayao Miyazaki's Ghibli anime studio but, while all accounts point to that being a terrific place to work, it seems like Ghibli is in the Miyazaki business. Which is great but feels a little like Lucasfilm in that regard: a company set up to execute the vision of one man. Production I.G. has been churning out terrific anime for years now—it'd be great to learn to learn to tell stories in that format from the folks who did the Ghost in the Shell cycle, the toon segment in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, and Blood: The Last Vampire.
5. Cartoon Network
Why? Because they gave The Venture Brothers a third season. Obviously, they know what time it is. And it's the last place on TV for original animation for grown-ups.