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Approaching Animation Companies (version 2)

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Approaching Animation Companies (version 2)


I think I may have put the above issue into the wrong forum (the Business of Animation). It seems like maybe this forum is frequented more often? Anyway, here it is again in here:

I have graduated with a Diploma in Multimedia, which (as the name indicates) covered a very broad spectrum of subjects. The trouble with the course is that I didn't gain indepth training in anything in particular. I used 3D Studio Max and Flash (among other programs) but I wouldn't feel confident approaching an employer with my knowledge base. The course did have a good traditional art and and art theory component, and I came to the course with traditional art skills too.

There are two main companies in my area. I was planning to literally knock on their door with my resume and show reel. I'm not backwards in coming forwards. I don't feel I'm anywhere near ready to do it yet (or maybe I'm just chicken!) I feel I have much to offer any company that takes me on, especially when it comes to passion, dedication and hard work.

The thing that's given me a real push, is that one of the companies is repeatedly ADVERTISING (OMG how often do you see that?) for animators, artists etc etc etc. Is it the wrong thing to do to email and ask them what they are looking for in an application? I really don't know which way to aim my efforts when it comes to a showreel. I've read that a lot of companies just want to see you can really ANIMATE. Therefore, a short sequence in Flash or of claymation would be acceptable. Is this true? Do companies expect you as a new grad to know the software inside out? Or do they sometimes take you on your potential? Do you think it's dangerous for me to approach one of these companies with a showreel I'm not happy with yet? Do they look at you again, or do you just get that one shot?

I really have a strong desire to break into this field, but I feel like a train that's got it's engine running flat out, but it doesn't know which track it needs to run on!

Please give me a hand!

Just a bit more to add to this post previously:the company I mentioned is advertising for "programmers, art directors, artists, game designers, level designers, producers, modellers and animators". There must be something I can do for them? Maybe sweep their floors? :D

Seeing that there are so many different roles within an animation studio, what do you focus on in your showreel? I mean, for example, is it worth the time and effort to become really accomplished in animating in 3D Max, when maybe they've got a shader job there for you, or vice versa? I picked up from a couple of other posts about the issue of having a shorter QUALITY piece of work than a whole lot of mediocre stuff, and also the bit about using different reels for different applications. Are the companies expecting you to know the software inside out? There's lots of questions in there, I hope you get what I'm driving at.

I'd love to hear some input.

thats it. you have answere your own question.

knock on their door. explain your situation and offer to sweep their floors.

regardless of whats on your showreel or how talented you are, these people will be asking themselves 'what is it going to cost me to hire this person?'

the one thing that will stop you getting a job is you appear to not know what you want to do. it is fine to be a jack of all trades but this could go against you when seeking your first job and have no experience.

do you have any professional experience at sweeping floors?
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Hey keenasmustard,

Don't wait. Apply now! Hiring in the animation biz is dependant on three things. Quality, money, and time. I don't know your work, but seeing as how you are just out of school, I'll say you probably meet their money requirement (ie cheap). Studios have to start productions by a certain time to meet their deadlines, so that means they have to hire from the pool of applicants that applied befor they start. So apply now. The best way to apply, is call them up first, get to know the receptionist first, and be nice. If you piss her off, she might "lose" your resume. Chat her up a bit, and get all their submission guidelines, and tell her you'll stop the next day at a certain time, and then be there.

Does that make any sence?

You will not be expected to know everything about the programs. You learn enough in school, and then you learn everything else on the job. Make your demo reel and profolio the best it can be right now. Put ONLY your BEST work in. If you have a piece that is just ok, don't put it in. Keep your demo reel under 2 minutes. Put your best work first, and your second best work last. That way the are impressed in the begining, and are impressed at the end as well.

I hope all this helps. Now go knock em dead. But remember, jack of all trades, master of none.

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Thanks guys

Thanks so much for your answers! I feel much more psyched about my situation now. Your responses have given me the push I needed! off to the drawing board with my reel!

if you don't have a reel specifically tailored to what you want to do then just getting your foot in the door can be a problem. soooo, go for it! what have you got to lose?

good luck!