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dharmabum
07-28-2003, 03:45 PM
Hey, here are a couple of articles about the job market and how it's looks good for people in the industry. Sorry I cut and paste, I don't know how to add links. I'm an artist okay! They are found at www.animated-movies.com.

STUDIOS BATTLE FOR CG WORKER's

With everyone from Sony Pictures to Canada's Core Digital opening CG animation studios--casting wide their nets for talent in the process--a drought of seasoned digital denizens has left studios scrambling to fill seats. Core is in a frenzied mode staffing up hundreds of artists for Walt Disney Pictures' Wild Life, directed by Steve Williams. In an industry that totals about 3,000 working professionals, studios are hoping to add another 1,500 workers to staff upcoming animated features and visual effects films. The new crunch has left many wondering if all the people needed even exist. And once studios find talent, competition is so tough that salaries now range from an average $90,000 for those starting out to highs of as much as $250,000 for seasoned artists. "Right now, we're seeing the second coming of the industry," said Alan Botvinick, associate chair of Siggraph's Los Angeles branch. "We haven't seen anything as crazy as this since the early '90s, and it really makes you wonder where they're going to find all these people."


EXTREME RECRUITING

Studios are casting spells to woo a small pool of seasoned artists and engineers
By Barbara RobertsonWith effects studios moving into CG features, feature animation studios moving into CG features and plenty of effects work to go around, Siggraph is shaping up to be a recruitment feeding frenzy.

All of the major studios will have recruiting booths on the exhibition floor, but most of the action is expected to take place behind closed doors, in private hotel suites and invitation-only parties. Those with the word "director" or "supervisor" in their titles can go ahead and crack open the bottles of bubbly.

As a testament to the tight market for technical prodigies, rumors of extreme recruiting methods have reached a fevered pitch. Tales of sensational signing bonuses, nerd wooing in the form of high-pressure limo rides with one diminutive studio exec and tales of talent-poaching recruiters traveling to the Antipodes to bag their quarry have all appeared on the lips of gossipmongers.

"It's a good time to be a CG artist," says Ken Maruyama, director of recruiting at Industrial Light + Magic, which is currently working on Fox's "Star Wars: Episode III," Universal's "Peter Pan," Warner Bros. Pictures' "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and Paramount's "Timeline." "It looks like a lot of big, big productions are going on right now, and they need senior talent just to get the work out. It's all sort of hit at the same time."

Last year, a shortage of movies and the threat of strikes meant few effects studios were hiring, some stopped working on films, focusing instead on spots, while others went out of business altogether. This year, the studios that remain are growing and hiring. The result is manna from heaven for artists and a death match in the digital trenches for recruiters.

"There is almost more work than there are quality facilities and qualified people," says Jim Bloom, an exec at Tippett Studio, which, at 225 people, has already staffed up for Sony's "Hellboy," Warners' "The Matrix Revolutions" and Paramount's "The Stepford Wives."

"The visual effects industry is only 10 years old," he adds, "so there aren't enough people who have moved into becoming leads and supervisors."

Some of the other independent studios, large and small, are actively recruiting. "We'll need between 60-75 artists between now and the October-November time frame," Digital Domain director of recruitment Laurence Plotkin says. "We're not looking for entry-level talent; we're going to Siggraph with senior-level talent in mind."

Currently at 500 people, Plotkin expects DD to reach 600 in the next six to eight months. Crews will be working on "Peter Pan," Fox's "The Day After Tomorrow" and "I, Robot" and Sony's "The Missing."

Similarly, Rhythm & Hues has openings for 100 people, according to David Weinberg, director of 3-D production, who is looking to staff Paramount's "Around the World in 80 Days," Warners' "Cats and Dogs 2," Fox's "Garfield" and Universal's "The Cat in the Hat."

"We're looking for more people than usual at Siggraph this year," he says. "People in all disciplines. Ideally, we want people with considerable experience, but we'll look at people with less experience in filmmaking. We've found that technologically-smart people can work out very well here."

Proving the point about plenty of work for quality facilities, the Orphanage has grown from a small group to 110 people -- and it's still hiring. "We're recruiting for almost every type of artist," says Mark Sadeghi, executive producer for feature post. "We've had a large growth spurt, but we've been cautious. Now, we have two or three artists trickling in every few weeks. We're capable of going up to 200."

The greatest need for digerati is at the big studios gearing up for CG features -- namely, Sony Pictures Imageworks and DreamWorks, neither of which would cite quotas.

"We can't give specific numbers, but we're trying to do two or more animated films per year, so that involves a great deal of expansion, which affects DreamWorks and also PDI/DreamWorks," says Jane Hartwell, head of digital production at DreamWorks, who estimates that it needs crews of 200-300 people per film. "We're recruiting for so many positions -- they cross disciplines. We're interested in talking to animators, but the show is a great place to find people from visual effects. I think many people are hungry to work on animated features."

Similarly, SPI, which has hired about 150 people in the past eight months, is still expanding to handle the best of both worlds: visual effects and animated features. "I'm planning to have a pretty major recruiting presence," vp digital production Stan Szymanski says. "We're looking for a laundry list of people with the perfect blend of software expertise, film production experience and strong communication and teamwork skills. We want to find senior-level artists; we're not looking to fill slots. Even so, I noticed that for the first time since 1996, we've hired people directly out of school." SPI staffers will handle Sony's "Spider-Man II" and Warners' "Polar Express."

Despite the competitive environment, all the studios claim that signing bonuses are within reason. Perhaps, since the climate does seem less outrageous than the last time studios scrambled for talent.

"I'm taking a very low-key approach that involves one-on-one meetings with prospective candidates, usually off-site," Szymanski says. "Senior-level artists react well to this approach."

As for ILM? Having finished several large projects, the facility has scaled back during the past few months to about 900 people and will be taking names and numbers at Siggraph. "We like to focus on good, strong entry-level talent to reinvigorate the talent pool and experienced people in the midlevel ranks, but we grow people from within; we're strong at the senior level," Maruyama says. "For us, Siggraph will be about keeping in touch with talent. But we'll be gearing up in the fall and winter and hiring like crazy then."

If there's anyone left to hire, that is.

roger
07-28-2003, 09:34 PM
Finely - a good article that tells what's REALLY going on in the CG world! We have seen this coming over the last 6 months. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

gjpetch
07-29-2003, 01:50 AM
$90,000 US for people starting out, wow.

Dargon
07-29-2003, 01:58 AM
If this is even close to true then:

:eek: :eek: :eek:

Yipee! It's good to be me! Er, us...

Time to start sending out the CV, methinks...

:applause:

-dc-
07-29-2003, 09:26 AM
I would like to add a few comments to the original post....

It is an inevitability that our industry will massively expand, but not at a cost. This industry is cyclic, and unlike most, we are affected by far more factors than just the "economy" at large. The fact that people want to be entertained - always - is a promising factor to any artist on the jobhunt.

There is so much work right now in the VFX field (I am talking about film and commercials specifically). It is true that there are barely enough artists to fill the needs of all the work, but I'd like to further clarify something.

First off, those salary quotes are way off. The averages are well below $90,000. Don't get me wrong, we do all make pretty decent money, but entry level is still around 30-40K with senior positions reaching into 100-120K. Only after several years of working as a senior position can you expect to be pulling anything over that, and mind you that's with a proven track record to boot. You better be flawless for that much cash...

On the flipside to this so called "outrageous hiring", there's the common misconception made by the company hiring. You have no doubt seen the job postings "at least 3 years experience", "feature film experience required", "senior artists only", "looking for 2 or more shipped titles", "in need of experienced 3D Artist with proven track record"...
These are the hot catch phrases running rampant in the HR departments these days. The problem is lack of supply.

This industry is small, those with experience are few and far between. Most already have cush jobs at a company they're not neccessarily willing to part with without a hefty penny. Most artists reach a senior position within 2-3 years at a company, and at the same time reaching their maximum salary. To make more, they have to leave. This can be risky, but it's also good. It keeps people moving, constantly switching around. The possibilities to network on the job are endless. This in turn creates problems for those who aren't already "in". By the time most jobs are posted, they might already be filled by a "friend" of some guy at the studio. This is common - most studios even give a "referral bonus" if your friend gets the job.

So for the fresh graduate, or hobbyist trying to turn pro, getting in can be tough. Companies aren't neccessarily willing to take the risk on unproven talent. Experience in a production enviornment is highly sought after. So then what are you supposed to do? Hang tough? How do you get the experience you need to get these jobs?

The answer is simple, and it's to the artists advantage. The companies fold, they hire the best entry level artists they can find, and snatch up as many experienced artists as they can in the process. This works to the companies advantage because they don't have to pay the entry level guy as much, and they're guaranteed a certain amount of success if they hire the right senior artists to train the new guys.

What i'm basically trying to say - go apply for that job that you have no business applying for. Be bold, stand out, be in their face. You'll get a job, if not at that one place you so badly wanted to work, then the next guy that sees your enthusiasm and scoops you up. Your attitude will determine your success. Let your work be a factor determined by your attitude, don't let your attitude be affected by your work.

You will find yourself in a small world of artists, constantly working, shifting through the market as it breathes, and making some of the best friends of your life along the way. It's f*cking great...

Don't let the opportunity pass you by...

Regards,

Joe Harkins
Puppeteer
Tippett Studio

Chewey
07-29-2003, 02:07 PM
Thanks for adding your perspective Joe!

:thumbsup:

dharmabum
07-29-2003, 04:08 PM
Yeah, I thought those amounts were a little too high. But it's good news all the same. Hopefully studios will be willing to bring new talent in thier studios and grow a fresh new crop of incredible artist's and techie's. If this boom lasts, it will be interesting to see what will be produced a mere 5 years from now considering where we are at today.

Oh well, time for me to send out CV's again.

dstripinis
07-29-2003, 06:16 PM
Couple things to add to Joe's comments.

First he is dead on about those salaries being over-inflated. I've been in the industry for 6 years now and can't think of anyone off the top of my head that makes 1/4 mil a year. Entry level people in NoCal can expect mid 30K to low 40K ( if they have a little experience or are REALLY good ) SoCal can expect low to mid 30s as an entry.

Second, there is a little piece of information not many aspiring artists are unaware of, and that is the concept of a "production hire". That means many artists employment is attached to a certain movie, and only employed for the length of your particular department's role in said production. So while this might be great if you are an animator on a 2 year project like Star Wars, more often it only lasts 6-12 months, or sometimes only 6-12 weeks. For some roles, like modeling and compositing, the turnover can be very quick.

This doesn't bother a lot of people who are out here already and have a network of friends and a portfolio of work that keeps them in a constant flow of cash, but it can be hard for someone starting out.

Lastly - don't think the only way in is as an artist. I know more than a few people here at Sony who started off with such exciting jobs as watching the render cue and allotting disk space, and now have moved into major production roles. Companies like hiring from within whenever possible.

I haven't seen a hiring craze like this since 96. it's a good time to be looking for work in film, but do NOT let it go to your head. It won't last, it never does.

bblackbourn
07-29-2003, 06:44 PM
also wanted to make a little reality call on those salary expectations - they're crap.

notice they don't quote any recruiters mentioning those numbers.

I know many artists with 6-10 years CG experience (some who've supervised & directed) & worked on multiple features who are getting offered $75-125K for mid-level positions.

"Starting out" at a BIG studio on feature work - if you're very, very good & very lucky you may pull $50K, but 2-3 years feature experience, a great reel & industry references will probably put you in 60-80K range. If you are a brilliant char TD in the right place at the right time with great experience maybe $100-120K. Anything over that is VFX supers, & other supes with many years exp, many features, & much industry respect (usually jumping from one of the big studios to another).

Remember too - salary depends on many factors: project budget, location, demand for specific skill (TD's are up, char animators are down) etc etc...and if it's an entry level position...there's 50,000 kids from colleges with similar reels that will work for $5/hr.

your mileage may vary...

Brad

Whylee
07-29-2003, 09:25 PM
dharmabum,

If you're looking for work and are in Toronto CORE as mentioned in the article is doing the HR thing and finding people. Cailbre is also doing a mass hire for some new series work.

Beyond that thanks to the big wigs for their 2 cents. After reading the article I'm glad you guys put an honest spin on things. That being said, it is a great time to get your feet wet in the industry.

Phunt

dharmabum
07-29-2003, 09:45 PM
Gonna try all over the place. I have my greencard so I can work here in Canada or in the States. I've been doing games and television for the last 4 years so I'll definitely try my hand to get in on this feature buzz. Only problem is that Core and Calibre are holding out for Feature experienced people and as brilliant as I am (just joking) they won't even consider me because their big snobs. Seriously, the market here in Toronto is flooded. Too many people here because Sheridan grads have run amuck in the city . We only have one feature (Core) and Calibre is doing tv. As much as people would say that California is filled to the brim with artist's, they at least have more things in production so I could have a higher chance of getting a bite there. Too bad I don't know anybody in the industry there.

This is off topic but if I want to get that feature gig with no feature experience how do I go about that? Basically have Pixar or ILM or WETA quality stuff on my reel? Most probably right?

:drool:

Whylee
07-29-2003, 10:09 PM
dharmabum,

Well if you have games and D1 experience and can work in the states no problem, I don't see it being hard for you to get a job if your work is professional (which it sounds like).

Just send off the reels like you say you're going to and MAKE SURE you mention you don't need a visa. I had been offered or approached about jobs several times and the visa thing can be sticky. It's one thing if you kick ass, but if there's you and someone at the same level and one person doesn't need a visa you can guess who they'll hire ;)

Where you been working in Toronto? Oh Toy Box was or is hiring too. Plus I wouldn't say the market is saturated in Toronto. I'd say 95%+ of the reels I viewed there didn't cut it even for entry level. Which seems to be a world wide complaint. I've (much to my surprise) had many Cali based studios call me in the past 6 months and while professional I'm no CG god. Also I didn't know anyone there in the jobs I got. Alot of it is also in presentation/marketing yourself. *My* opinion when coldcalling is asside from the content of your reel, how you package it reflects on your work ethic. If you can't present/pace a demo reel, how can you present/pace a feature shot? Hell animation is about timing and looking good, the demo editing/presenting should reflect that.

Bit of a rambling but my two cents in there. Like you I'm from Toronto, have four yrs TV/MOW experince but don't have a greencard and made it to Cali. So you're going to have to figure out what is going to stop you because it's not those factors.

Phunt

xzevlin
07-29-2003, 10:49 PM
For all you Toronto people, I was emailed an ad a few days ago from a friend that works for a recruiting company. It was an ad looking for a Director of Recruitment to hire people for a CG feature film in Toronto, and it said they would be hiring 100 creative and production staff over the next 6 months.

So this could just be one of the studios here hiring an insane amount of people, or it could be some new start up that we don't know about (the wording of the ad makes it sound as if they need to start a HR department from scratch). Whichever one it is, that's alot of jobs.

That ad was apparently posted on Workopolis, so it my be worth taking a look there in a couple of weeks to see if any animation jobs start popping up.

dharmabum
07-29-2003, 10:57 PM
I've been sort of a gypsy these last couple of years. I did work in San Francisco then moved back to Toronto then to England and now back here in the good old TDot. I thought I'd enjoy the Toronto summer and go to Caribbana.

I have had many interviews but nothing came about them. My main problem would be that nothing looks feature on my reel. I think my animation is solid (always room for improvement though)which is why I have had so many interviews. But where I excel in animation I lack in visual appeal. I not an excellent modeller so what I do on my own time and the stuff I get from work is not that impressive "looking". In this "feature experience" hiring frenzy I think I tend to get overlooked because of that fact, at least that's what I'd like to think. I think the situation is that if it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, quacks like a duck then it is a duck mentality. I don't look like a duck therefore I'm not a duck.

But I guess that's the whole point right? I have to just plain show them I'm feature quality. New reel, new models so we shall see. I really want to be that duck.

Oh yeah, I'm at Nelvana (add bloodcurdling scream here). They offered first so I accepted. What can you do?

Uhhh, did I just ramble on about ducks?

Whylee
07-29-2003, 10:59 PM
xzevlin,

Or you could just apply directly to CORE as that is the project in question as mentioned in the article. Thing is they're doing it with a lot of Houdini and them guys are hard to find. Plus Houdini isn't known as the character animators tool of choice so finding people interesting in using it with many work options is turning out to be a problem it would seem.

Phunt

dudeguy
07-30-2003, 12:27 AM
-dc- I think you nailed it. Well said.

Whylee looking at your location(s) I see you have Vancouver on your list, care to share your thoughts about here in relation to Toronto, LA, etc?

I have a general idea, but I'd like to hear what you have to say.

Cheers

Whylee
07-30-2003, 12:46 AM
Hey dudeguy,

Thoughts on Vancouver vs Toronto or LA? Well I came back to Canada as workings visa's don't allow fiances/wives and such to work or if you're doing more schooling it's like 10x the price there.

First of all, I love Vancouver. Only been living here a few months but very impressed with the city. Thing that bugs me so far about Vancouver though is the work ethic seems to be laxed compared to Toronto or LA. Granted I don't have a broad experience, but just my observations and heard it from many people who have come here too. And again, not an everyone thing, just the general vibe so don't take it personal.

Also the post industry here seems to be 10yrs behind Toronto which is behind LA. But doing post out of LA on a Hollywood based client is hard. Post normally makes up a smaller part of the budget verses shooting up here and there's not much modivation for a producer to hang out up her supervising the post on a project to save some money when it takes them out of LA working on setting up their next project. That being the case the case you're going to be playing catch-up to the leader of the industry.

Also another thing that's frustrating I find is whenever we in Canada get good we're off to LA, London or wherever high level work is done. So it really saps our talent pool except for the people who don't want to leave. And most people want to work where they can either do high profile work or high income.

Anyway, rambling here and don't really know if I'm answering your question. Work is work no matter where you are, just the organization and how much people are willing to stand ground with producers/clients that seems to change.

my 2 cents

Phunt

shapeshifter
07-30-2003, 12:51 AM
First of all sorry for not contributing anything to this thread but I do have 3 questions and it would be very helpful if those of you with a little industry insight could find some time to shortly answer them:

First:

Is it true that character animators have the hardest time to find a job right now? (whereas TDs seem to be sought after)

Second:

how important is it for an animator to show storytelling abilities, creating his own short film vs. an animation reel with "just" animation samples without any story?

I have often heard that a film "would be nice" but it seems not to be that important?

and last question:

Supposed I do make a short film to show my animation / storytelling abilities: How important would for example the texturing or modeling quality be?

If any of you could find some time to answer my questions that would be very nice!

Thank you!!

Whylee
07-30-2003, 01:00 AM
shapeshifter,

I'm not a character guy so I can't say for sure. I'm more a light/fx TD and getting more into comp. That being said every project needs lighters (all CG or live action) and seems they are often in short supply. Also I think easily more features have misc effects in them then character animation... And again the char based shows/films always have effects. That being said I have been lucky enough that since I entered the industry on a professional level 3.5 yrs ago never had a moment without work.

As far as having a story... Well if it's a feature it's going to be boarded and you're going to be exicuting someone else's story so... I'd guess no. If you want to be more then a drone for the rest of your life and be the one making the stories, then I'd think very important.

Phunt

shapeshifter
07-30-2003, 01:15 AM
Whylee:

y-e-s I wa-nt to be a dro-ne...hey wait, no I don't want that ;)

Thank you for your reply! Good to hear that storytelling is of some value (I happen to having finished my script today...:) )

Of course it would be great to work some day in the story department. But this is still very much a dream...

You mention that there always was demand for lighters / comp people because they are always needed. That sounds logical to me.

So do you know about modelers? Is it the same for them or are there trillions of excellent modelers out there?

Again thank you for your time :thumbsup:

Whylee
07-30-2003, 01:33 AM
Modelers? Well I'm not one. First you mean hard surface modeler or character? You're right there's tons of good modelers, what there doesn't seem to be is tons of production modelers. I know my friends who are char guys always see models online that look great, but their first comment is "ok now lets see it move." Basically it doesn't matter how good your model is if it's not workable for animation or if it takes a lifetime to render.

That's where the fact that this is a hybrid occupation comes in. Part art and part tech... Normally need to know a bit of both. But I'm just being a big mouth and know little to nothing. I'm sure the hotshots in the forum from Sony and Tippett have more educated opinions then I.

Phunt

shapeshifter
07-30-2003, 01:45 AM
Whylee:

Okay I'll keep your advices in mind. Very nice to answer that quickly to my stupid questions ;)

I am going to bed now since it is almost 2 am here.

Thanks a lot!

dudeguy
07-30-2003, 03:13 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
Hey dudeguy,

don't really know if I'm answering your question.
Phunt Sorry, I guess I didn't really clarify, going back to the topic...what do you think of the amount of jobs or finding jobs in Vancouver compared to say Toronto or LA?

I guess you have only been here for a few months, so at this point, might be tough for you to gauge.

I found your other comments interesting though. :thumbsup:

Whylee
07-30-2003, 03:27 AM
Dudeguy,

Gotcha this time. Well right this second I'd say LA/Cali is pretty easy to get a job if you have some experience under you. Coming in as a JR I'm not sure. I actually moved to Vancouver as in the spring nothing seemed to be happening in Toronto. CORE has their project, but as you see still hiring. Taking some serious time going on that one. And nothing much seemed to be going on there. I started cold calling/emailing places in Vancouver and in a space of two weeks set up five interviews for one day. So I flew up, checked them out and well here I am. Since then other studios in LA and Vancouver have made contact/shown interest in me and still nothing from Toronto other then a one month contract offer for a MOW.

So right now I'd say Vancouver seems to be hopping more then Toronto is but less then LA.

Phunt

dudeguy
07-30-2003, 04:01 AM
Interesting. Generally I'd say something similiar to what dharmabum said about Toronto regarding Vancouver.

Originally posted by dharmabum
Only problem is that Core and Calibre are holding out for Feature experienced people and as brilliant as I am (just joking) they won't even consider me because their big snobs. Seriously, the market here in Toronto is flooded. Too many people here because Sheridan grads have run amuck in the city . We only have one feature (Core) and Calibre is doing tv. As much as people would say that California is filled to the brim with artist's, they at least have more things in production so I could have a higher chance of getting a bite there. Too bad I don't know anybody in the industry there. Vancouver seems to be extremely flooded, instead of Sheridan grads, there is VFS grads, not only VFS grads, but CDIS grads, BCIT grads, Capilano grads, and VanArts grads too. Even with the huge EA Canada office here, things are not as happening here as they may seem, I'm almost thinking a person would have a better chance winning the lottery than getting a 3d job offer in Vancouver. When you said you cold called/e-mailed and got 5 interviews here, I was very suprised. I figured
a)you had an amazing demo
b)you got very lucky
c)all of the above

so I went to your website, I'd go with c, you really have some amazing work, looks like something you would see coming out of Toronto FX houses, I'm betting that those 5 companies from Vancouver were all small FX houses. After looking at your demo I can see what you mean about Toronto being a bit ahead of Vancouver and I can see why they contacted you. good work! :thumbsup:

As for LA and many other places in the USA, I don't think most places are having a hard time finding talent, local talent maybe, the major problem with international applicants is getting a Visa after the recent requirement changes. :thumbsdow

Whylee
07-30-2003, 05:38 AM
Don't know how to quote on this thing yet.

You are very right about Vancouver being flooded with VFS/CDIS type grads, but no worse then Toronto. Sheridan, Academy of Design (like a VFS) then traditional 3-4 yr Centenial, Senecca, Humber and some specialty schools right in the city before you leave the limits. So you're probably right about entry level out of school stuff being maxed, it's always hardest to get your foot in the door.

Thanks for the comments on the demo reel, it's coming along. That stuff represents my first two years doing broadcast stuff. All over a yr old now but will update it when my current contract ends in Feb or so with a reel that will smoke that one ;)

Don't let yourself fall into the it's near impossible getting a job mindset hear cause it's not. My reel is professional but not outstanding. That being said I've gotten unsolicited calls from two of the biggest (or maybe biggest) studios in Vancouver in the past two weeks. Why because there are jobs out there. The thing is tons of jobs arn't posted unless studios are having trouble finding people. Referrals are your number one in, people who have a reputation verses a wildcard no one knows. Again why getting your first job can be so hard...

I don't mean to say that I think toronto artists are ahead of Vancouver, but I think some of the CG structure is. I think it's becase Toronto for Post is more of a film town and vancouver is more a TV town (which is changing). Pipelines can put much control on what you have the capacity of doing.

The LA thing, well ya they are having problems. And it not being local is a problem. If it's not local suddenly immigration lawyers, airfare, hotels, etc come into play which all cost money and whenever you spend more money it is a problem for a producer ;)

Also the Visa thing, I don't even know for sure if I can get another visa. The one I was last down there on no longer exisits as of Jan 1st. I had started writting magazine articles and doing university lectures for just that reason... that stuff can help getting visas should you ever need one.

Anyway, take anything I say with a grain of salt as I'm just a big mouth ;)

www.peterdhunt.com

dudeguy
07-30-2003, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
Don't know how to quote on this thing yet. click the quote button at the bottom right of the users post.

Thanks for the comments on the demo reel, it's coming along. That stuff represents my first two years doing broadcast stuff. All over a yr old now but will update it when my current contract ends in Feb or so with a reel that will smoke that one ;) Can't wait to see it. ;)

Don't let yourself fall into the it's near impossible getting a job mindset hear cause it's not. My reel is professional but not outstanding. That being said I've gotten unsolicited calls from two of the biggest (or maybe biggest) studios in Vancouver in the past two weeks. Why because there are jobs out there. The thing is tons of jobs arn't posted unless studios are having trouble finding people. Referrals are your number one in, people who have a reputation verses a wildcard no one knows. Again why getting your first job can be so hard... True enough, being optimistic is important. Even those with experience can have a hard time breaking in to a highly saturated market. It's all cyclic and recently I think things are a very small rise right now, here's hoping that potential grows.

I don't mean to say that I think toronto artists are ahead of Vancouver, but I think some of the CG structure is. I think it's becase Toronto for Post is more of a film town and vancouver is more a TV town (which is changing). Pipelines can put much control on what you have the capacity of doing. Agreed.

Anyway, take anything I say with a grain of salt as I'm just a big mouth ;) always.

Interesting discussion.

Bupa
07-30-2003, 10:33 PM
I don't follow the American jobmarket since I live in Europe, but I have the impression that there are more jobs for FX and rellated stuff then for character animation. Is this so ?

dharmabum
07-31-2003, 09:14 PM
Welllll... yes, there are more jobs for those fields. Mostly because the character animation market is flooded. We had a golden age of classical animation here in the early 90's so schools popped up everywhere training everybody for this specific area of work. Now we've become a bit oversaturated. Not too many people thought of doing effects and such(I guess it wasn't as glamorous) so these companies really need the FX people more than character animators only because there are less off them lying around.

I guess with this new golden age of CG that we'll now see more people going into the effects side rather than character animation because that's where the big moola is right now. I wish I focused more on fx 4 yrs ago. I'd be very popular today if I did.

It's not to say that they don't need animators, it just means that they can be a bit more choosey of who they hire. But, like the articles stated, everyone is doing feature so they need many seats filled. Usually people migrate from studio to studio but since every studio is starting their own 3d feature department they'll need as many as they can get a hold of.

Snatch us up quick before all you have left are inexperienced students.

:D

aazimkhan
07-31-2003, 10:18 PM
thats very interesting and wierd, with so much happening in town I dont even get a hint that all this is actually happening.

... boy when will we get a phone call or a email reply....:sad:

d8ed
08-01-2003, 08:26 AM
just coming back from siggraph i can tell you that finding a job without any production experience is still very difficult. every place i went to had some kind of brochure listing their openings and every single position had some production experience requirements. i handed my reel to some hired help at most of the booths except for Digital Domain. waited a few mins for someone to talk to me and he looked at some of my stills and said that everything looked great and that the only thing that hurts me is my lack of production experience.

how do you people recommend i get past that? i realize a spectacular reel might knock their socks off but are there any other tips you might have? how aggressive should I be as an entry-level applicant?

thanks in advance.

ntmonkey
08-01-2003, 09:16 AM
So what if you are an inexperienced student about to graduate? What then? I've heard internships work well, but it looks like most ppl are looking for someone who can get the job done yesterday. I mean, I've seen a lot of good student work lately and they look better than some pro work I've seen on the big screen. What do we have to do to get our foot in?

Any thoughts?

Lu

playmesumch00ns
08-01-2003, 10:02 AM
Take a job as a runner and work your way up?

bentllama
08-01-2003, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by Whylee
Hey dudeguy,

Thoughts on Vancouver vs Toronto or LA? Well I came back to Canada as workings visa's don't allow fiances/wives and such to work or if you're doing more schooling it's like 10x the price there.


BINGO: I am married to a fellow Canuck and while it is VERY frustrating having only one income, I am not about to give up my application for a Green Card by moving back. If you can ride it out with your spouse and get that holy grail of work status, then do it!

As far as schooling goes...my wife is looking into distance learning from Canadian universities, where she would only have to eventually visit Canada again for a few months to attend physical courses at that university while completed the majority of the courses here in the US.

Originally posted by Whylee

Also another thing that's frustrating I find is whenever we in Canada get good we're off to LA, London or wherever high level work is done. So it really saps our talent pool except for the people who don't want to leave. And most people want to work where they can either do high profile work or high income.


Yep. Canada's brain drain. This is the major reason why Canada needs to provide more incentives for the industries invovled to build and grow on our native soil.

http://www.canadasbraindrain.ca/

And check this out... two people featured on this page are from the games industry: http://www.canadasbraindrain.ca/4gone/

StefanA
08-01-2003, 05:42 PM
those damn new INS rules can make anyone sick. They changed again on June 16th. As for me who has only been working and never went to university or such, it's almost impossible to get a workvisa for the US. I for one hates the ne policy of more or less NOT allowing people outside the US to work there.
I've heard a lot of companys say the same thing.

So to all of you noobies out there... get yourself a college degree (a MFA at minimum). Check out all the schools listed here at cgtalk and get with the program :) I'm too old an don't have the money to do it, but I really encourage everyone else to do it (mom and dad are right, it IS good to have in the future).

best regards

.stefan andersson

dharmabum
08-01-2003, 06:21 PM
Yeah, we Candadians are pretty much a self-depracating bunch. It's changing now but before everybody left Canada to "make it" in the States. Now, since a new generation of canucks are growing up with Canadian pride ie. I AM CANADIAN. Maybe we'll develop and grow more industry here. Not just in animation but all other things as well.

A lot could be riding on this CORE Spaz project. It could bring about a huge growth spurt in the industry here in Toronto. It happened not too long ago in London right after Gladiator was released. Mill did all the effects and won an Academy award so Hollywood started sending a lot of stuff their way as well as other studios that grew out of that. Hopefully that will happen to Toronto. I'm just surprised it's taken people to realize that there is a great potential in this city not only because of Sheridan and other schools shooting quality, talented artists but the fact that MAYA and Softimage are Canadian grown softwares.

C'mon people with the money! Throw up our way! I'm sure we're much cheaper than the UK. What's the echange now? 2.25?

dharmabum
08-01-2003, 06:23 PM
I said throw up our way. I be silly! :p

Whylee
08-01-2003, 07:13 PM
Very true about the INS comments and the "brain drain." I don't have any formal training so the new INS rules are a problem to me too. I "may" be able to get around the INS rules as I have been published in different trade magazines and articles, lectured in reconized schools and have some features under my belt now. But who knows? I'm looking into working on a book with NewRiders for this reason as well... Just in case I need a visa.

Phunt

arctor
08-01-2003, 07:58 PM
I'm pretty lucky to have dual citezenship (Can. + U.S.)...but it still doesn't get you in the door if you don't have enough experience...

wallabee
08-01-2003, 09:05 PM
i'm in college right now focusing on character animation, and i'm just curious as to what constitutes "FX" work. it's apparent by the way everyone's talking, character animation is probably not the most desirable area to be entering in the CG world.

i'm pretty much at the beginning of my education, so while i'm drawn to character animation because it seems more fun to me, i could theoretically start training in FX. if i figure out what exactly constitutes FX.

-wallabee

jeremybirn
08-01-2003, 09:18 PM
Most of the visual effects and computer animation companies I've seen in the US are full of foreign nationals from all over the world - I could be wrong, but I get the impression that the US is the country with the most foreign workers.

It's easiest for someone in the EU to get visas in other EU countries, and someone in a NAFTA country (Canada, US, Mexico) to get work in another NAFTA country (with a TN Visa (http://travel.state.gov/tn_visas.html).)

But, I don't think the US, the EU, or most other places make it easy to get professional work visas with no degree. If you don't have a college education yet, it's easiest to start with a Student Visa, invest in some education or training, improve your reel, and include an intenship for academic credit that gets your foot in the door at a local company.

-jeremy

d8ed
08-01-2003, 09:34 PM
that or you can try to sleep your way to the job. i'm about >< close to giving that a try myself. gag. =)

jeremybirn
08-01-2003, 09:35 PM
Animation and FX are both competetive fields - focusing on effects, such as compositing or dynamic simulations, is no free ride either. The main thing is to work really hard, and somehow get really good at something you enjoy.

-jeremy

Whylee
08-01-2003, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by jeremybirn
Animation and FX are both competetive fields - focusing on effects, such as compositing or dynamic simulations, is no free ride either. The main thing is to work really hard, and somehow get really good at something you enjoy.

Yeah... yeah that's it. It almost sounded like you said that with a straight face ;)

slime
08-01-2003, 09:57 PM
I completely agree with jeremybirn.
Getting a visa to work here is not an easy task. They ask you for 12 years of experience (demonstrated) or 4 years of university (bachelor) or a mix of both them. The point of starting with a student visa is very insteresting, as jeremybirn said.

About FX, that's what I'm doing right now, and it's a lot of fun, but also could be very frustrating, as you must figure the way to make things work. When you are modelling, for example, is a straightforward task. you begin, make the parts, work in the details, and in the worse of the cases you fix something. But whith FX, R&D is involved, there can be different correct approachs to solving the problem, and a lot of bad ones.

I think that rather than focusing on the more demanded job, you should figure what you like most and go with that. You'll be more happy working at what you like :)

Ckerr812
08-02-2003, 02:29 AM
For all you canuckle heads out there, I would suggest to hire a lawyer. It makes getting a 1 year visa a breeze. Like Jermey said, there are alot of international people around in the states, but for us canucks it's pretty easy for us because of NAFTA and of course having a University (not college) degree.

It saves alot of time and effort hiring a lawyer, because you don't have to worry about it, and makes the move a breeze.

America is great, but I still prefer Canada anyday :beer:

Whylee
08-02-2003, 02:43 AM
yeah an immigration lawyer helps. I've had them whenever I've gone down. Been lucky enough to have the company take care off all of that for me.

Phunt

bentllama
08-02-2003, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
yeah an immigration lawyer helps. I've had them whenever I've gone down. Been lucky enough to have the company take care off all of that for me.

Phunt

the sponsoring company should take care of legal items for you...it is only the right thing to do...and if they do not, it is probably not worth your time taking that job...

I already lost a bunch of cash on a failed greencard attempt [the studio I was applying through closed their doors]...but now I made sure that the sponsoring company would incur all costs. hooray.

if any of you are in demand enough to write that into your contract/agreeement...DO IT...it is so much more relaxing [not that immigration is ever relaxing] to have the peice of mind that pros are working on it for you...free of charge! ;)

Whylee
08-02-2003, 08:19 PM
bentllama,

I do agree the studio should take care of it but it depends on the size of the studio. I know some establised animators that have gone up and down so many times they don't bother with lawyers now. Plus I guess it helps when your passport is filled with previous visas. Problem is with the INS/boarder guys it's totally at their discrimination. You can have all the right papers and give a wrong look and they can deny you. They go off hunches/gut feelings more then anything when dealing with people. My fiance came down to visit me while I was doing a contract and they denied her, told her not to try and re-enter the USA for 1.5 yrs, what a stressful mess that was. However we got it sorted out for the mere price of several thousand bucks :cry:

Not that I'm bitter. Honest.

BTW, you working at MS in Redmond?

www.peterdhunt.com

bentllama
08-02-2003, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by Whylee
bentllama,

I do agree the studio should take care of it but it depends on the size of the studio. I know some establised animators that have gone up and down so many times they don't bother with lawyers now. Plus I guess it helps when your passport is filled with previous visas. Problem is with the INS/boarder guys it's totally at their discrimination. You can have all the right papers and give a wrong look and they can deny you. They go off hunches/gut feelings more then anything when dealing with people. My fiance came down to visit me while I was doing a contract and they denied her, told her not to try and re-enter the USA for 1.5 yrs, what a stressful mess that was. However we got it sorted out for the mere price of several thousand bucks :cry:

Not that I'm bitter. Honest.

BTW, you working at MS in Redmond?

www.peterdhunt.com

I am aware of the denial situations. While travelling down for the very first time, I was with a colleague that was to start at the same studio. We opted to drive down together. He got some nasty ex-military border official and got denied entry, while I got a nice old lady and continued on to my destination in the US. Funny huh. Another case of that happening was with another colleague of mine. The "officials" did not like the wording on his papers, so they denied him twice, but he eventually got in...

Sorry to hear about your loss of money. Though my wife had no problems getting imported. ;) I hear spouses are easier to sneak in...that is why we advanced the date of our wedding before immigrating...

I work with BUNGIE studios [yes, they are based under the MS umbrella out in Redmond...but are nothing like the regular MS crew..we are a crazy games developer after all ;)]

Chewey
08-02-2003, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by Whylee
bentllama,

I do agree the studio should take care of it but it depends on the size of the studio. I know some establised animators that have gone up and down so many times they don't bother with lawyers now. Plus I guess it helps when your passport is filled with previous visas. Problem is with the INS/boarder guys it's totally at their discrimination. You can have all the right papers and give a wrong look and they can deny you. They go off hunches/gut feelings more then anything when dealing with people. My fiance came down to visit me while I was doing a contract and they denied her, told her not to try and re-enter the USA for 1.5 yrs, what a stressful mess that was. However we got it sorted out for the mere price of several thousand bucks :cry:

Not that I'm bitter. Honest.

BTW, you working at MS in Redmond?

www.peterdhunt.com

What was the specific reason your fiancee was denied entrance by the INS?

Whylee
08-02-2003, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Chewey
What was the specific reason your fiancee was denied entrance by the INS?

In Canada our major airports have INS in them as we have so much traffic between US/Canada. They pulled her asside and held her for 4 hours. They grabbed her because a) a few days earlier there had been "Terrorists" who came to the US from Canada (whichc turned out to be a hoax) so INS was on high alert as it's an embarrassment to them when that happens. They said they pulled her asside because she was a young person traveling alone with much luggage.

So she told them the truth: She had just finished college less then two weeks ago and her finance is working in California so she is going down for a few months to visit me/to take a vacation until I come back. In Canada we are allowed up to 6months in the US without a visa for visiting.

So the INS guy said "prove you intend to come back to Canada." She just spoke of our house here, family, car, etc. He stated "you have not proven to me that you intend to return and I believe that you are attempting to move to the US on a perminent basis. Do not try to re-enter the US for 1.5 yrs as you will not get in" and expanded on that.

So essentially we thought she got a flag on her passport about going in. So I flew up and got about an inch worth of paperwork attaching her to me and my intent to return. Also spoke to lawyers, INS officers in LA, Toronto, American Consolate and Buffalo to find out what to do. So things like property ownership, affidavits, a contract with the duraction of my work, a letter of employment my fiance had upon her return (ironic the letter was from Canadian Immigration Board).

So anyway we drove to the boarder and pleaded our case, saying it was a misunderstanding... Thinking she had a flag on her. Turns out there was no "flag" on her or anything such as a 1.5 yr ban (according to all the INS I spoke to) and the guy had BS'd her.

So we got over the boarder and took a flight back to LA once in Buffalo/USA.

Anyway that's my longwinded story ;)

Whylee
08-02-2003, 10:32 PM
Originally posted by bentllama

I work with BUNGIE studios [yes, they are based under the MS umbrella out in Redmond...but are nothing like the regular MS crew..we are a crazy games developer after all ;)]

I visited some of MS's Xbox facilities and have a friend who works there. They have tried to convince me to come work there a few times. I don't know which "studio" he works in. His name is Kevin Hanna incase by fluke you know him.

bentllama
08-02-2003, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by Whylee
I visited some of MS's Xbox facilities and have a friend who works there. They have tried to convince me to come work there a few times. I don't know which "studio" he works in. His name is Kevin Hanna incase by fluke you know him.

I know of Kevin. I know some of his colleagues at that "studio" as well.

Smaller world than you think. ;) :beer:

Whylee
08-02-2003, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by bentllama
I know of Kevin. I know some of his colleagues at that "studio" as well.

Smaller world than you think. ;) :beer:

When you say you "know of Kevin" it sounds like that's not a good thing ;)

Anim8rJB
08-02-2003, 10:57 PM
He's just never actually talked to him. I know Kevin and he's a very nice guy.

Whylee
08-02-2003, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Anim8rJB
He's just never actually talked to him. I know Kevin and he's a very nice guy.

I see he's fooled you too ;) I've only met him once when I visited Seattle/MS. Other then that met him online when I was speaking to Foundation Imaging where he used to work.

bentllama
08-02-2003, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by Anim8rJB
He's just never actually talked to him. I know Kevin and he's a very nice guy.

Exactly. Like I said, I know some of his friends, all nice guys, and they speak highly of Kevin. I will talk to him someday. ;)

:beer:

Ckerr812
08-02-2003, 11:49 PM
Yea, it is really up to the discretion of the agent, I have heard some really bad stories, but when I went to work across there, I was advised actually I was told, to where a suit, shave, and drive a nice car, you know first impressions are key, plus it's a well know fact that the busier the boarder crossings are, the more ball busters they hire, the smaller less busier, the more personable the agents will be :)

Whylee, yea man, soon as your wife told the guy that her husband had a place to live in the states, and she said she was going over there for the maximum time aloud, I could see bells go off, they hate that, I told them were I was going and they actually called my landlord and everything.

Anyways, eventually I will go back to the states, but as an agent of http://www.standonguard.com , ;) ..lol Plus, I love the mountain biking in Marin country (hopefully one day).

Whylee
08-03-2003, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by Ckerr812
Whylee, yea man, soon as your wife told the guy that her husband had a place to live in the states, and she said she was going over there for the maximum time aloud, I could see bells go off, they hate that, I told them were I was going and they actually called my landlord and everything.


The ironic thing is she was the most ideal guest in the states: A tourist. She was going down as a tourist for several months to do nothing but pump tourist money into the economy. As far as the "place to live" it was a vacation rental so again was consistent with why she was going down.

bah.

Ckerr812
08-03-2003, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
The ironic thing is she was the most ideal guest in the states: A tourist. She was going down as a tourist for several months to do nothing but pump tourist money into the economy. As far as the "place to live" it was a vacation rental so again was consistent with why she was going down.

bah.

ah..cheer up man, it could be a lot worst.

You could of taken the job at Nelvana :beer:

Now that would of been painful.

Whylee
08-03-2003, 12:20 AM
Speaking of Nelvana, I "heard" that CORE had bought them. No idea if that is true, or if there is a partnership at all. But with the CORE/Disney feature... could be true.

bentllama
08-03-2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
CORE/Disney feature...

yep...makes me wonder if Shatner will be providing voice talent.

Chewey
08-03-2003, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
In Canada our major airports have INS in them as we have so much traffic between US/Canada. They pulled her asside and held her for 4 hours. They grabbed her because a) a few days earlier there had been "Terrorists" who came to the US from Canada (whichc turned out to be a hoax) so INS was on high alert as it's an embarrassment to them when that happens. They said they pulled her asside because she was a young person traveling alone with much luggage.

So she told them the truth: She had just finished college less then two weeks ago and her finance is working in California so she is going down for a few months to visit me/to take a vacation until I come back. In Canada we are allowed up to 6months in the US without a visa for visiting.

So the INS guy said "prove you intend to come back to Canada." She just spoke of our house here, family, car, etc. He stated "you have not proven to me that you intend to return and I believe that you are attempting to move to the US on a perminent basis. Do not try to re-enter the US for 1.5 yrs as you will not get in" and expanded on that.

So essentially we thought she got a flag on her passport about going in. So I flew up and got about an inch worth of paperwork attaching her to me and my intent to return. Also spoke to lawyers, INS officers in LA, Toronto, American Consolate and Buffalo to find out what to do. So things like property ownership, affidavits, a contract with the duraction of my work, a letter of employment my fiance had upon her return (ironic the letter was from Canadian Immigration Board).

So anyway we drove to the boarder and pleaded our case, saying it was a misunderstanding... Thinking she had a flag on her. Turns out there was no "flag" on her or anything such as a 1.5 yr ban (according to all the INS I spoke to) and the guy had BS'd her.

So we got over the boarder and took a flight back to LA once in Buffalo/USA.

Anyway that's my longwinded story ;)

Sorry for asking in the first place for the details as it is a bit personal and I didn't want to appear to be prying actually but I do have an interest in knowing what transpired.
Thanks for your candor regarding the details though. I hadn't ever heard of any such ban in my dealings with INS.

Not that it will make you feel any better, I've had some unfortunate dealings with Canadian officials of an ugly nature when entering Canada with my 4 year old child which bordered on out and out racism. Sometimes the people in those positions are just unprofessional and the little guy ends up getting mistreated.

Whylee
08-03-2003, 12:25 AM
Haha...

It... COULD... be...











...














POSSIBLE. ;)

Whylee
08-03-2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by Chewey
Sorry for asking in the first place for the details as it is a bit personal and I didn't want to appear to be prying actually but I do have an interest in knowing what transpired.

Don't worry about it. If I had a problem with it I would not have responded, no big thing. I've heard much worse stories though. An animator I worked with (actually a VERY famous animator) and I were talking about this, having wives/gf/fiances in the US that can't work because the visa only extends to us and problems that have happened.

Anyway, he was flying back to the US from his home country and went through customs. For some reason his Visa allowed him to be in the US but didn't have in and out privledges. Or he was allowed to go in and out but upon re-entering he had to go visit some place. Anyway that place he had to go was closed for a few days so he got to spend a few days in jail while lawyers and INS sorted it out.

FUN!

Chewey
08-03-2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
Haha...

It... COULD... be...

...

POSSIBLE. ;)

And it could be a lot worse. They could have performed a cavity search on her.
:eek:

Here in Seattle, there are a couple of individuals that have been detained for over 2 years at the INS facility.:hmm:

Whylee
08-03-2003, 12:42 AM
Originally posted by Chewey
And it could be a lot worse. They could have performed a cavity search on her.
:eek:

Here in Seattle, there are a couple of individuals that have been detained for over 2 years at the INS facility.:hmm:

holy shit. 2 yrs? Like sitting there for two years? And the INS have like the highest level authority too and don't have to report to as many people. Man I couldn't even imagine.

My best friend that I've known for yrs and is now at CFC had a cavity search with INS.

Remind me again why we want to work in the States?!?! All these stories are making me wonder... ;)

Chewey
08-03-2003, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by Whylee
holy shit. 2 yrs? Like sitting there for two years? And the INS have like the highest level authority too and don't have to report to as many people. Man I couldn't even imagine.

My best friend that I've known for yrs and is now at CFC had a cavity search with INS.

Remind me again why we want to work in the States?!?! All these stories are making me wonder... ;)

Yep, looks like their country of origin has no interest in having them returned. Likely bad guys with nasty criminal backgrounds.

If I'm not mistaken, Customs and Border Protection (formerly U.S. Customs) inspectors are the ones who perform the cavity searches but now that INS is folded into DHS you'll have one unified set of inspectors that are cross disciplined for Immigration, Customs and Agriculture duties and equipped with a brand new Ike styled blueish uniform.

slime
08-03-2003, 12:59 AM
If you get a visa to work in the US, your wife automatically can obtain a visa to live. In my case, I got the H1B1 and my wife got an H4. I only presented the certify of marriage in the embassy and she got the visa. I came through Canada, and the INS man was very kind. If you have a visa you shouldn't have any problems, right?

cheers

Whylee
08-03-2003, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by slime
If you get a visa to work in the US, your wife automatically can obtain a visa to live. In my case, I got the H1B1 and my wife got an H4. I only presented the certify of marriage in the embassy and she got the visa. I came through Canada, and the INS man was very kind. If you have a visa you shouldn't have any problems, right?

cheers

We were not married at the time, so that didn't help for us. Plus as you stated the visa allows your spouse to live in the states but not work. Reason I'm not there now...

bentllama
08-03-2003, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by Chewey
...cavity search...

blood and feces everywhere.

Ryan-B
08-03-2003, 08:08 AM
Why would you put yourself through all that?

bentllama
08-03-2003, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by Ryan B
Why would you put yourself through all that?

[ $0.02 ]

Funny how you always hear about the bad...and never the good. True that there are some terrible horror stories of immigration out there...but for the most part, it is very uneventful for the majority of people.

The only bad experience I personally had was having to stall the greencard application due to the sponsoring company closing its doors. I lost a bit of money, but I am in a much better situation right now. I have never been denied anything, but I have had some interesting conversations with INS officials. Said conversations are usually resolved around the time I mention I make videogames, then the inner child in the officials comes out and I have to hear how they or "little Johnny" or LOVE games.
So I have had nothing but good experiences [crosses fingers].

Despite all the horror stories and paper trails, and the spouse not being able to work, I would not give up working in the US for anything else right now. I am working on a great title, with a great company, with great pay and great benefits, and am having the time of my life doing it...

...I am living my dream right now...and for that, any amount of immigration hassle is worth it.

[ /$0.02 ]

noisewar
08-04-2003, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by bentllama
[ $0.02 ]

Funny how you always hear about the bad...and never the good. True that there are some terrible horror stories of immigration out there...but for the most part, it is very uneventful for the majority of people.


...I am living my dream right now...and for that, any amount of immigration hassle is worth it.

[ /$0.02 ]

I second that. My wife has had considerable trouble getting a work visa, but the university she works for doing random CG stuff tried everything they could to keep her on the job. So while circumstances are bad, the intent is good... and when circumstances resolve, those intentions will put her in a good place.

Oh and this goes out to the INS:
SCREW YOU PUNKS WITH YOUR SNOTTY ATTITUDES ACTING ALL MIGHTY OVER ALIENS, HALF OF WHOM ARE MORE LITERATE THAN YOU. NEXT TIME YOU TELL ME 7-8 WEEKS TO GET MY WIFE'S WORK VISA BUT CASH MY I-485 CHECKS 3 DAYS AFTER I MAIL THEM OUT I'M GONNA SUE YOU BASTARDS.

Thanks, that felt good.

dmonk
08-04-2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by noisewar


Oh and this goes out to the INS:
SCREW YOU PUNKS WITH YOUR SNOTTY ATTITUDES ACTING ALL MIGHTY OVER ALIENS, HALF OF WHOM ARE MORE LITERATE THAN YOU. NEXT TIME YOU TELL ME 7-8 WEEKS TO GET MY WIFE'S WORK VISA BUT CASH MY I-485 CHECKS 3 DAYS AFTER I MAIL THEM OUT I'M GONNA SUE YOU BASTARDS.

Thanks, that felt good.


Same thing is going on with me and my wife. I just had deja Vu. I think they cash our checks 3 or 4 weeks ago and still no word. Don't gt me started about going to the INS building and getting any help.:annoyed:

jeremybirn
08-04-2003, 02:48 PM
Originally posted by Ckerr812
but for us canucks it's pretty easy for us because of NAFTA and of course having a University (not college) degree.

What exactly did you mean by the University vs. College destinction? I can see a plus in flexibility (a University is a larger institution made up of several Colleges, at a smaller college you would not have as many majors to choose from) but if they are accredited and give a Bachelors or Masters or Doctorate, then isn't that diploma all the same to immigration?

-jeremy

Lazy_Dave
08-04-2003, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by dmonk
Same thing is going on with me and my wife. I just had deja Vu. I think they cash our checks 3 or 4 weeks ago and still no word. Don't gt me started about going to the INS building and getting any help.:annoyed:

It's probably not much different in other countries. It does sound like primarily a clerical paperchase chore once they get it from you.
It's not unreasonable to expect them to cash your payment prior to performing the work that it's intended to cover.

Patience is a virtue they say. Hang in there.

JasonA
08-04-2003, 07:45 PM
A little off the topic, but I just wanted to mention something to the folks getting greencards for the US. (I myself am a canadian/swiss citizen with a GC for the U.S.).

Be really cautious about going back to Canada (or any other country for that matter) and working once you have a greencard for the US. While its always been the legality, the BCIS dept is much more likely these days to cancel greencards if you take up residency and employment in another country. Technically, you're only allowed to do that for a short time, and anything over a year puts you at risk unless you specifically get permission from BCIS. I think this is partially because of all the 9/11 hype about these depts not keep track of their people.

been there, so I know.... it really sucks grovelling before an immigration judge

Ckerr812
08-04-2003, 08:11 PM
Originally posted by jeremybirn
What exactly did you mean by the University vs. College destinction? I can see a plus in flexibility (a University is a larger institution made up of several Colleges, at a smaller college you would not have as many majors to choose from) but if they are accredited and give a Bachelors or Masters or Doctorate, then isn't that diploma all the same to immigration?

-jeremy

It's different in Canada. Without going into a long winded post, the jist of it is, Colleges give you a diploma (2,3,4) year, where as Univerisites you earn a degree.

With the only exception being sheridan, they are a college, but only recently was aloud by the Ministry of Education to issue degrees.

Depends on the agent, but some of them will give you a hard time about it. For example, they will give a harder time to someone that went to a 1 year private college or has a 2-3 year diploma, then to someone that has a Degree from Toronto University.

KenM
08-04-2003, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by Ckerr812
It's different in Canada. Without going into a long winded post, the jist of it is, Colleges give you a diploma (2,3,4) year, where as Univerisites you earn a degree.

With the only exception being sheridan, they are a college, but only recently was aloud by the Ministry of Education to issue degrees.

Just my 2Ē, I have a degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Emily Carr here in Vancouver is a degree-granting institution. It sounds like you are describing commercial colleges that offer diplomas, rather than say, public colleges with degree programs. Some of these have been around for a long time. NSCAD has been around for over a century now.

Cheers

Ckerr812
08-04-2003, 09:13 PM
Yea, there are a few exceptions... I am no expert, just what I experianced at the border, because the only college I know of in Ontario to give degrees is Sheridan.At the time I was going to post-secondary education, there were no degree programs, unless you took OAC courses in high school to go to university. It's probably changing now.

ggg
08-05-2003, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by KenM
Just my 2Ē, I have a degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Emily Carr here in Vancouver is a degree-granting institution. It sounds like you are describing commercial colleges that offer diplomas, rather than say, public colleges with degree programs. Some of these have been around for a long time. NSCAD has been around for over a century now.

Cheers
NASCAD, SHERIDAN(but only in a few areas such as animation) are still the exceptions. Colleges, even degree awarding ones, do not have the same status as Universities in Canada, especially compared to the US where public and private Colleges are often recognized as being on par with their Universies in terms of accredation, reputation and status.

jeremybirn
08-05-2003, 02:26 AM
OK, thanks, in the US there isn't the same distinction between college & university - I went to Northwestern University as an undergrad, and the Art Center College of Design for my MFA, and ACCD was actually the more selective and respected school.

There is something in the US called a "community college" which gives an Associates degree (for less than 4 years of study) that sounds very similar, though.

And there isn't the same difference between a diploma & degree (when you earn a degree such as your bachelors, masters, etc. you get a diploma to prove it), although there are training centers that have "certificate programs" that don't need to be accredited like degree-providing schools, so maybe those "certificates" are like what you call a "diploma."

-jeremy

Ckerr812
08-05-2003, 03:08 AM
Yea, it's a totally different way of looking at it Jeremy. Colleges here are known as more practical and hands on. Were as Universities involve more theory and lectures.

Quote:
"certificate programs" that don't need to be accredited like degree-providing schools, so maybe those "certificates" are like what you call a "diploma."

Actually here, a certificate program is usally a year or less.


For example you can go to University four 5 years and get your Master of Arts. It would include more theory, lectures, and a broad range of education including hands on but alot more theory then college would give, but also give you a larger selection of jobs.

Or if you know what you want you could also go to college for say Graphic Design, for 3 years and that would be more practical with Life drawing, painting, and more hands on work to get you ready for the workforce of your desired field, and be working in three years instead of five, but limiting yourself to one field of work.


They both have thier advantages,and are both respected, of course there are exceptions, and this is just kind of a rough outline.

Then there is Private schools (meaning that they are not guvernment funded)....and that's a whole other ball game.

Well there goes my long winded post :)

jeremybirn
08-05-2003, 04:43 AM
Thanks for all the definitions. It sounds as if we're discussing largely semantic differences. Except that none of the colleges or universities I attended were government funded - the US government has more important things to spend money on than education. :rolleyes:

-jeremy

bentllama
08-05-2003, 05:37 AM
My 4 years at Sheridan...3 for Classical Anim and 1 for Comp Anim...count on paper as a degree [bachelor's] or so I was told by Laywers and other officials. I have had no problems with that background...and now Sheridan states that they are giving definitive degrees to people that took both courses in the past, since they just introduced the new 4 year course. A degree might not even help my now since my diplommas were enough in the past to help me out...and since I have an extended work history now.

*crosses fingers* c'mon greencard...

BadMange
08-05-2003, 11:58 PM
There's a lot of discussion about working in the US from Canada, but what about trying to get a work visa for Europe from the US? I'll be getting my BA in computer animation in April and would like to have as many options open as I can. Luckily I have a wife who's willing to move almost anywhere so I can get my dream job. How cool is that?

It's a little disheartening to read that there isn't much demand for character animators. I'm focusing my reel on that, as it comes more naturally to me than modeling. I figured that with all the modelers out there on the internet, they're like good guitarists :), and animators are like good bassists (and oddly enough, I play guitar). I am interested in FX, but recently learned that my school's Special Effects class consists of creating titles for our demo reels in After Effects. But I'm going to speak to the dean and try and get out of it, otherwise I get to pay several thou for a similar class I already took a year ago at another school. I'll just have to do some research and learn FX on my own. So I've got that going for me, which is nice...

-Bad Mange

ggg
08-06-2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by bentllama
My 4 years at Sheridan...3 for Classical Anim and 1 for Comp Anim...count on paper as a degree [bachelor's] or so I was told by Laywers and other officials. I have had no problems with that background...and now Sheridan states that they are giving definitive degrees to people that took both courses in the past, since they just introduced the new 4 year course. A degree might not even help my now since my diplommas were enough in the past to help me out...and since I have an extended work history now.

*crosses fingers* c'mon greencard...
In my experience and in trying to get faculty from abroad, sometimes its fine while other times its takes some convincing.

In fact an MA is often not recognized as a proper full masters degree in the US, by agents or accredation, wether it was granted in US or UK.
on the flip side,
I also went to Sheridan, for just 2 months and used it as a masters equivalent!!! as the diploma was titled graduate certificate. But that only worked for so long and thus I'm getting my masters now.

I agree the other thing that seems to help is previous work history in US.

Another way to ease entry into US is education, as a teacher.

Whylee
08-06-2003, 01:58 AM
Originally posted by BadMange
There's a lot of discussion about working in the US from Canada, but what about trying to get a work visa for Europe from the US? I'll be getting my BA in computer animation in April and would like to have as many options open as I can. Luckily I have a wife who's willing to move almost anywhere so I can get my dream job. How cool is that?

I have four friends who are working at CFC Framestore that have gone over in the past year. 2 of them don't have any formal education beyond highschool and still got over. Granted giving presentations for SideEffects in Japan and London may help. But the others who have BA in computer science got over with no trouble.

That being said, CFC seems to still need people.

X-Swimmer
08-06-2003, 09:55 AM
Howdy. I'm new to the industry. I was wondering what peoples opinion was about Core Digital Pictures. I know they are ramping up for thier new flick in Toronto. But are they a good company to work for? Does anybody know anything about them?

Or is it better to go with better known company like Rhythm + Hues or one of the other major LA shops?

Also, what is pay like in comparison to places like LA and Toronto?

Thanks in advance,

X-Swimmer

ggg
08-06-2003, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by X-Swimmer
Howdy. I'm new to the industry. I was wondering what peoples opinion was about Core Digital Pictures. I know they are ramping up for thier new flick in Toronto. But are they a good company to work for? Does anybody know anything about them?

Or is it better to go with better known company like Rhythm + Hues or one of the other major LA shops?

Also, what is pay like in comparison to places like LA and Toronto?

Thanks in advance,

X-Swimmer
:surprised new to the industry, go with whatever you can for whatever pay at whatever places

dharmabum
08-06-2003, 05:07 PM
I agree with ggg. First you got to get your foot in the door, then get a reputation and experience and then maybe worry about money. Getting your foot in the feature door is hard enough as it is in today's market but if you have it and people are interested I go to LA. I wouldn't say money is the issue, it would be better cause you'd make better contacts there and hopefully set yourself up with other work considering that staff positions are hard to come by in the feature industry. If it's games or TV I would still choose California. That's just my opinion.

Meshosh
08-06-2003, 10:13 PM
Hello, guys!

I was just wondering... if you canadians have problems to work in the US, it must be almost impossible for a brazilian to do it... :)

I am 21 and I work with CG for almost 5 years now and I think the market here in brazil is not very promising.. There are only a few good studios here and all of then work for TV (games and feature films doesnt exist here)... So, itīs very difficult to get a CG related job here, even if you are really good... and if you do, the money is not good at all!!!! :thumbsdow

Thats why I am always thinking about trying to work in the US, but it seems to be so hard to do it, that I dont know if itīs worth it...

What do you guys think about it... have anyone there been through someting similar??...

Whylee
08-06-2003, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Meshosh
Thats why I am always thinking about trying to work in the US, but it seems to be so hard to do it, that I dont know if itīs worth it...

What do you guys think about it... have anyone there been through someting similar??...

Well even though we're talking about problems there are thousands of Canadians working in film in California. To the extent that there's sometimes a backlash in the LA industry about it :(

I'd say apply, lot's of people from around the world do work in the US. Just that sometimes there are complications or things you have to give up to work there. One thing you've read alot if about wives/fiances and the trouble bringing someone with you or them working. It is true that if you come unattached it does simplify your life.

So all that being said apply by all means. There is a shortage of workers and if your skills are up there big companies will go through the effort/money to make things happen.

You never know unless you try. Ontop of that even if you went for a year, be quite an experience.

Whylee
08-06-2003, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by X-Swimmer
Or is it better to go with better known company like Rhythm + Hues or one of the other major LA shops?

Also, what is pay like in comparison to places like LA and Toronto?


I'd say apply everywhere and worry about where you're going to work once you start getting offers. Pay in the States and Canada is normally compariable in the native dollar. So if you're making 1500 a week in Canada, you make 1500 a week in the states. Granted money can stretch more in the states as electronics and such are cheaper. But LA is comparable to Toronto for apartment pricing and food. A combo and McD's is still 5 bucks and Tropicana orange juice is still $3.99.

I've heard mixed things about CORE. On the whole positive... Just problems with senior guys getting burnt out in crunches which isn't exactly uncommon in many studios. Most places don't operate as a 9-5 kinda job.

Meshosh
08-06-2003, 11:03 PM
You never know unless you try. Ontop of that even if you went for a year, be quite an experience.

No doubt about that!
:thumbsup:

I just dont know about my skills... since I have never been involved in any big project, my work is not as apealing as most of the things I am used to see around this forum, just because I never needed and never had time to do things properly... :(

But I do belive that if I take some time working on personal projects, I might have a chance...
If I apply for a job there, how are they going to hire me, without meeting me?? even if my work is good...

BadMange
08-06-2003, 11:12 PM
So how difficult is it to get a work permit for Europe, Australia, etc, with a BA from the US? Anyone have any links to get started with the application process? I've got no idea where to begin...

-Bad Mange

Whylee
08-06-2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by Meshosh

But I do belive that if I take some time working on personal projects, I might have a chance...
If I apply for a job there, how are they going to hire me, without meeting me?? even if my work is good...

Well I know that DD and CFC/Framestore for example often just do phone interviews. So I wouldn't worry about big shops not meeting you first. Worry about your work. You're right about the personal projects thing. You normally need to have something on your reel that reflects what you're applying to do. Or something that show'd enough knowledge that you can apply their needs to the project.

Meshosh
08-07-2003, 01:08 AM
ok... so, you are saying that I dont have to worry about anything but the quality of my work?... I mean, it depends all on me.

So, if I have a nice job done here, a good demoreel, I could get a job there... they would be interested in hiring a guy in brazil instead of someone else closer to them??
Or even worse: there are really not enough good professionals there to fill all the seats avaliable, that the companies need to hire people no matter where they are??

Itīs just a little hard to belive that there is a huge market out there, with big companies hiring a lot of people, and at the same time, anything like this happens around here...

If this is really true, then I must put all my things together and start trying to be one of these guys they so desperately need... :)

Whylee
08-07-2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by Meshosh
ok... so, you are saying that I dont have to worry about anything but the quality of my work?... I mean, it depends all on me.
Itīs just a little hard to belive that there is a huge market out there, with big companies hiring a lot of people, and at the same time, anything like this happens around here...


I dunno man. Look at my web page/reel. it's ok but not that hot. Hell at this point it's pretty old. but that Reel got me calls from EA, DD, LucasFilm, Computer Cafe, DreamWorks, etc.

Trust me, I was as shocked as anyone.

And another thing, ask anyone who views reels... 95%+ of them are garbage. Yes there's tons of people who do CG, not everyone does it professionally.

I can cook, but I sure ain't a chef. Can you cook? it's not about what you do, it's how how well you do it.

Meshosh
08-07-2003, 06:46 AM
well, I did see your page, and I really liked your work. very proffessional. itīs a little more than just ok:thumbsup:

And another thing, ask anyone who views reels... 95%+ of them are garbage. Yes there's tons of people who do CG, not everyone does it professionally.

I have to disagree with that!.. at least where I work, a small studio in sao paulo, not 95% of the reels are garbage.. they are 99,9% ultra-garbage! :)
I thought that happened because there is no formal training here, and there are no places to work with CG... but if the situation there is not so different, I belive that there are really a few people who are professionals...

By the way, that "jaws: the true story" witch you did... I think I watched it... if its the one I remember, I liked it a lot... really cool :thumbsup:

bentllama
08-07-2003, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by Meshosh
Hello, guys!

I was just wondering... if you canadians have problems to work in the US, it must be almost impossible for a brazilian to do it... :)

I am 21 and I work with CG for almost 5 years now and I think the market here in brazil is not very promising.. There are only a few good studios here and all of then work for TV (games and feature films doesnt exist here)... So, itīs very difficult to get a CG related job here, even if you are really good... and if you do, the money is not good at all!!!! :thumbsdow

Thats why I am always thinking about trying to work in the US, but it seems to be so hard to do it, that I dont know if itīs worth it...

What do you guys think about it... have anyone there been through someting similar??...

not impossible. I worked with a Brazillian national in Salt Lake City...

It can be done!

Whylee
08-07-2003, 07:27 PM
Originally posted by Meshosh
I have to disagree with that!.. at least where I work, a small studio in sao paulo, not 95% of the reels are garbage.. they are 99,9% ultra-garbage! :)



Well I was going to say 99% but I wanted to be generous. I've screened reels at fx houses and most are very bad. In fact some fx houses sit around and go through the garbage pile while drinking beers just to make fun of them ;)

X-Swimmer
08-07-2003, 08:14 PM
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm going to head to LA if the opportunity affords.

x-swimmer

Meshosh
08-07-2003, 08:52 PM
Well I was going to say 99% but I wanted to be generous. I've screened reels at fx houses and most are very bad. In fact some fx houses sit around and go through the garbage pile while drinking beers just to make fun of them

Itīs nice to know that :)
I am really thinking that I may have a chance there someday...
But I still need to improve my work a lot to keep my reel away from the garbage :) :)

When I get my page done, Iīll post the link here, to know what you think...

Thanks a lot for the replies!! :)

rusted_nut
08-08-2003, 07:55 PM
Earlier on in this thread Whylee mentioned cold calling studios in Vancouver.

I'm hoping you might be able to offer some advice when cold calling - who should you be talking to - what do should be said - is the objective of the call to find out more info about the studio or to set up an interview - what about studios like CORE who post NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE on their websites

Whylee
08-08-2003, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by rusted_nut
Earlier on in this thread Whylee mentioned cold calling studios in Vancouver.

I'm hoping you might be able to offer some advice when cold calling - who should you be talking to - what do should be said - is the objective of the call to find out more info about the studio or to set up an interview - what about studios like CORE who post NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE on their websites

Yeah CORE was a bit of a pain in the ass about giving info on their project. I contacted them back in February and they wouldn't say anything. I know people that work there that weren't even being told what was going on. I had wanted to move back to Toronto so was just asking what their projected hiring timeline was, couldn't even get that.

When cold calling places I'd normally use email as that contains my website links. For myself I use the email subject to get hopefully some attention: Visual Effects Animator w/Production Experience.

From there I state my name, name drop some studios I've worked on productions for (Columbia TriStar, Fox, etc) to get their attention and speak of my skills for a paragraph.

After that a link to my gallery and demo reel.

Then closing remarks.

I think really it comes down to being able to say "production experience" as that's what most people want.

ggg
08-09-2003, 04:06 AM
initially I got a similar quick phone reply from CORE , fax us your resume, no walk ins : ( they are being flooded right now with all the hype
not having enough "production experience", knowing someone to connect is mostly the only way, otherwise I'd never have been called for an interview.
I don't think cold calling is possible like it used to be years ago, I think there has to be a people connection.

bentllama
08-09-2003, 09:38 AM
yeah...usually after your first couple of gigs, it is the people connection that gets you most jobs...

MarkusM
08-12-2003, 08:02 AM
Having read through this thread just now I wanted to add some remarks. I am fascinated with the passion that so many have on being able to get in to the industry. That's a great attitude. With that passion you will eventually be able to land the first job that will open the industry to you. We've all been there (well, most of us).

I think it is important to remember that this is a industry of talent. The path to success here is in many ways weighted in your passion to do the work and get better at it. Many obsticles will be in your way (tough jobs, bad clients, understaffed companies, ...). As you overcome them you'll get where you want to be, and it will probably not be what you originally thought you wanted, because over the years your education has taken you into something new.

So, a couple of things early on - job hopping talent.
It sounded like the only way to build a career in our industry is to job hop to get better positions and salaries. From what I can see I see two categories of people. The first is the above. They often want to make sure they are employable after the current gig. They are in high demand, or strive to be, and the tend to go where the work is. Many of these people tend to develop a specialist skill, for instance character rigger, or fx animator or fx developer.
The second category is one that we've forgotten about, but that from what I can see is perhaps the main reason the top studios and facilities do what they do. The seasoned senior staff that in many ways define the place, the work, the ethic, and the strive for excellence. I've recently joined one of the large hiring studios, and there's a lot of new people here, and more on its way. But what I can tell is that there's a core group of people who mentor the newcomers in the ways by socializing, making time out of their busy schedule to make us all feel welcome, comfortable and to get to know new people.

I can sense a shift in our industry from product to talent. Meaning that we used to be all about the product. The industry was fresh and people overworked trying to prove themselves. As we have matured, our audience and end client has become more savy, and the talent to staff projects are harder to find, the management has gotten the experience and knowledge that the team is what gets the quality on the screen. The talent becomes an emphasis in many ways. So I can see that people tend to want to stay in a position where they can influence the environment and projects. The second category is growing (of course depending on the stability of the facilities). I hope this a sign of maturity in our business and I think only good things can come from it. It also allows new talent to be able to come in because there's more solid structures in place at the facilities.

Another point I was going to make about new talent making it in. The real reason for production experience is that if the studio is busy and need to get a product out, teaching on the job is difficult to manage. Usually getting someone in with experience still means a training effort (pipeline, tools, ...). I today had lunch with five people at work. Amongst us no one had worked less than 8 years in the business and we had all spent 1-2 months in training as we joined the new company. And we all know how to do our job already but still needed this to do the job in this new environment.

Great talent, without experience, still gets hired. If, big if, they have the right attitude, the knowledge of what their talent is, and the willingness to start at the right level and learn how to do the job. It is extremely important that you can show your true talent and that you understand what your true talent is. Many people starting out don't see it. And I truely believe this is the main reason I've seen people not being able to get a starting position in the industry. So, selfcriticism. We should all be better at it.

Also, catching a moment at SIGGRAPH I got caught in a discussion amongst some very seasoned artists and technical people (I won't name names), and we talked about different places hiring. And I heard some amongst these guys (and most of us have probably at some time used their piece of code doing work or playing around) complain about the CORE hiring structure. I know one of the guys was asked for Houdini experience and a reel - and he's been mentioned in Cinefex for as long as I've been working on different high end productions. So if you get badly handled by HR somewhere, don't let it get to you. Sometimes even the right experience doesn't shield you from that experience. In an industry with 300 professional artists (?) you'd think we'd know better.

Anyway, I am back online after my move to the west coast and happy to see so many people still actively pursuing the magic.

Good speed, and see you out there.

Markus

P.S. Got a lot longer than I expected. Sorry.

MarkusM
08-12-2003, 08:09 AM
That'd be "3000 professional artists (!?)".

M

MarkusM
08-12-2003, 08:16 AM
And that'd be "God Speed" too.
I need a drink. Where Jason [Schleifer] when you need him?

M

Martin_G_3D
08-12-2003, 05:52 PM
So when you get hired by Lucas Digital for example you get atleast 30K?

And what do you people think about how the industry will be over 10 years?

markbones
08-13-2003, 06:33 PM
I think this is a great thread, thanks to everyone who has contributed.

People have been bang on about entry level people (not) getting hired, and to start out it's more who you know than what. I am still finding it very hard to get contracts. Good advice about applying for the job you have no business applying for (Joe's post) - but, in this industry the bottom line is the quality of the production, and the timeframe: it would be very bad to bite off more than you can chew? I have also found that smaller places do not (or cannot) take the time to train someone adequately in their pipeline and proprietary tools. It's pretty much figure it out as you go along, and that eats up tons of production time (that was my last production experience).

A question for people who look at reels & do the hiring: does anyone ever look at a resume, or do they simply pop in the reel and it all ends there? I am highly technical, have a programming background, and am much more fluent and have a greater aptitude using our 3D software and computers in general than some if the other people I have worked with (who have much more ‘production’ experience), but it doesn't seem to count for much. I had been doing lots of little things outside of my lighting duties, just to clean up scenes and do little geometry & animation fixes... i.e. I believe my POTENTIAL is very high, but can’t seem to get that chance. Again, it’s the risk of hiring unproven talent (as someone mentioned). Thoughts?

One more question!! (Boy am I dragging this out) What about NDA’s? How can I build my reel and apply for jobs if I am not allowed to show production work?

Thanks again.

MarkusM
08-13-2003, 06:58 PM
Lots of people have been working on something but can't show it... yet. I'd say if you do move around between studios or facilities, ask for a reference from someone who you've worked for/with. Ask if it is ok for the next place to call/email him/her. Better yet, when you know where you are going next, ask people where you are at if they know anyone there... that may give you a good name drop. Especially if that can be a reference call for you as well.

Different places rate tech knowledge differently. I think we rate tech knowledge quite high here - 'cause we'll push you to get the artistic stuff right with ADs supervising your work. But depends on the role you are interviewing for. The face to face experience with the sups hiring will determine if they think your technical skills are right for the job more so than a potential show reel. But at the end of the day if the show reel doesn't show your ability to put quality on the screen it will be hard to get to the face to face stage when interviewing.

Markus

markbones
08-13-2003, 09:36 PM
Thanks for the tips and the insight, Markus.

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