Wow, am I happy that I went to a “submission and interview only” school. It seems that it helped prepare me for the hardships ahead.
Anyway, here´s my 2 cent on ow to apply:
Honesty, dignity, discipline
That´s all, really.
Honesty: Tell them in a professional style who you are, what you want, why you get that job. No blabla and dumb jokes, just the bare facts. And don´t show off other people´s work. Nothin more embarassing then having to hear “Oh yeah, that´s a nice tutorial, been through that one last week” in an interview.
Dignity: No lens flares, no flashy stuff, no flickering GI, just work, that show you are skilled in the craft and that you are good at it! The pro´s will determine the blenders from those who can “make it happen”.
Discipline: No sleazy, halfprepared scenes, just your creme. Even if it means you´ll need to re-edit your reel for every submission. When I searched for my current job, I sent out 5!!! application. I checked out the companies, gathered information, created a reel of stuff the companies wanted to see and sent each and every one an individual reel. Combine that with a clean cover letter and a CV (I´ve seen so many submissions with spelling errors I can´t cont them) and you can save yourself (and the HR people) a lot of time and work.
When I started reading the piece I thought WTF lots of people who are great at modelling. texturing, animation, lighting, rigging are piss poor at making reels, but it wasn’t about that at all. It was about content. That was one damn usefull rave. Lots of members here should get down on their knees and thank the chap for taking the time to write that!
I Compleatly agree, the simple fact is when these people offer positions they want to see talanted people, they WANT every reel to be great. in a sense they want your to do well. what employer wouldnt, having a talanted artist on the team will help improve ideas and the general look of the shots there hiring you for.
so if it gets chucked, you shouldnt have gave them a reason to do so.
I agree with Bacon. Look when people are viewing your portfolio reel they judge it simply by the substance and content in it. If the work is good, you’ll be much more likely to land the job, if it’s not good then you’re canned. I fail to see how certain people don’t understand this.
However, how much of an impact do you think making the right contact makes when looking for that job? To me it pretty much landed me the job I have now. Granted I had other opportunities to take and others in which had potential, but it was the one contact who helped me secure and land the dream job I had worked my ass off.
But don’t get me wrong, all the contacts in the world won’t help you out if your portfolio is lacking, because having a strong portfolio should be most important, it’s also the ol game of “who you know” that also plays a big role as to what job opportunities you do get. Because those awesome kick ass jobs we all look to land and begin working for, they probably won’t be posted on sites like monster.com. It’s been from my experience a word-of-mouth thing.
Yep, what dividebyzero said sums it up perfectly. I usually like to say that its 10% teachers, and 90% pure gruelling hard work. The instructors are there to push you in the right direction but you’re the one who has to haul your own butt.
in my experience, many new students are just too “fresh” and havent been exposed to what the cg community is like. What I’d like to see more from instructors is to show their students how to be self-relient. theres hundreds of resources out there to help people with ambitions to be in this industry, but half of them either dont care, or dont even know these resources exist.
In my opinion, the technical aspects of cg arent taught quickly enough. If students cant pick up the techniques and tools quickly then they find it very difficult to improve. What good is the art, if you dont know the medium?
just so I understand your saying that the art isnt as important as been a artist,
I was trying to explaine to a collage student who wanted to learn animation at university (this is WAY after I graduated with a animation degree). he kept saying he just wanted to use the computer, and didnt understand why having a solidn art background was so important.
I just said.
just cos you can use a pen doesnt mean you could write a best selling book, the ability to use the tool is there but without the art to back up the work it wont realy go anyware.
hmm, perhaps i should have elaborated a bit more clearly. I by no means believe that art is less important than the technical things. its much more important…
which is why I also said that the technical things should be taught more quickly, so that they become instinct, rather than a burden. when a person with a passion for art suddenly throws themselves into a digital medium, they struggle mostly with the tools, which makes the art much more difficult.
from my limited experience, I saw students with excellent artistic skills and awesome ideas, but they couldnt interpret what they envisioned into 3d because they didnt understand the software.
Demo Reel, Smeemo Reel. Like a lot of you, I’ve made a dozen of these. And for a few amazing folks, it gets them in the industry (I’m not refering to myself:) Although, you have no idea how many people are working in major studios without ever, and yes I just said “without ever”, making a single demo reel. It’s all about who you know. If you don’t know anyone, then your demo has to be amazing. Nobody takes a chance on a nobody; that is the attitude of hollywood (I personally disagree with this, but that is how it is). Your demo is your chance to be somebody in the industry.
Once you get into a studio though, you’ll puke when you learn how most people got their
When my studio does reel screenings, we barely care who knows who. If it’s a factor, it’s pretty much peripheral. ie, “Is he easy to work with?” etc… It’s all about the reel. And the simple fact is a good 75% of them aren’t up to snuff, most of which are from ‘major’ schools. (the other 15% go in the ‘last resort’ pile, and 10% are good/usable) This is for TV production, mind you, not even film or commercials.
Funny enough, as CG animation has evolved, the work coming out of schools hasn’t. Not from an animation standpoint anyway. Reels animated 10 years ago made the exact same mistakes as the ones we see every week nowadays. Only the lighting and glittery post fx have improved.
Heck, I sure made those mistakes up the wazoo in school. Took several more reels for me to get my foot in the door. It’s not quite as nastily incestuous and ‘connections-centric’ as you make it sound.
That would be quite a thread, but I can only testify to the animation reels we review. I’m sure these’ve been said elsewhere in this thread, but they’re worth repeating. This applies primarily to student reels, and the work coming out of major schools:
-If you want to animate, animate, and make sure that’s where you put your time. Too often we see reels with super-elaborate models/rigs of grandiose monsters, ninjas, warriors, etc. The student has put all that time into modeling (or lighting or rigging) for their final project, and the animation suffers. We don’t care about models, textures, or lighting, and honestly, pretty much every studio I know of or have worked with has very little need of generalists. That’s not to say there’s no market for them, but I don’t know where it is.
-This is important: If you’re an animation student, resist the urge to make an epic or tell a long story. It’s something we see constantly, and even something I succumbed to in film school. It’s not stupidity, it’s usually just youthful enthusiasm, and I guess the schools don’t want to ‘squelch your creativity’ by forcing you to not ruin your chances at employment. You’re making your first film. It’s thrilling! You’re full of energy and think you can accomplish absolutely any size project and make it look great! Yes, one student in a thousand can. Most however, even the extremely talented, cannot.
It may sound draconian, but if these schools were serious about turning students into disciplined, skilled, hireable animation talent rather than just a $20-40k tuition fee, they’d set strict time limits on how long final animation projects can be. Personally, I’d set it to something like 60 seconds, maybe 90 tops. Any longer than that, and the work suffers hard. Plus it’s even better for them from a storytelling/boarding/staging perspective, because it would force them to learn to be clear and economical filmmakers as well as more effective and less-rushed animators. If I was put in charge of a school, this would be one of the first things I’d do.
-And like has been said, the emphasis on software learning over animation basics. A professional animator will use maybe 2% of Maya’s features, yet months is spent teaching everyone modeling, comping, etc… I understand everyone needs a basic knowledge of these things, but there’s gotta be a way to do it better. We see lots of reels with basic, basic animation problems. Jittery limbs, keyframes crammed together, weightlessness, and it seems like none of these teachers have told their students about the concept of the ‘moving hold’. :shrug: Floaty floaty floaty, drift drift drift. Heck, it wasn’t until my firstjob that I was shown how to do one.
Off the top of my head, those are the most pressing.
As a student just taking his first steps into 3d I don’t have to worry about my reel for some time to come, but I can relate to some of the errors you described. I believe that schools focusing on software instead of techniques is a perfect example of how young this industry still is, and even with all these great artists making great works it remains problematic for teachers to transfer knowledge in the right way. As the industry grows, so will the schools that prepare people for that industry, and thus gaining a better understanding of how to get people ready for business.
Spot on, but thats the major problem right now, most people who teach aren’t good enough to actually be in the industry (not all mind you) and the people who are up to standards barely teach because they have work to do.
It’s an everlasting loop, and untill some of the real artists are going to spend time passing on knowledge it’s gonna stay this way.
i agree 100% with what has been stated about throwing out the demo reels. Nowadays the industry is full of people that find “makin gamez n moviez is teh cool” so they think is as easy as enjoying them , so they go to crappy schools that teach you the manual of a software in 10x slower time
And if you have a really strong work and a studio sort of recognized your work , yeah theres some people that dont make demo reels, but thats not because of connection, but because a company\studio actually recognized that person has talent .