Thursday, 12 June 2014
Where are the animation recruiters?
Where should animation graduates look for recruiters? Or, to put it another way, where do recruiters in the animation and visual effects industries go to find fresh talent? There are many festivals and events around the world which focus on animation and visual effects, and many of them feature jobs fairs where recruiters will take a stand. So where should the ambitious student and recent graduate go looking for work? Here is our list of the most promising places to attend.
The mother of all animation festivals is, of course, Annecy. The festival takes place in the small alpine town on Lake Annecy in April every year. Annecy is about the art of animation, but it's also about business - lots of companies take stands there, and at the same as the festival there is MIFA, an international sales event in which buyers and sellers of animation content get together. Annecy is big, bustling and overcrowded. Book early!
FMX is the annual visual effects shindig that takes place in Stuttgart every year in April. Everyone who is anyone in VFX comes along - including recruiters. Big VFX houses like Frame Store, MPC, Double Negative all turn up. Polish your animal and creature work, and leave out the cartoony stuff. These guys are looking for photo realism, mostly for live action movies with a lot of animated content.
Siggraph takes place in North America every August, moving from Los Angeles to San Diego, and this year fetching up in Vancouver. For animators based in the US, this is the event for you. Everyone shows up; there are panel discussions, industry stands, new technology, and lots of schmoozing.
4. The rest
Other festivals worth attending, if you are in the neighbourhood are: 0ttawa (Canada), Zagreb (Croatia), Hiroshima (Japan), Holland (Netherlands), Fantoche (Switzerland), Anima Mundi (Brazil), Cinanima (Portugal), and the Brussels Animation festival (Belgium).
Wherever and whenever you go, make sure you have a polished demo reel, and up-to-date CV or resume, and a sack full of business cards. If you don't have business cards, try designing your own at www.moo.com
For practical advice on careers in digital media, read about what our graduates had to say at the recent Graduate Panel. Check out this post on how to set up an small business. Also learn about your first client project, read out our post on Portfolio Careers, and read this piece on Survival as a Freelancer. Study the nuts and bolts of freelance life by reading our guide to invoicing clients, and our guide to freelancers and taxes. For more on careers in general, check out our guide to animation careers here, and also take a look at this map of digital studios - a great place to start your search for work in the business. Finally see our article on the jobs page at awn.com )