Hello Animation Job Seekers!

Hello Animation Job Seekers!

Recently, we had the discussion to large studio (big animation company). They gave us some insight on their pet peeves, their likes, and what they look for when hiring a new animator for their studio. Take note, be motivated, and go make that demo reel!

  • You have 30 seconds to make an impression.

You have 30 seconds to make an impression on the recruiter. Remember, studio recruiters look at thousands of reels a month. If you spend 30 seconds on your fancy name intro and your eclectic taste in music, they will quickly lose interest.

Recruiter’s Tip:
Keep it simple.

Start with a simple title card including your name and contact information. Move immediately to your BEST shot and then follow up with your other acting or body mechanics shots. End with your contact info again. Your animation demo reel should not be longer than one or two minutes.

2. Don’t put everything you’ve ever done in your demo reel.

Representing every shot you’ve ever worked on can actually work against you. Recruiters don’t want to see everything you’ve done – including your bouncing ball exercises. Recruiters regularly cite instances where the demo reel starts off strong and then loses steam because the work became progressively worse. Including everything you’ve ever worked on can take you from a possible “yes” to a very clear “no.”

Recruiter’s Tip:
Recruiters would rather see 2-3 really strong performance shots than everything you’ve done in school.

3. Unique acting is King.

Tailor your demo reel to the studio you are applying to and take note of those studios known for great acting. Recruiters at character-driven animation studios like DreamWorks Animation, Blue Sky Studios, or Pixar Animation Studios, really hone in on unique ideas and non-cliché acting choices.

Recruiter’s Tip:
Take acting classes. Why? So you can learn acting methodologies and embody the character you are trying to bring to life. You are a unique person so if you can feel it, you can animate it. Don’t be cliché.

Another option is to observe your family, your friends or great actors that are masters at understanding their bodies and facial muscles so they “become” the character they are playing. There are tons of video references of great actors who talk about their approach in developing a character and what type of mannerisms they create to make that character seem believable. The same methodology can be used for animators – build the character back story, and determine what quirks or mannerisms they have that are unusual and non-cliché. Observe, act, plan, and animate.