With so many blogs and web sites devoted to animation, there is a wealth of information available. I run through my list every morning to stay up to date on the many happenings.
When preparing your reel, it's a good idea to know a bit about the studio to which you are applying. Under the umbrella of the "animation industry" there are studios working in fully animated feature film, television, FX for live action, games and internet. While there may be some cross over, many studios have specific things they look for on a reel.
Speaking of reels. Never, ever, ever put work on your reel that does not belong to you. It seems like common sense, yet I have heard of it happening more than once. It can be quite frustrating to get rejection letters, I know, I have my own pile. But your reel represents who you are and what you can do. To try and pass another animators work off as your own, is fraud. Don’t do it or the animation gods will become most displeased and frown upon you for a thousand years….or even longer.
Once you are at a studio be prepared for “crunch time”, that glorious time when everyone pulls together to finish a project. The length and severity of crunch time will vary by studio and project, but know that it’s rare for a production to go from start to finish without some sort of crunch.
Meeting deadlines is important in all industries and the animation industry is no different. Depending on where your working you may frequently have reasonable deadlines or ones that are not so reasonable. Regardless, you will need to get your work in on time. Being consistently late will certainly put you on the naughty list and who wants that? Practice good time management to help you stay focused. If you have a week to complete a shot figure out when you need to have blocking approved, when you must be splining etc, in order to hit your target date. Having your own mini schedule will keep you on track and make your coordinators very happy.
And finally…upon landing that first gig in the industry, don’t ruin it by being a jerk. People in the professional animation industry like to work with nice, fun, modest people. You don't have to bring in donuts everyday to win over the hearts of your coworkers; although if you want to, I like chocolate. Check any ego at the door, be open to learning, listen, ask questions, have a sense of humor, be respectful of varying points of view, be part of the team. Studios want to foster healthy, positive, team-building environments.
Guest Blogger Ray Chase