There has never been a better time to be working in visual effects. Each year global VFX facilities are contributing amazing effects to a film industry that is constantly raising the bar in order to push visual boundaries and cinematic experiences further than ever before.
As well as being great news for audiences all over the world, this drive to create bigger and more elaborate effects is great for established and aspiring VFX professionals who want to work at the highest level, creating cutting-edge visuals.
FINDING THE RIGHT MATCH
Attracting and retaining the right talent is a key part of any successful VFX facility’s strategy when it comes to development and the ability to compete and perform on a global level.
Double Negative is an organization built on passion and enthusiasm, as well as world-class creative and technical talent. These are the qualities that we look for in people whenever we add to our team. People who commit to do their best, have integrity and are willing to learn, stretch and challenge themselves will always find plenty of opportunities to develop and grow within Double Negative. What we do is produce groundbreaking visual effects for the cinema. If someone can show the potential to do that on their reel and are proven team players, we are always going to be interested in talking to them.
THE REEL DEAL
An outstanding reel with coherent shot breakdown and an informative resume is essential in any application. Ensure that your show reel is working hard for you, there should never be any excess or diluted work that will detract from the main event — which should be the first 15 seconds of any reel. Due to the huge number of applications that are received each day, the most eye-catching reels are those that are condensed and sharp, demonstrating a high standard of work.
Reels that have been personalized to highlight work relevant to DNeg (ie. photo-realistic) also stand out, and wherever possible, showreels should be geared to the company that you’re applying to, making it much easier for all facilities to review work that is applicable to what they do. It’s important for aspiring artists to remember that the competition is fierce and reels do get rejected. Any feedback that is offered can really help improve a person’s chances should they apply at a later date with an updated and improved reel.
LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR
As well as technical and creative expertise, personality fit is a key factor in the recruitment process. Big egos and over the top self-promotion do not sit well in any crew — it’s always best to let your work do the talking. Personal recommendations through existing employees are taken very seriously at DNeg — who better to understand the right fit for our culture than existing DNeg team members? We have had great success in adding to our teams through recommendations, and our recruitment team is always happy to hear from people who have worked with our artists on projects outside of DNeg.
FINDING THE TALENT
As an organization, Double Negative also recognizes the huge importance of having strong relationships with relevant universities and colleges. Spotting talent at graduate level is key to adding to the building blocks of any business, and Double Negative actively works with course leaders and students to ensure that we can offer first-hand advice to people wanting to pursue a career in the VFX industry and paint a clear picture of the opportunities the industry can offer long term.
Attending the numerous presentations that Double Negative facilitates every year is a great way for students to get a real idea of what goes into creating an outstanding sequence directly from the artists who helped put them together. It is also a great opportunity to get reels reviewed, and advice from experienced artists working within the industry.
Double Negative also makes use of various industry focused job boards, forums and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn to attract potential artists and allow them to track industry and studio activities. Along with our home page and jobs page, these sites are great ways of keeping in touch with what is on the go at any given time. Studios like to hear from people who are familiar with their work and the types of movies they have been working on. If you have a passion for a particular genre, this is a great way to see who tends to work on what projects and link-up with people who are involved on a day-to-day basis. At DNeg we aim to keep our Twitter, Facebook and forum alerts as fresh and interesting as possible, and always go down this route to promote job opportunities in both our London and Singapore facilities.
So the next time you leave a cinema awed and inspired by what you have seen, take a little time to look-up who was responsible for those incredible visual effects and check out their jobs page (you may be pleasantly surprised to find that they are hiring). From there, sharpen your reel and get in touch. If you’ve got the passion and the drive to succeed, the VFX industry can quite literally offer you a career that can take you into orbit.
IMAGE: Digital Negative artists created effects forScott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Hannah Acock is the Talent Manager at Double Negative in London (www.dneg.com). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.