|Annecy - world's biggest animation festival|
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.
Recruiters like to attend festivals because they know they can reach a large number of animators in a short amount of time. So, where should the ambitious student and recent graduate go looking for work? Below is our list of top places for students to attend.
|Lake Annecy, France. Wikimedia Commons|
AnnecyThe mother of all animation festivals is Annecy. The festival takes place in the small alpine town on Lake Annecy in June 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 insanely overcrowded - but well worth the trip. You never know who you are going to meet who might help you kick-start your career. This past year was a busy year for recruitment - the big London VFX houses, such as Framestore, were all actively looking for talent.
And don't worry - you don't have to speak French; everyone speaks English. Though it does help to parlez un peu Franglais just to show you've made the effort.
FMXFMX is the annual visual effects festival 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.
Like Annecy, everyone speaks English, so don't put be put off if you can't spreche any Deutsch.
For animators based in Canada or the USA, this is the event for you. Everyone shows up; there are panel discussions, industry stands, new technology, and lots of schmoozing.
Siggraph is also a great place to see where the technology is heading. Remember that ours is now a tech-driven business. If you know how to use the latest software, you will have an edge over the competition.
The RestOther 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, a website or blog to host it, an up-to-date CV or resume, and a sack full of business cards. If you don't already have business cards, try designing your own at www.moo.com.
Bring your laptop or iPad so you can show your reel, and try to have different demo reels for different styles of animation. Don't forget that Animation Recruiters will have an idea in their head of the style of animation they are looking for. Your demo reel for realistic creature work will be different from your demo reel for cartoony character animation.
Next year, look out for us at both Annecy and FMX - and maybe Siggraph too!
And good luck!
The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt starting in September 2016, follow this link. To apply, visit the offical page here.