Friday, 1 April 2016

Where Should Animators Go To Break Into The Industry?

Annecy - home to the world's biggest animation festival
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 Top Three Places to attend.

1. Annecy
The 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 animation festival there is MIFA, an international sales event in which buyers and sellers of animation content get together. Annecy is big, bustling and overcrowded - but the town is beautiful and it's a great place to hang out. Book early!

2. FMX
FMX 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 recruiters are typically looking for animation with a photoreal level of polish, mostly for live action movies with a lot of animated content.

3. Siggraph
Siggraph takes place in North America every August, moving from Los Angeles to San Diego, and this year fetching up in Anaheim, home of DisneyLand.

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, get some now! Try designing your own at - very cheap and easy to use.


The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2016, follow this link.

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