Friday, 12 July 2019

Daniel Baidoo Animator at Animal Logic

Daniel Baidoo
Many congratulations to our 3rd year undergraduate animator Daniel Baidoo, who has recently started work as an animator at Animal Logic animation studio in Sydney, Australia.

During his 3 years at Escape Studios, Daniel energetically pursued animation internships and industry work experience.

In 2018 Daniel found a role as a junior animator on the WW2 movie "Hurricane", working over the summer at Lipsync Post in London.  Prior to that he worked at Lipsync on the feature film Showdogs.

Daniel started his animation career by interning at King Bee animation while he was still a first year undergraduate, gaining valuable industry insight.

Animal Logic
Animal Logic was established in 1991 in Sydney Australia, and in 2015 they opened an animation studio in Vancouver - making the Lego Movie sequel. They have around 500 employees in Sydney, and around 150 in Vancouver. Recently they worked on Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Alien Covenant, and Lego Batman.

Daniel Baidoo
Daniel has contributed to many projects at Escape Studios, including the final year project "Minuet", while also balancing his studies with a prodigious amount of professional client-facing work at animation studios in London.

We asked Daniel for his advice on finding internships:

Animal Logic animated Lego Movie
"The main advice I can give to students is: don’t give up, and really have a passion for animation. Do your CV and showreel, even if you think that is not good enough.  It is a starting point and you will build up on top of it.

The second step is to be online looking for studios and recruiters. Go to VFX events where you can directly interact with people. If you know a lot of people in the industry, your chance to find out about new animation position increase drastically.

The last piece of advice is to keep in touch with people, artists and recruiters that you met online or in real life.  Once in a while send them your work, asking for feedback. They will see your progress and they will understand that you are really passionate about animation."

How to apply for an animation internship
To see more about how to apply for animation internships, read this blog post.

Patricia Kung at Escape Studios
Applying to Animal Logic
In 2017 Escape Studios welcomed Patricia Kung, head of Recruitment at Animal Logic to talk to our students at our High Holborn campus. She offered a number of tips on how to craft a demo reel that will catch their eye.

Demo Reel Tips
  • How long should reel be? Short, and to the point. Two minutes maximum. Animal Logic recently hired someone with a 20 second show reel - but they were 20 great seconds.
  • Only showcase your best work. If it isn't your best work - leave it out, or fix it. 
  • Playability: Make sure your work plays all all browsers - which means testing it out in different browsers before you email them the link. No DropBox or Google Drive - for internal security reasons Animal Logoc cannot access these. 
  • Host your work at Vimeo, or YouTube. 
  • Music: It's important to select music that complements your reel and isn't distracting.  
If Animal Logic like your reel, expect that they may well ask you to do a test, to see how you get on.

Sydney, Australia
Animation Reels
Animation reels should include a variety of character work, creature work, bipeds and quadrupeds.  They also need to see action shots, and lipsync. It's also a good idea to include a "process reel": this is a shot that shows your workflow, including thumbnail sketches, video reference you filmed, and your rough blocking animation. This "process reel" should show your whole animation  process and gives the animation supervisor confidence that you understand how animation works and you have a system in place for approaching your workflow.

Soft skills
Animal Logic look for good communicators. You need to be a team player, who is respectful of others, takes direction well, is motivated to keep learning new techniques and tools, and has realistic expectations of their job. Be nice to people on the way up - you don't know who you'll meet on the way down.

Questions to ask yourself
  • Do you want to be a specialist or a generalist? Big studios tend to hire specialists. Smaller houses often hire generalists.
  • Studio size. Do you mind working in a big studio?
  • Do you like the idea of moving overseas? If not, don't apply! But remember - this is a global industry.
  • Do you mind working on temporary contract? Most of Animal Logic's contracts are project-based. Contracts for more than a year or so are rare.
Online Resources
Animal Logic recommend that students enter The Rookies. Animators should enter the 11 Second Club. Be on LinkedIn! Check the jobs pages, such as at Animation World Network.

Develop your personal work
Successful artists keep working on their own personal projects, even when they are doing client work. Don't lose sight of your own development as an artist.

Finally, check out Animal Logic's awesome Lego Movie demo reel below:

THE LEGO MOVIE - Animal Logic Animation Showreel from Animal Logic on Vimeo.

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, now recruiting for September 2019, follow this link.   To apply, visit the official page here.

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