OPIN­ION James hat­tin

3D Artist - - CONTENTS - James Hat­tin Founder of VFX Le­gion vfxle­gion.com

The VFX Le­gion founder on how to get your re­mote foot in the door

VFX Le­gion’s James Hat­tin on how to get your re­mote foot in the door at a fa­cil­ity

pre­sent­ing your­self as a re­mote artist might seem easy, but it’s a sur­pris­ingly chal­leng­ing task. Last is­sue, we dis­cussed the skills and tech­nol­ogy needed for the job, so now let’s look at what it takes to ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cate your abil­ity to work re­motely.

it’s an area i’m pretty ex­pe­ri­enced in. i run a bou­tique vis­ual ef­fects shop, VFX Le­gion, that started with a re­mote-only model in 2013. it was one of the first in the in­dus­try and it’s still go­ing to­day, although we’ve mod­i­fied our busi­ness to in­clude more tra­di­tional fa­cil­ity ser­vices to ac­com­mo­date high-se­cu­rity work. We’ve worked with hun­dreds of artists through­out the world, and have been con­tacted by hun­dreds more over the years.

There’s no se­cret sauce to get­ting hired on to do free­lance re­mote vis­ual ef­fects work. it’s a lot about mak­ing con­tact at the right time and the right place. Some­times, it’s all about luck. if some­one sends a reel just as we’re staffing up and i like what’s on there, i’ll reach back out to them at that mo­ment.

other times, i see strong work or get a solid ref­er­ence, and that per­son is put onto a list as some­one to ‘try out’.

More than any­thing, it’s about be­ing a bit of a squeaky wheel with­out be­labour­ing the point. That’s a tricky bal­ance to achieve.

of­ten, there are key times through­out the year that VFX fa­cil­i­ties are hir­ing. For episodic work, that tends to be in late sum­mer and again at the first month of the year. This is the best time to re­mind cer­tain fa­cil­i­ties that you are out there and avail­able.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is also key. part of be­ing a re­mote artist is the abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively through email, as well as video chats.

At Le­gion, we use the Zoom video chat plat­form for all of our kick-off meet­ings, dailies and in­ter­views.

Ready to reach out? Here’s a closer look at what you’ll need to con­vince a stu­dio that you’re ready to be a re­mote artist: a killer reel – the most im­por­tant part of be­ing a VFX artist, es­pe­cially a re­mote one, is a solid, rel­a­tively up-to-date reel. it should only con­tain your best work and come in un­der two-and-a-half min­utes.

A minute-long reel of ex­cel­lent work is per­fectly ac­cept­able. in any case, it should of­fer a clear pic­ture of what was done on the shots, and show­ing be­fore-and-after work is even bet­ter. Some­times, work can be so good that the re­cruiter may com­pletely miss the ef­fect. That might sound like a com­pli­ment, but it won’t help your case.

You’ll also need a savvy cover let­ter: we’ve seen a lot of for­mal cover let­ters. We’ve also re­ceived cover let­ters that were writ­ten for a com­pletely dif­fer­ent fa­cil­ity.

While a ‘one-size-fits-all’ cover let­ter might save time, it’s bet­ter to take a close look at a com­pany and re­ally speak to what they do – and why you would make ev­ery­one’s lives so much bet­ter if you were hired.

Le­gion is a spe­cial case, but hu­mour does go a long way here though – re­sumes are bor­ing: a con­cise, one-page es­say is great for an artist to cover his or her rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence. We cer­tainly look at them to see where a per­son is lo­cated and per­haps what soft­ware they spe­cialise in. Some­times, we look at the names of fa­cil­i­ties they’ve worked for to see if they might be a good fit for re­mote work. As an aside, i al­most ex­clu­sively use reels to de­cide whether or not to of­fer an in­ter­view, and then i see how the artist com­mu­ni­cates. if it’s a good fit, then much of what is on the re­sume is ir­rel­e­vant. i once hired some­one for VFX work who had mostly ed­i­to­rial ex­pe­ri­ence on their Linkedin pro­file and re­sume, and it ended up be­ing one of our best hires. Hav­ing a strong skillset and a good-look­ing reel is the best thing you can do to get a foot in the door.

Still, con­nec­tions make up a sig­nif­i­cant piece of the puz­zle. Who you know and where they are now are im­por­tant points to con­sider.

Le­gion has al­ways placed re­fer­rals over cold calls when it comes to ta­lent.

As you wend your way through your ca­reer, stay in touch with peo­ple. We at Le­gion have long arms when it comes to the peo­ple that we know around the world, and a good word from al­most any of them would have huge div­i­dends for at least get­ting a few shots for a try­out. it never hurts to keep up with past col­leagues.

You’ve got this. You are ready to go. Get out there and find some­one to work for, be­cause when it gets busy, it’s all hands on deck – and two of those could be yours.

VFX Le­gion has re­mote artists work­ing all around the world

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.