Approaching a Studio to Present your work:
As an animator and a creative, approaching a studio can be so intense. As we’re ordinarily so critical of our own work, it can be overwhelming to approach a place that’s packed with talent and showcase your own stuff. On the other hand, you gotta do what you gotta do, you know? Bills to pay and all that.
So, this is what I learnt when I had to approach a studio. Even though I gained SO MUCH more respect and admiration for them and I loved being there and receiving professional feedback about my work, but the experience itself was something to write about.
To go to said studio and meet the team, show them some of my animation work and to receive feedback, then afterwards, ask about future employment for projects. Easy right?
I arrive and they introduce me to the lead animator right off the bat – SCORE!
I then ask him to look at my work. While I’m setting up, he starts to ask me what I do, where I’m from and what I want to do in the future. I thought I was handling it like a boss, swinging my brain between listening and responding and dangling cables like a connector ninja.
During this time, I am trying to access my cloud storage to show him my animation clip, but failing horribly because my operating system won’t allow me to open files directly. Plan B: I show him some of my illustration work, which seemed to please the gods of fate for a bit, but in comparison to their work and my own, mine was dwarfed in standard, so much so that I just put it away.
Plan C: trying to access my cloud – fails (repeatedly!)
Next, try Bluetooth – fail.
Next, wi-fi hotspot – FAIL!
Eventually I got a mini-usb cable and I was able to access the .mov file from my android phone. I am specifically mentioning this because my Samsung Galaxy K-Zoom does not support .mov files. Weird, but HALLELUJAH!
Once he saw my animation, things took off and we were able to have a conversation. He gave me feedback and I met the team and saw their animation work. It was AMAZING!
So, the point I’m trying to get across is:
When you go to meet a studio and their team, remember this experience and have a solid presentation. I failed here, with flying colours.
Have your best work to present
This is where I succeeded My illustration might not have been on par with theirs, but the studio’s animator complimented me on my animation work and gave me some REALLY insightful and useful feedback.
Have a means of accessing the internet
Dongles are really not that expensive and if you are broke, make an arrangement with someone beforehand or with the studio themselves and ask for internet access – It was SUPER awkward not being able to access my online portfolio, as I was not able to show them some of the stuff I’m currently working on either.
You have a very useful skill
Learn to barter. Be an entrepreneur. Bartering has got me things I would not be able to pay for in cash, so I offered my digital services instead. It is essentially the same, except I don’t use the money exchange part to get what I need. It was a services for product or services for services exchange and it does come down to trust but so worth it. I have a good relationship with everybody who I’ve bartered with previously.
Introduce yourself properly, don’t ooh and ahh.
Let them know who you are, what you do and what your expectations are as well. Be the hero you see yourself as in the mornings when you brush your teeth and tell yourself that you are awesome. (If you’re into that vibe) But, if you don’t see yourself like that, then be the person your dog thinks you are.
Make sure to compliment their work (but not too much that they think you’re blowing hot air)
They do work hard on their artwork getting it to that ‘art God’ status and quality, so let them know you appreciate it.
Thank them profusely
They gave up some of their time to see and accommodate you to look at your work.
Make sure to leave a good impression
I hope I did.
And that is just my 2 cents when visiting a studio.
Huge thank you to Bela Pechau for the editing of this post