24 February 2009

Sad stories

Hi fellow Blogger!

Today I would like to talk about something that make me kinda sad... Remember a couple of weeks ago Ive wrote a series of article about what to put and what not to put on a proper demo reel for a 3d artist? Ive also done an article about how to behave in a 3d classroom. If you didn't read it before just go down right to the blog archives section and you will find them there.

I want to talk about it because I receive news in the last days about two of my former classmate back in the times. Both of them sadly never got the chance to work in the industries, video game or movies. They were both talented and dedicated student so why do they never get to work in the field? This was a question I ask myself and speak with other colleague and friend in front of a beer.

In fact one of them was my co-locator last year and I saw him work on his animation almost everyday. The other use to send me his stuff so I can help him or give him a good advice. I even get to his home to show him some of the coolest stuff to know in Zbrush and in 3ds max.

What make me sad the most is that the one I help with Zbrush was as good as me at school and was very brilliant and a quick learner, which I never be. I heard that he give up. After three years of hardworking he is giving up his dream of working in a video game company as a 3d artist. The one who were my co-locator and a close friend as not giving up yet and stay focus on his dream to become a 3d animator but still he is struggling to achieving it.

OK So I'm asking myself what makes good guys and good artists to never had the chance to work in the field...? I'm figuring that I must do little research and investigate it. Of course it have social and economical reason to it. In example my ex co-locator just had about a month ago an interview for a job as a 3d artist for a local TV network but due to the slowing economy they finally decided to resign the assignment. The other never get more than two interview in three years... Company always answering him that they will contact him when they will have new position to fill up.

But at the other side I had a couple of interview in three years and I had two job in the field and I know other former classmate who were successful in finding a job in the industry.

It all lead me to think about the fact that why do they not having a lot of interview which should resulting in obtaining the jobs? I may seem to repeat myself but where I'm going is that maybe their demo reel is not enough efficient. Because as said in a previous article, a demo reel is the contact
card you give to employers. Having figured it out, I ask my two friend to show me what they were sending to potential employers.

When I saw their demo reel I knew it was the problem right away. They obviously didn't had read my article before :OP I'm just kidding, but I'm serious at the same times. Obviously I didn't have a blog back in the day so they could not have read it before, but they had the same teachers as me so no excuses! In fact they have a lot of mistakes that I've already pinpoint such as bad choice of soundtracks, not really respecting the ''sandwich effect'', the character were not in a nice pose. Both they had mix animation and modelling in the same demo which I'm not to fan of. But the thing that almost make me cry is that their demo reel was almost the same that the first they have done three years ago!

Let me explain myself. If your demo was kicking ass or rocking your sock off it is cool, but chance are that a three years old demo reel is way to dated now. Put you in the place of a employer and you receiving a demo reel labelled 2006 or 2007... Are you jumping all around the place saying wow so cool a vintage demo, I absolutely need this guy?? NO! Or sadder, the employer remember himself to have seen your demo back in time when he was with his ex-wife... Or maybe he was a fan of the song you use at this time but not anymore :OP OK so let be serious. You applying for a jobs as a 3d artist in the same company and for the same job you already applied one year ago. Fine! It is not prohibited in fact it show that you really are interested in that company. However the people who receive the demo remember your reel and realise that you just put one or two new thing in it after one year! They will ask themselves some questions as: Do he have the time to put some new stuff? Is he lazy? Is he really slow so he cannot have enough time to make a brand new demo reel? is he so proud of his stuff he want to show us again even after a year? That stuff was cool back in the time but not anymore.... It also make them think that maybe your not so motivate to work in the field because you didn't put the effort to make a new demo reel. Maybe you are lacking of consistency and do not manage well your time...

S.O.L (slice of life) here :OP. One day a couple years ago I receive an email from a company asking me and other people to send them our demo reel, resume etc.. before the 31 august. Ive done what they said because I wanted the job. Unfortunately they were needing someone with a lot more experience than me but they like my new stuff and ask me to reapply when a new job offer will show. The case happen a month later, but I had only one new thing to show from the previous time. I applied and never got answered back.

A couple of weeks later the college were I took my 3d class was organizing a meeting with people from the industry that work as human resources and recruiters from the leading company here in Quebec city. I was invited even tough Ive already finish my class since eighth months ago. Ive saw the woman I used to communicate and already had an interview with but she seem to be shy or not interested to talk with me. But she was very funny and cool with the graduated students. In fact a lot of the student from this year were hired before having finish their class. I was a little mad and my teacher ask me why . I told him that she didn't seem to be interested in me (professionally :OP) anymore! I didn't know but three or four days later I went to the college to take news and talk to my teacher and he told me that she contact him and when he ask about me she told him that I had not enough new interesting stuff to show. I can tell you I was angry! I was frame by newly graduate kids.

One month ago my stuff were great and now not enough good to be hire! The fact is that the new student jump on the market with brand new and fresh demo reel so this is what caught their eyes before they remember that I was waiting for my time.

The moral of this story is that you should at least always produce new stuff to show even if you are working at a full time job to pay your bills. If you do that and always applying with new stuff than you will begin to stand out of the crowd and they will think that your motivate, you like doing your stuff, you want to work and that you are a hard worker who never fear to rework or surpass him. This is all good positive attitude to have. The kind of attitude that employers like and research in many domain. In fact the first to get a job in my classroom was a guy that after one month the class was finish not finding job yet, decided to quit is new job as a cook in a fast food just to concentrate on building a brand new demo reel. He work alone at his demo reel for a month and came out with a totally new demo that impress the employer. They tell him that they never knew he could came out with so much amazing new stuff in such an amount of time and hire him!

Finally I should add that even when working consistently and updating regularly your demo reel you should not put your first thing in it. In example you don't want to put your first Zbrush head if it sucks! Nor even your first walking cycle... You don't want to apply for a character modelling job if you just have model one character in your entire life and put it in your demo. We got a saying in french about that who basically mean that a good worker or artisan should redo his work at least one hundred times... before he get really good at it.

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