I'll be interning at Tinman Creative Studios this summer and I start tomorrow!
It's a small studio located literally right next to the Exhibition GO train stop, it's like a 2 minute walk from it. They have created a lot of web content including their recent web series Super Science Friends which is a series about a group of famous scientists with super powers led by Winston Churchill. Check it out the first episode here. And here's a link to their website:
I haven't really announced it anywhere since I got the job at the beginning of March (actually it was the day Zootopia came out because I remember watching it to celebrate). But since I'll be starting tomorrow I guess it was time to post it! I'm also lucky enough to be interning with a group of really close friends so I'm super excited to start. I can't wait to see what this summer holds.
And alas here's my portfolio and demo reel that I used to get in!
(oh boy some of these stuff are already outdated haha)
And if you're wondering I did receive one other interview from another studio the same week Tinman had interviewed me. I had not received any interviews or offers prior to those two. I learned a lot about portfolios and what studios were looking for in interns. So here's a list of things that I learned in the process!
- YOU'RE A STUDENT. First and foremost you're a student. Take advantage of it. Studios are looking for amazing artists and animators, but in the end you're a student. They aren't expecting the best in order to replace their animation supervisor or art director, they're looking for someone that can do the job that they're going to ask you to do. But if your stuff ends up looking top notch even better! You're not going to be in a higher position since you're an intern for 4 months, so don't assume your portfolio needs to be filled with experience. Studios know that the majority of students don't have industry experience, but if you do that's a bonus! You're doing an internship to GET experience so don't sweat that you don't have much relevant experience, they know.
- The demo reel may be the only thing they see. One studio only looked at my demo reel and nothing else, while the other ended up contacting me directly through my email that I had only listed on my resumé and not through my school's job board. As someone who was looking for an animation internship, my demo reel and the order in which scenes appeared was crucial. Generally (not a rule) the order would be:BEST > SECOND BEST > AWESOME STUFF IN THE MIDDLE > THIRD BEST
Your demo reel must CONSISTENTLY BE GREAT WORK YOU'VE DONE that showcases what you are capable of doing and your interests. The end of my demo reel has that Mr. Fairway walk cycle that many industry people responded positively to, so at one point I moved it very early in my demo reel and showed it to more people. They then said to have something at the end to make sure they're hooked IF they watched it all the way through, some don't and that's important to know. So I ended up returning the walk cycle at the end and got the same good feedback as before! I rearranged my demo reel so many times until I was satisfied with it. There were a few pieces that I was hesitant to put in but industry people ended up liking those ones the most, so never doubt your instincts! If YOU think it's good it probably is. And just a few more notes about the demo reel:
-MAXIMUM 1 MINUTE. IT CAN BE LESS. I just had enough stuff to show off and most relied on dialogue, I've seen people with 30 second demo reels and less. SHOW YOUR BEST. Don't add anything bad because that could even alter their decision on you!
- Rough animation? That's fine! You're a student! Pretty much all the industry people I've shown my demo reel to did not care that some of the stuff I had were not clean. Just make sure your performance is CLEAR. I asked them if they did and every single one said the same similar thing, "We're looking for the performance and how clear it is, not how pretty it looks." But don't take this advice as truth, guaranteed when you're a professional in the industry, something like this would not fly with companies.
- Be good at more than one thing, but not everything. In both my interviews and portfolio reviews with other studios, I discovered that studios want people who are versatile. If you're a one man show, the moment your job is done you'll be out of work and useless to the team. Being good at two or three things is best. This doesn't mean you need to be good at animation and layout, look at the subcategories in those skills. For myself I had stated my main interest lies in character animation, lip sync and enjoy broad cartoony acting. As for my other skill, I said I am currently practicing and enjoy doing SFX animation ever since doing it on Cuphead. If you say you like everything, then you're unsure of what your skills are, making studios unsure of where to put you. They want people who know what they want and what they do. Have a clear direction of what you want to do. Although, just like with everything I've been writing here there are exceptions. There are some studios that just want someone who can do one thing really well. I found that being capable of doing other things allowed me to apply to more jobs. In both interviews, both companies had pointed out when I mentioned also doing special FX animations and one of which asked for my resume to write a note down that I did FX citing that every company is always in need of FX animators.
- Be yourself in interviews. The biggest thing I dreaded the most was the interviews. I hate them and I'm not good at them. Each company has their own way of deciding if an interview went well or badly, so I can't really chime in on that aspect. All you need to know is that the interview means they like your work, now they want to see how cool you are. I'm not joking. So be cool, be yourself. Animation companies tend to be so relaxed and inviting. They have the same interests as you, so just act like you normally would and treat it as a conversation. So relax and have fun, 15-30 minutes goes by in a flash.
I hope this advice helps! Heck, I'm still learning the process! If I think of any more advice I will update this post.