You’ve sent in your reel, now what?

How to communicate with a recruiter in that early stage of applying for a VFX job.

#gettingavfxjob week is brought to you by Escape Studios.

If you’ve been following along during #gettingavfxjob week, hopefully you read the real advice for reels piece, which had several pros recounting what should and shouldn’t go on your VFX reel when applying for a job.

Well, a lot of people responded to that advice, so I thought I’d mine something else from that particular panel of experts (at the Houdini Hive at SIGGRAPH 2017).


This time it’s all about what to do once you’ve submitted your reel or your application to a recruiter. There’s a waiting game for this side of things, so what should you do? Gavin Graham (now managing director at DNEG Montreal) has 4 pieces of advice for you.

1. You can’t rush things

You have to bear in mind that there are literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of reels coming in every day. And every studio manages that differently. It could be a month before you hear back. So, you have to be patient.

2. Try and form a bond with that recruiter

If you have had feedback from someone, if someone does get back to you and says sorry we don’t have anything right now, then ask them, ‘Is there anything about my work that could have been better? Is there anything else that you would have wanted to see?’ And then as you do more work, as you improve your reel, feel free to post it back to them directly and say, ‘Hey, just to let you know, I’ve got an updated thing. You might like it. I’ve had this a little bit more experience.’ Just try and make it as easy as possible for them to go, ‘Oh, okay, this is someone who seems competent and friendly and nice.’

3. Professionalism is important

I once had to do a Skype interview with someone whose Skype ID was something like, ‘must be the drugs’. And I was like, really? You couldn’t have set up a temporary ID? Do think about that. Think about what your public profile is, think about how you’ll be perceived.

4. Don’t be a jerk

You really can blow it by by pestering a recruiter too much, but, equally, it’s such a lottery. Sometimes you’ll apply and it’ll go nowhere. Other times you’ll apply and it just so happens that that day there’s just been a big 50 shots extra awarded and then they need someone and you look good.

This week at befores & afters is #gettingavfxjob week. Explore various tips and tricks for searching for, applying and landing your next VFX job.

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