Computer Graphics World

March 2011

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n n n n Recruitment Tere has never been a better time to be work- ing in visual effects. Each year, global VFX facilities are contributing amazing effects to a film industry that is constantly raising the bar in order to push visual boundaries and cin- ematic experiences further than ever before. As well as being great news for audiences all over the world, this drive to create bigger and more elaborate effects is great for established and aspiring VFX professionals who want to work at the highest level creating cutting-edge visuals. Finding the Right Match Attracting and retaining the right talent is a key part of any successful VFX facility’s strat- egy when it comes to development and the ability to compete and perform on a global level. “Double Negative (DNeg) is an organiza- tion built on passion and enthusiasm, as well as world-class creative and technical talent,” says Hannah Acock, talent manager at DNeg. “Tese are the qualities that we look for in people whenever we add to our team. People who commit to do their best have integrity and are willing to learn, stretch, and chal- lenge themselves, and will always find plenty of opportunities to develop and grow within Double Negative.” What DNeg does is produce groundbreak- ing visual effects for the cinema. “If someone can show the potential to do that on their reel and is a proven team player, we are always going to be interested in talking to that per- son,” Acock says. What does it take to get to the “reel” deal? Acock points out that an outstanding reel with coherent shot breakdowns and an informative resume is essential in any application. She ad- vises prospects to ensure that their show reel is working hard for them—there should never 44 March 2011 be any excess or diluted work that will detract from the main event, which should be the first 15 seconds of any reel. Due to the huge number of applications that are received each day at DNeg and most likely other top-level VFX studios in this in- dustry, the most eye-catching reels are those that are condensed and sharp, demonstrating a high standard of work. a person’s chances if they apply at a later date with an updated and improved reel. Leave Your Ego at the Door As well as technical and creative expertise, per- sonality fit is a key factor in the recruitment process. Big egos and over-the-top self-promo- tion do not sit well in any crew—it’s always best to let your work do the talking. (Above) Double Negative artists created the effects for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. (Left) Hannah Acock, talent manager at the studio, maintains that at DNeg, as elsewhere, hiring the right talent is a key element to a VFX studio’s success. Reels that have been personalized to high- light work relevant to DNeg (for instance, photorealism) also stand out. To this end, Acock advises that whenever possible, show reels should be geared to the company that a job seeker is applying to, making it much easier for all facilities to review work that is applicable to what they do. It’s also impor- tant for aspiring artists to remember that the competition is fierce and reels do get rejected. Any feedback that is offered can help improve According to Acock, personal recom- mendations through existing employees are taken seriously at the studio. “Who better to understand the right fit for our culture than existing DNeg team members?” she adds. “We have had great success in adding to our teams through recommendations, and our recruitment team is always happy to hear from people who have worked with our artists on projects outside of DNeg. Most organizations also recognize the huge

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