Peter Arisman
Monolith | SHOGO | Nov 12, 1998, 15:43:14 (ET) |

*** Monolith Production's Finger Server 1.0 beta

User name: parisman
Plan modified: Fri May 15 20:14:06 1998


I just wanted to say to the world that the web doodz ROCKED the Shogo website! Great work guys! It looks great!
Also, happy birthday to Rick Winter. He turns 28 today.

The cutscene movie is about 99.999% done. I just have to tweak some stuff and I'll be off the case for good (Tears and great sobbing)

Cool websites

REAL closeup shots for beer

America on Hold (AOL spoof in good fun)

-Party on Wayne 5/7/98

My plan file is huge so i'm archiving it.
now it's real short.


a day in the life of Pete:



I'm in the final tweak phase. A littel editing, a little this, a little that. I could probably go on forever tweaking stuff, but I'll have to put it down soon (Pete sheds a bitter tear). Mostly I need to add the laser shots in and some dust-n-stuff.

Here's a very good post off the CG-Character List. Writtrn by Jenny Arata of Mertolight Studios, it explains how to do a great demo reel.

Reel Opportunities
Getting Noticed By Prospective Employers For Computer Animators
(c) 1997 Jenny Arata

Your resume and demo reel are the first impression you will make on a prospective employer. Therefore, it is prudent to make the best impression possible.

The following is a general guideline to help you target your market and to shape your resume and demo reel into presentable form.

The resume

Keep your resume as plain and to the point as possible by keeping all information easy to find at a glance (this includes having a legible and normal-sized font!). Demonstrating your designing ability by having an
over-designed, "cute" resume is a visual turn-off because it is generally difficult to read and pull out the pertinent information.

The most important information is:

• Complete address, phone numbers and email.

• Software knowledge and years spent with the software.

• Practical professional experience only. If you worked for a firm that utilized your CGI knowledge or artistic capabilities, that's important.

• Art/film school or university attended. Not a determining factor in hiring, however.

• Relevant coursework.

Keep information relevant to the company you are submitting to. If you want to do only cartoon animation, submit specifically to those companies.

Do not include copies of your drawings, sketches, etc, when applying for a computer animator position. You may, however, bring them to the interview as well as mention that you have a portfolio.

Note: Always have someone proof-read your resume for errors and general content.

The demo reel

While I cannot tell you what to put on your reel, I can say that it's important to make an impression. It is always nice to see spoofs of products or commercials. Anything that tells a short story and makes us laugh is good. Works in progress are okay as long as you label it so and
even explain what you'd like to do with it.

Put your best animation forward by placing the work you think is the best first. Don't assemble your work in chronological order from when you first started learning. Just include your best work.

Tapes and resumes have been known to get separated, so make sure the tape has all contact information on it.

Although which software you know is important, how well you know and manipulate it is of greater value. And what have you done creatively with it?

The following basic animations are not of interest:

• stick figures doing a walking/running test in place
• bouncing balls
• bouncing boxes
• simple bugs
• simple robots
• simple spaceships

These animations are more interesting and are commonly desired by the industry:

• natural phenomenon (includes snow, clouds, water, fire, etc.)

• sophisticated imagery animation (includes creatures, characters, cars, mattes, objects)

Make certain your camera moves are smooth.

Make certain your lighting is consistent.

Do not repeat the works on your demo reel simply to make it longer.

Always include a log of what is on the demo reel and specify exactly what you did on the animations. If more than one person worked on a specific piece, be sure to say which part of the piece you did.

Music helps. A reel with no music is boring.

Still pics of drawings, computer animations, sculptures, etc. on your reel are not recommended when you are submitting to an animation / effects house. The key word is animate (i.e. motion).

Edit. Edit. Edit!

Things not to put on your demo reel:

Think about the impression you want to make on a prospective employer. Gratuitous, graphic violence, blood/gore and sexual perversion may not present you in the best light and may turn off those screening the demo
reels. The message that comes to mind is, "Do we really want a person who spends time thinking/doing this working for us??"

Color bars and tone are never necessary.


Demo reels should not come bare. Keep them in the protective case they came in or buy the very inexpensive cardboard ones. Too many reels arrive smashed by the postal system when unprotected, although hard plastic cases
are not necessary.

Send demo reels in bubble bags, not jiffy bags (padded with pulp paper) and not the cardboard priority mail envelope (very smashable). Jiffy bags burst and can ruin your demo reel. Your post office should have bubble bags and if not, check with you local office supply store. I recommend the #1 size.

Don't overdo the packaging. Expensive packaging isn't necessary, and it doesn't impress anyone. It ends up in the trash or recycle bin along with the cheap packaging.

Unless specifically requested to do so, do not send the demo reels UPS, FEDEX, certified or anything else that is an extra expense. Save yourself the money and just send things regular mail. You may feel an urgency to send out your reel, but on the receiving end, there's no urgency.

After the information has been sent:

Don't badger the company as to whether or not they've received your resume and/or demo reel. Even if you think you're being polite in making an inquiry, it feels like badgering. If the company is interested, you will be
contacted for an interview. If not, you might receive a written notice.
Some companies return demo reels and some do not. If you specifically wish for the return of your demo, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope (padded, of course). NEVER send your only demo reel. Always make a dub.

In Conclusion

Although software knowledge is important, I cannot stress enough how much more we and our competitors look for creative talent above all. We know that students often do not have access to the high-end software packages or
to the proper resources. That is why it is extremely important to become very proficient on the software you can get hold of.

I hope this helps, and the best of luck to everyone!


Jenny Arata has been with MetroLight Studios since 1992 and among her many
other duties
reviews all demo reels and resumes.

MetroLight Studios Inc. is a Los Angeles based Academy Award winning
animation house
specializing in high-end computer-generated imagery and digital special
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