How to get your first job in CG - with Saddington Baynes
Staff Writer By: GEORGIA DAWSON
When applying for a job, people often say it's not what you know, it's who you know. Well, we call BS on that.
In our industry, talent and creativity are obviously paramount.
But that's a little vague, isn't it?
What are employers in the VFX business really looking for? Production studio Saddington Baynes give us the breakdown on just what it takes to make it in CG - from preferred career paths to building a standout portfolio and fit with office culture.
Here's the inside track on how to work your way into becoming a top digital artist post brought to you by the people in the know at Saddington Baynes: ECD James Digby-Jones, Creative Director Andrew White and HR Manager Poppy Boden.
Where do I start?
We're diverse from top to bottom. The key things we look for when choosing a candidate are passion in their work, strong technical knowledge, a keen eye for detail and above all a creative mind.
As James says: "Diverse experience brings richness. I switched from an initial study in architecture to fine art, then photography, until ultimately I embraced multimedia design and then became a Retoucher. We're as creative and effective as we are multi-faceted."
What experience do I need?
Ultimately, we work with a massive range of brands and agencies; from healthcare to FMCG, apparel to automotive. If a specific role within our portfolio needs filling, then we'll hunt for the candidates with the most compatible and relevant skills. Top compositors and brilliant lighting specialists don't just appear when you wish for them (unfortunately!).
It also goes a long way if you have an interest in design culture, comics, films, animation, video games, new and emerging technology. It might sound like a cliche, but there's a constant buzz in the studio about this stuff - it's part of our culture and when we're recruiting we consider how we feel candidates will fit with our culture as well as our values.
How do I build the perfect portfolio?
But there's ALWAYS scope to improve and develop new technical skills! None of our creatives ever stop learning. Newcomers tend to arrive with experience of some or all of the software described above, but there's scope over and above that to develop further skills. Our artists never stop learning, both on-the-job as well as in R&D projects and via the various online tutorials and training courses available. Self-initiated learning is encouraged and expected here; our artists are very much in control of how fast and how far they grow and develop.
Technology is ever changing and we are well on the way to developing a remote working platform, but right now we prefer our artists to work in-house. It's not just a productivity thing, it also goes a long way towards creating our buzzing atmosphere, and makes collaboration between and within teams seamless. We love it in the studio.
Where will I fit in the studio hierarchy?
Is it fun?
Be courageous. Take pride. Collaborate. This is the mantra that sits behind everything we do. It represents us at our best - we strive to deliver to an incredibly high standard every day and to challenge traditional means of image creation, so we can bring visual stories to life.
Of course, we all work hard. You don't create great art unless you're prepared to sweat the small stuff and take pride in what you do. So - we work hard - but we make sure everyone's rewarded for their efforts, and we play hard too.
About Saddington Baynes
What drives us? Our mission is to create sensational imagery that moves people and inspires brand devotion. As the creator-owners of SB we believe in creating memorable experiences through emotion and engagement. We know that these interactions make our client partners stand out - and grow - in highly competitive marketplaces.