Working in the VFX industry is a great career path. Read these 6 tips for your success in the industry!
Working in the VFX industry can appear like a daunting adventure. If you’re interested in working in the VFX industry, look no further! Technical skills in this industry are extremely important, but did you know the development of your social skills are just as cardinal? Our VFX industry professionals Gudjon Kristjansson (Lead VFX at Redefine Studios), Werner ten Hoeve (Freelance Compositing Artist), and Miguel Rodriguez (Instructor at InFocus Film School) all offer extremely valuable advice for those interested in working in the VFX industry full-time! Here are 6 essential tips for those interested in working in the VFX industry.
1. ESTABLISH VALUABLE CONNECTIONS AND CULTIVATE A SOLID ATTITUDE
Social skills are a valuable asset to any endeavour in life, and the VFX industry is no exception. They’re important soft skills that can help facilitate relationships with your co-workers and enrich your career. These connections can pave the way to positive career leads and enhance your work environment immensely.
“Be approachable, you need to possess some solid social skills — especially once you evolve into a lead. Be open to helping people always, and work closely with your supervisors to help bring their visions to life!” says Gudjon, and we couldn’t agree more!
Making meaningful connections is principal in the VFX industry! Always be willing to lend a hand for others, you never know how one kind action will return to you later.
2. ACT AS A SPONGE ON THE JOB
This is a popular opinion shared across the VFX industry – with technical skills being cultivated continuously through experience, trial and error, and learning from your higher-ups. Don’t be afraid to ask questions on the job – doing so will help facilitate meaningful information exchange and hone your skills further. This means embracing your curiosity and absorbing new information on the job just like a sponge.
Gudjon further stresses the importance of this, noting that “Juniors are like sponges. Your higher-ups are not expecting you to know everything. In fact, companies are most likely hiring you based on your simple skills being done exceptionally well.”
That’s right – your supervisors will never expect you to know everything! As a junior, honing your current skills and ensuring these strengths outshine competitors is important. Otherwise, most of what you’ll learn will be on the job!
3. PRIORITIZE WORKING WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE
As Werner says swiftly, “Working with people you love should be free.” Overall job satisfaction and good co-workers are generally quite highly positively correlated. Loving those you work with will reignite your drive at work consistently. A relaxed work-environment will not only increase your passion for work, but improve your overall emotional state in the work-place.
“I’m not a project chaser, it’s not something I enjoy. I just want to work, specifically with people I LOVE working with, which ensures a good creative flow. I’d rather have that than jump around constantly with projects,” Werner declares – in sum, working with people you like will ensure your creative flow continues to flourish with ease. Make sure to cherish this!
Prioritizing good company will ensure the rest of your professional goals are shortly followed.
4. KEEP YOUR REPUTATION UP
A solid reputation is necessary in any choice of career. Amongst creative careers however, consider your reputation your lifeline. How do you do this successfully? Maintain a positive attitude, keep your promises, and display a consistent pattern of excellent work and personal performance. Having a good reputation will take you to places you never knew were possible to reach!
Miguel further emphasizes this point saying, “Keep your reputation up. If you don’t have a good reputation in the industry, it won’t take you very far. At the end of the day, it’s all we have. Even if we produce excellent work, it’ll mean nothing without a solid reputation.”
Your excellent work must arrive hand-in-hand with some excellent character.
5. BE PRODUCTIVE WITH YOUR TIME
Maximizing your potential during work hours is crucial. No, this doesn’t mean using every minute of your work hours on your computer. Take some time to ponder your goals, gather some inspiration, brainstorm, and manage your interruptions! This will help cultivate a productive work schedule and positive job habits that last.
Miguel further emphasizes this crucial point, “Be productive with your time. Just because you’re on your computer 16 hours a day doesn’t mean you’re completing 16 hours worth of work.” Amen!
A solid way to follow this advice is setting your own productive schedule. Allocate time in your day to tackle your creative goals, track your progress, and meet deadlines in time.
6. BE CONFIDENT WHILE WORKING IN THE VFX INDUSTRY
This is possibly the most emphasized piece of advice by industry professionals! The VFX industry is incredibly rewarding and demanding. Like other fields, it’s important to know your worth and stand up for yourself when needed.
Gudjon words it carefully, “We’re all human beings and should be treated as such. Being treated badly in any workplace is a risk, but in the VFX industry – where no unions exist, which actually further compounds pre existing problems in the industry, there’s a much higher level of unpleasant treatment. Standing up for yourself, even as a junior, is crucial. Companies in the industry are great at trying to tell you your worth, so make sure to stay fair to yourself especially in terms of workload. Never let higher-ups walk all over you!”
We couldn’t agree more. Remember to always understand your value and stand up for yourself when needed!
If you’re interested in entering the VFX industry, these tips are your holy grail for entry and staying in demand once in! Following this advice will ensure the benefits of your hard work are maximized in the industry. Remember that technical skills are significant but not everything – your social skills will really enable you to set off in this industry. Above all, remembering to really get a firm grasp on yourself prior to entering these industries will help you immensely!
Compositing Visual Effects Program
Programs at InFocus Film School