What I Look For…
Tips on applying to Echo Bridge or any other studio for that fact.
I get a lot of emails from people either looking for employment or people looking to hire the studio. When it comes to which messages I’ll open and which ones get tossed right into the trash; I’m pretty strict with my process… Especially when it comes to hiring people for the studio.
There are three areas that I keep in mind when looking through applicants…
Hire slow. Fire quick.
One of my biggest priorities is our studio’s well being. Some would call it culture, but I think in this day and age that particular word has been so misused by “digital agencies” and marketing companies that it’s lost all meaning. Culture isn’t the beer on tap and ping pong tables. They’re habits which have developed — over time — which become routine and ingrained into how the company operates.
With that understanding; I’m incredibly selective about who comes through the door. Not every great artist — or animator, producer, coordinator, compositor, or what have you — will be a good fit.
I’ve burnt myself pretty badly hiring someone with an amazing “pedigree” and I’ve also been wonderfully surprised by someone who has little to no experience either.
The main concept is this: If you can do the job, great! If you can’t and you act like your some entitled brat on top of it all… Get the fuck out.
Hire when it hurts.
One of the biggest reasons for our success is not because we decided to crew up because we wanted to look the part. No. We hire when it’s necessary. Because of the way our pipeline has been designed over the years, we’ve been able to do the work of what 200 people in a large scale studio who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars with just 20 to 30 people and still manage to make deadline.
We’ll usually look to see what we can do amongst ourselves until the point where we do need someone to come on board. It’s either make, make do, or make without.
And there are times when I really need to think about whether we are hiring because we want to hire someone, or are we really looking to bring quality people on board.
When I find that person, I often tend to continue to work with that individual or group of individuals over and over and over again.
Don’t waste my time.
Pretty plain and simple. It’s also the point I’m very vicious, overly protective and often ruthless about. Wasted time is a pet peeve of mine. So don’t do it.
So how are you able to get through the door knowing the above… Here are some tips which will make my life a little easier and you come off looking like a real pro…
I’m looking to work with real people. Not deathponykillx899@yahoemail . com or “cartoonbobbo@eatstheshit . com.” You’re looking to build a professional rapport… Do it and I really can’t take you seriously.
They’re your best friend if you know how to use them. It doesn’t have to be clever or cheeky. It just has to get to the point. What are you looking to achieve or share? Tell me, quickly. Because sometimes a terrible subject line is enough to send your message straight to the trash without a second thought.
Keep it concise. Need to write a longer message? Send it as a link (Google does this very well, btw). Don’t add attachments to your email. I delete immediately and without hesitation. Use your website or Dropbox or Google Drive. We’re in the digital age… Keep up.
Now that you’ve made it through the filters and have my attention, here’s what I’m looking for in terms of a candidate…
Who are you?
Tell me who you are. Not just your name and what you’re position is. Who the hell are you and why should I care? Be clear. Be brief.
What do you have to bring to the table?
Most people message me with a “gimme-gimme” tone and the way I take that for the most part is “I want you to give me money.” Here’s the trick… Don’t just ask for a job, show me what you’re bringing to the table. Show me that I really need to have you on the team. “Make me an offer I can’t refuse.”
Do you look like you need extensive training or are you ready to rock and roll?
Have you looked at our work? Does yours measure up? If not, can you show me that you’ve got enough foundational training that if we put you in the thunder dome, you’ll be able to stand on your own?
It’s surprising to me how little research people do when applying to a company of just about any kind. Look at what we do. See our aesthetics. Look the part. Look like you’ve already been here. If not, showing me that you have an understanding of the basics lets me know that you’re capable of receiving training.
I’m giving you the insider scope here. Straight from the horses mouth. This is how you win at the game where many, many, many people are currently playing.
If you’ve got a website or a reel… If you see an opening… Shoot for it. Don’t wait. Don’t go back and try to beef up your portfolio. Don’t go back and try to add a few more new things… Send what you got.
If it doesn’t work out, you get rejected, ask why and how you can do better. Then, when you’ve got the feedback needed… Actually do it!
Do the work, then try again. Then try again, try again, try again.
Don’t take it personally.
You’re being evaluated by your presentation and your work and how well you might do in a work environment with multiple people. It’s not a personal attack on you, your character, your beliefs or anything of that nature.
Look… I’m not here to bullshit you. You’ve read this far so that means you’re taking this as rather important. The reality is that the way that our current economy is and with globalization, you’re competing against a large number of international people. And not just people but businesses and countries that offer financial benefits for doing business with them.
Entertainment, animation specifically, is one of THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER industries there is. But not everyone is cut out for it and not everyone is going to make it right away either.
Think long term and be persistent.