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    Animation Pagoda Staff
    Animation Pagoda Staff
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    Submitting to Festivals

    Animation and video students ideally want to have some recognition and awards attached to their student short videos and independent films. Unfortunately, film and animation festivals have very costly entry fees and travel expenses, not to mention tough competition.

    Most national and international winners have already been pre-screened and selected from eminent art schools, or the favored individuals have already collected on a number of awards in the lower film circuits. In other words, unless your short is really really mindbogglingly amazing, the likelihood of winning is very small.

    Judges are still obligated to at least view your submission to see if it meets the competition standards. If it makes the cut it can still get screened before a relatively large audience of critics and industry professionals, which is better than nothing.


    Lots of creative people don’t like showing off artwork or going to social events. That’s perfectly understandable, but unfortunately society is kind of competitive and introverts are at a disadvantage when it comes to trying to get a job. Outgoing people who have references are statistically more likely to get hired than a person who doesn’t have lots of connections in the industry, even if that person does have a lot of creative talent.

    Personality, confidence, and enthusiasm also factor into getting hired. If other people like you, they are more likely to recommend you.

    The best advice is that even though it really sucks, and you would rather stay home watching Adventure Time, making an attempt to awkwardly interact with other human beings will help out with career prospects in the long term.

    Internet Fame

    Many talented artists struggle to get even 100 views, while others have hundreds of thousands of followers.  Going viral online sometimes takes a bit of luck, but there are a few strategies to increase the likelihood of getting noticed.

    Create multiple accounts on various forums, freelance websites, or social media sites.  The more sites you have, the higher likelihood one of those links will be found by someone who shares it with their friends.  Managing multiple accounts can take up a lot of time, so you probably want to link back to a primary website with the majority of your portfolio.

    Waiting for your site to go viral is unlikely to produce results at a speedy rate.  You will need to be active about posting new work and promoting yourself.  Most artists are active online for years before they start to see an increase in popularity and web traffic, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away.

    Recruiters and Agents

    Most artists don’t know a lot of business contacts fresh out of college.  This makes it difficult to reach out to the people who have the power to hire.

    However, there are some people who do have professional connections, and they are generally available for anyone to contact.

    Competitive businesses will pay third party agencies and recruiters to find and bring emerging talent to work for their company rather than the competitors.  Agents  can call up their inside connections directly to ensure their clients at least get considered for an interview.  This gives a distinct advantage to any person backed by an agent, since they get a free recommendation and don’t have to compete against a thousand other people wanting the job.

    Recruiters will take care of most of the difficult parts of the application process.  The only catch is that you should have a reliable record, ok personality, and a very good portfolio prepared in advance.  Talent agents have seen enough portfolios to tell if somebody is good or not, and they don’t strongly recommend people if they don’t actually have many positive traits or special skills.

    Recognition is Earned, not Bought

    Very few notable artists get to where they are without hard work.  There aren’t shortcuts to success.

    Many scammers pose as agents to try to take money from people who want to believe they are talented enough to work for the best studios.  Always be wary of agents that approach you without you or one of your acquaintances previously contacting them.  Talent agencies get paid dividends from companies based on how many of their recommendations get hired, so representatives are usually free to contact. If an agent ever asks for money before you have gotten hired for a job, there’s a chance they might not be legitimate.

    Most professionals advise against hiring a personal agent when just starting out in the business.  It’s better to develop your skills and fame naturally than to pay to take shortcuts.  In most situations, a private agent will likely cost more than they help find leads.  Agents are best for helping manage workloads when you have already acquired a measure of success in the form of high client demand for your work.


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