An internship at an animation studio can be a necessary first step to entering the industry. It will give you real-world experience of the business, helps you to build contacts and may lead to a job.
Animation Apprentice student Pete Nicholson has just landed an internship with King Bee animation, based at the historic Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, just outside of London. We asked him to talk a little about how it came about.
AA: How did you get the internship?
Pete: I sent emails asking for work experience to various animation and video production companies. I made sure I was clear about what I wanted to learn, and I included my demo reel and CV. King Bee's managing director came back to me, offering an internship! We spoke on the phone a few times, and I spoke to my current employers and worked out a way I could do the internship without quitting my current job completely.
AA: What projects will you be working on?
Pete: The two projects I know they're working on now are Animal Mix, a series of 13 music videos, and a pilot episode of a series encouraging preschool children to do more exercise. They’re going to send me some post-production work in the next few days, to get started on before I begin working in house with them.
AA: what sort of software do they use?
Pete: They use Maya, Flash and Photoshop to do most of their work.
AA: What advice would you give to any student trying to break into the industry?
Pete: This is actually a really difficult question, but I have two key pieces of advice that were given to me, that I think are worth passing on:
“If you’re going for a job with ten other applicants, and you all have the same qualifications, what will set you apart?”
My old boss, the head of a small retail business, asked this question of the people doing work experience with us. "What can you add to your CV which gives you an edge? Can you improve your people skills so your potential employer knows you’re someone he can work with?"
The production manager at Drum Studios advised me on work experience. I met with her at Drum HQ simply because I needed advice on which direction to go next, and she was willing to help. She said to me:
“Often companies are really busy and don’t have loads of staff, so ask if you can do a day or two shadowing someone. It can be better to get some key experience rather than spend two weeks making cups of tea because they need to find something for you to do for two weeks.”
To see Pete Nicholson's demo reel and website, follow this link:
To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.